What a meteorite looks like

A meteorite is a space object that has passed through the earth's atmosphere and collided with a planet. Scientists and ordinary people often find fragments of these bodies. To classify them as space objects, and not as ordinary stones, it is worth knowing what a meteorite looks like. The article will discuss its distinctive features.

Chemical method

So how to identify a meteorite at home? When using the first method, you need nitric acid and alcohol. It is necessary to act according to certain instructions. The fact is that all meteorites are subdivided into iron, stone, iron-stone objects, based on their composition. Representatives of the first two groups contain a large amount of nickel iron. You can find them quite rarely, since by eye it is difficult to distinguish them from ordinary stones lying on the ground. For this, a mine detector is used.


In iron objects, a significant specific gravity and pronounced magnetic properties are observed. Stones that have fallen a long time ago become rusty. Magnetization is also characteristic of the lion's share of stone and iron-stone bodies. In the process of moving through the atmospheric layer, the meteorite undergoes serious heating. And when it lands, it cools down, and protrusions and depressions appear on its surface. The shape of the fallen bodies resembles the head of a projectile.

It is not easy to know what a meteorite looks like in order to distinguish it, but also to carry out a reaction for nickel. This procedure is carried out at home. All that is required is to saw the sample and then polish it until it starts to shine. Then you should prepare a solution of alcohol and nitric acid in a ratio of 10 to 1 and lower the existing sample into it. If it is a meteorite element, metal crystals will be seen on its surface over time. In a stone body, they resemble grains; in an iron meteorite, they will resemble stripes.

Mechanical method

Knowing what a meteorite looks like, you can distinguish it from an ordinary stone in another way. The shape is most often non-standard, and significant melting can be observed on some sides. Bodies that have landed relatively recently have a black or gray-brown film in their composition. If the meteorite has lain on the surface of the planet for a long time, the tone will be reddish-brown, that is, it resembles rust. If you run your hands over the "heavenly stone", you will find that absolutely all protrusions are smoothed.
Going in search of such objects, you must take a compass with you. Having found a body that looks like a meteorite, you need to bring the device to it as close as possible. If there is a deviation of the arrow in one of the directions, we are talking about a meteorite. If it doesn't, this is a classic stone. This method will work only if there are no magnetic ore deposits nearby.


Definition of chondrites

Knowing what a meteorite looks like, one can determine by external parameters another type of these bodies - chondrites. These are small lumps of coal with small inclusions (brown) on them. As a rule, they lie in the ground for a long time, so it is difficult for an ordinary person to find them, most often specialists are engaged in this work.

After detecting a space object, it is necessary to record the following data:

place of find;
the date on which it occurred;
burial depth;
soil composition;
and so on.
It is also recommended to draw up a map of the area. If the body is fragile due to the prolonged influence of natural factors, it is necessary to take a photo and description of it, and then present the materials to professionals.


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