Published: Fri, October 05, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Rock used as doorstop revealed to be meteorite worth $100K

Central Michigan University CMU geology faculty member Mona Sirbescu holds the 22.5 pound meteorite used as a doorstop for decades.

Sirbescu says people ask her all the time if odd rocks they found are meteorites.

"For 18 years, the answer has been categorically "no" - meteor-wrongs, not meteorites", Sibescu said in a Thursday statement, according to CNN.

"I could tell right away that this was something special", she said.

The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., corroborated Sirbescu's analysis that the 22-pound "rock" is, indeed, a meteorite, and is apparently the sixth-largest of its type to be discovered in MI.

The rock arrived on Earth sometime in the 1930s, according its owner, who obtained it in 1988 when he bought a farm in Edmore, about 30 miles southwest of Mount Pleasant.

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The man claimed he and his father heard the space rock crash into their property in the 1930s, and said it "made a heck of a noise when it hit". She said it will likely be called the "Edmore meteorite".

Sirbescu said this is the sixth-largest meteorite on record to be found in MI.

Like the farmer, he just thought it was "cool to look at", and let his children take it to school for show and tell.

David says the man who sold him the barn described the unbelievable tale of the meteorite making an impact crater in the backyard.

Researchers discovered the meteorite has rare metals.

The farmer told the man that it was part of the property so he could have it.

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"It is heavy it is made of iron and nickel, it is 88.5 percent iron and 11.5 percent nickel", says Sirbescu.

The Smithsonian also sent the sample to John Wasson, professor emeritus in the earth, planetary and space sciences department at the University of California, Los Angeles.

She said she felt excited to play a role in identifying the meteorite.

The process has been an invaluable lesson for Sirbescu and her students.

The Smithsonian and a mineral museum in ME are considering purchasing the specimen.

"Just think, what I was holding is a piece of the early solar system that literally fell into our hands".

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The meteorite's owner said that regardless of the buyer, he will donate 10 percent of the sale amount to the university.

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