Michigan Meteor: How do you know if you've found a meteorite?

Michigan Meteor: How do you know if you've found a meteorite?
Posted at 8:28 AM, Jan 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-17 12:15:33-05

As meteor madness continues across metro Detroit, some people may set out to find their own piece of space treasure. 

But, how do you know if you've stumbled across a meteorite? Full disclosure: It may not be easy. 

According to, meteorites may have certain characteristics that can set them apart from other ordinary rocks. While there are a variety of meteorites, look for identifiers like thumbprint-like indentations, an ash-like crust, shiny flakes and/or flow lines.

The site notes that most meteorites are rich in iron and nickel, so -- while you shouldn't use it as the only indicator -- try a magnet test. Another thing to consider: weight. Meteorites reportedly will usually feel heavier than ordinary rocks.

"A softball-sized iron meteorite will likely weigh five or six pounds," according to 

Some signs of a so-called meteor-wrong, according to University of New Mexico's Meteorite Museum site: Round shape, holes, bubbles, and/or crystals. 

NASA reports that most meteorites found range from the size of a pebble to the size of a fist. 

Here are some examples of meteorites from the University of New Mexico.

Happy meteorite hunting!