A meteorite serving as a doorstop in a Michigan home for the past 30 years has been valued at $100K after the owner decided to have experts check out his prized rock when he learned others were cashing in on fragments from a previous meteorite.
In January, another meteor blazed across the night sky, prompting reported sightings of a fireball from residents in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, and even Ontario, Canada, according to the Detroit Free Press.
NASA later confirmed the fireball was actually a "slow-moving meteorite" that had traveled at about 28,000 miles per hour across the sky.
There was a scramble as residents rushed to hunt down pieces of the meteorite that had broken off, which they then sold.
Inspired by this, the owner of the “doorstop” meteorite took his prized rock down to Central Michigan University’s geology faculty member, Mona Sirbescu, who is routinely asked to examine rocks by stargazers hoping they have stumbled upon a meteorite, according to the Central Michigan University.
In 18 years, she has not yet encountered an authentic meteorite — until now.
“I could tell right away that this was something special,” she said of the 22-pound space rock. “It's the most valuable specimen I have ever held in my life, monetarily and scientifically.”
The owner of the meteorite obtained the space rock when he bought a farm in Edmore, Michigan, in 1988. The previous owner told him it was part of the property and he could have it.
Since then it has mostly been used to prop open doors but, now that experts have confirmed that the rock is indeed a meteorite, the owner can choose to sell it or have it shown in a museum, Sirbescu said.
The owner has promised to give 10 percent of the sale to the university as funding for students in earth and atmospheric sciences but Sirbescu said she and her students had already benefitted from it.
“Just think, what I was holding is a piece of the early solar system that literally fell into our hands,” she said.
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