How do scientists identify a rock as a meteorite?



  1. 0 Votes

    The link below has a description with pictures on how to identify.

    The first step is to attempt to observe a fusion crust. A 1-2 mm crust of glass like material created from the intense heat of plummeting through Earth’s atmosphere. It can be brown, greenish, or black from the iron.

    The second step is to identify shape. Often times they are in funny looking shapes. Squares or conglomerations of globules. They are almost never spherical in shape. If you have a perfect circle it is likely not a meteorite.

    The third indicator is magnetic properties. About 9/10 meteorites will have a enough iron to attract a magnet. Caution must be taken that it is not an earthly stone with magnetic properties such as Magnetite. Also, when sanded often a shiny metallic sheen can be seen from the iron segments.

    The fourth step is to look at chrondite, rust, and density. The stones are uncommonly dense and have tiny spherical grains throughout known as chrondrules. They also can have rust.

    Thus with adequate equipment and expertise scientists discover through careful empirical observations, whether or not a rock is a meteorite.

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