Devoted to the recovery, study, and preservation of new meteorite finds.

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How Do We Authenticate Meteorites?


Scientific protocol.  The scientific community has well-established guidelines to verify, classify, and officially document new meteorites.  This process requires specialized analytical equipment and can be both expensive and time-consuming.  Many meteorite labs charge for the classification service, and most labs are backlogged by one year or more due to the large quantities of meteorites currently being found in African and American deserts.  Sadly, some public institutions have recently closed their meteorite identification service due to lack of funding.

 

If your sample proves to be a meteorite, we can guide you through the classification/documentation process.  When classification is complete, the meteorite's characteristics (mass, town of discovery, chemical properties, etc) are published in the Meteoritical Society's "Meteoritical Bulletin".  Some meteorite finders enjoy receiving formal acknowledgment for their discoveries and elect to have their names published in the write-up.  In contrast, some finders prefer anonymity and this request can always be respected. 

 

As per Meteoritical Society rules, you will need to donate either 20 grams or 20% (whichever is smaller) to the laboratory that performs the classification.

 

Meteorite Names.  Meteorites are named after the town or other geographic feature nearest to the find location.  For example, the Allende meteorite fell near the Mexican pueblo of Allende, and the Canyon Diablo meteorites were found near the canyon of its namesake in Arizona.  Meteorites often fragment into smaller pieces during atmospheric flight, and specimens from the same fall are christened with the same name.

 

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