[meteorite-list] Meteorite Found in California?
From: j.divelbiss_at_att.net <j.divelbiss_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Tue Aug 3 13:10:06 2004
I believe this is the same rock that we decided last month was a piece of slag.
-------------- Original message from Ron Baalke : --------------
> Meteor, right?
> By Josh Grossberg
> Daily Breeze (Torrance, California)
> July 22, 2004
> It traveled for millions of years across the vast emptiness of space,
> entered the Earth's atmosphere at speeds 50 times faster than a bullet
> and could be worth up to $20,000.
> Either that or it's just a rock.
> All the Patel brothers know is that they heard an odd noise in the
> middle of the night and the next morning, there was a strange mineral
> formation in the parking lot of their Redondo Beach inn, named,
> appropriately enough, the Starlite Motel.
> Now, after doing some research on the Internet, they're fairly certain
> the golf-ball-sized, pock-marked object with copper specks is a visitor
> from outer space.
> "I was sweeping and I saw it," Dinesh Patel said. "At first I thought it
> was a rock, and was going to put it in the trash. But it was too heavy."
> The brothers were sound asleep early Tuesday at their hotel on Pacific
> Coast Highway when they were both startled awake by a loud noise. Narish
> Patel described it as a "zzzzz" sound, while Dinesh Patel said it
> resembled a "car squeaking against a wall." Apparently nobody else heard
> it, or at least, they didn't contact the Redondo Beach police, which
> received no calls, Sgt. Phil Keenan said.
> It could take months of testing to determine exactly what the brothers
> found. But after looking at a photograph of their prize, two meteorite
> experts said it is certainly possible that they found what they think
> they found.
> "I can't rule it out," said meteorite dealer Michael Blood.
> Blood said that if it's real, the find would be especially rare because
> the brothers heard and found the meteorite where it landed, something
> that has happened only a few thousand times in history.
> Worth thousands -- maybe
> And if it came from the moon or Mars, the Patels would really have hit
> the celestial jackpot.
> "If it's lunar or martian, it could be worth a couple thousand dollars a
> gram," Blood said of the rock that weighs about 20 grams. "But the
> greatest likelihood is it's common chondrite."
> In which case, the entire stone would be worth maybe a couple hundred bucks.
> On Wednesday afternoon, the Internet site eBay had 18 purported
> meteorites for sale, ranging in price from $6.99 to $1,000.
> Who would spend so much on so little? Very few people, it turns out.
> "It's a very intense industry that's very small," Blood said. "My
> estimate is there are 3,000 to 6,000 collectors in the world. Maybe much
> Blood said that Meteorite Magazine, the bible of the field, has a
> circulation of about 1,000.
> The allure of meteorites -- which are meteors that reach the Earth
> intact -- is their otherworldliness.
> "There's nothing else you can put in your hand and look at that's from
> out of the world," Blood said. "They come from countless millions of
> miles away. I've spent hundreds of hours looking for them and found only
> one. These things are hard to come by."
> Alan Rubin, a research geochemist at the Institute of Geophysics and
> Planetary Physics at UCLA, was less optimistic than Blood.
> "It doesn't look very promising," said Rubin, who earned a Ph.D.
> studying meteors. "If it's a meteorite, it's very unusual."
> Tests will offer the answer
> Still, he said, tests would need to be conducted to be sure.
> "The texture is unlike any meteorite I've seen, but there's always a
> chance," he said. "I can't rule it out."
> If the find turns out to be something common, it wouldn't be the first
> time someone saw space stuff on the ground.
> "I had a woman drive hundreds of miles and show up in my driveway with a
> truck full of rocks," Blood said. "They hear that a lunar meteorite
> sells for $1,000 a gram and then they find a rock and think they're rich."
> Meteorite-list mailing list
Received on Tue 03 Aug 2004 01:09:57 PM PDT