• Question: have you ever seen a real meterorite before? is it still warm?

    Asked by greywolf01 to Adam, Catherine, Karen, Leila, Nazim on 19 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Leila Battison

      Leila Battison answered on 19 Mar 2012:

      Though I’ve worked with meteorites in university collections, I’ve never seen a rock that just made it through the atmosphere and landed on earth – even though shooting stars are quite common, finding the pieces is pretty rare – only one case in the last hundred years I think where people found it and it was still warm.

      Most of the meteorite pieces we find are in the antarctic where theya re easy to spot against the white ice, and can be p0reserved for thousands of years.

    • Photo: Karen Masters

      Karen Masters answered on 19 Mar 2012:

      I have not, although sometime we borrow the meteorites from NASA to use in outreach events, so I have touched them. Your school can borrow them too – get your teacher to look here if you’re interested: http://www.stfc.ac.uk/Public+and+Schools/2497.aspx

    • Photo: Adam Stevens

      Adam Stevens answered on 19 Mar 2012:

      I’ve seen a few different bits (including a big lump of tissint recently), but yeah it’s really rare to find a meteorite that’s still warm. Most of the meteorites we have are called ‘finds’ which means someone has stumbled on them somewhere. ‘Falls’, which is where someone actually sees the meteorite fall, are really sought after by meteoriticists!

    • Photo: Nazim Bharmal

      Nazim Bharmal answered on 19 Mar 2012:

      Only after it has cooled down, and that was in the Australian desert. The way you can tell a rock, because that is what it looks like to the eye, from a meteorite is because the meteorite doesn’t look like most of the rocks around it.

      Apparently you can go looking for them in Antarctica and you just walk around for a bit in certain places and it is almost obvious what is a Earth rock and what came from outer space.