Man's doorstop turns out to be meteorite worth $100K

Man's doorstop turns out to be meteorite worth $100K

A man has discovered a rock he's been using as a doorstop for 30 years is actually a meteorite worth more than A$140,000.

Mona Sirbescu, a geology faculty member in earth and atmospheric sciences at Central Michigan University examined it under X-ray fluorescence.

"For 18 years, the answer has been categorically "no" - meteor wrongs, not meteorites", Sibescu said in a statement from CMU on Thursday.

"Within seconds, I knew it was a real one", Sirbescu said when she saw the meteorite.

Dr Sirbescu sent a sample of the rock to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, which confirmed her findings. "It's the most valuable specimen I have ever held in my life, monetarily and scientifically".

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, bought a farm in Edmore, Mich., in 1988. They say it's worth around $100,000, and is the sixth largest meteorite found in MI.

So in February, he took the meteorite to Central Michigan University to have a scientist look at it.

Despite the rock's out-of-this-world origin, the farmer threw it in with his property, and Mazurek kept it for more than three decades. The previous owner showed him around the property at the time and said the meteorite arrived on the farm during a meteor shower in the 1930s.

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She found that it was an iron-nickel meteorite with about 88 per cent iron and 12 per cent nickel, a metal rarely found on Earth.

For the past thirty years, he has used it as a doorstop and sent it off to school with his children for show-and-tell.

And now a man in Grand Rapids just found out the meteorite he has from that impact is worth at least $100,000.

She said she felt excited to play a role in identifying the meteorite. There is a possibility that the analysis could reveal rare elements that could increase its value.

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

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

Now the Smithsonian museum is considering buying the space rock, and it could fetch as much as $100,000, the release says.

The meteorite's owner said he will donate 10 per cent of the sale amount to the university.

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