Bakersfield College

William M Thomas Planetarium at Bakersfield College

Is it a Meteorite or a "Meteorwrong"?

How Do You Know If That Rock Is A Meteorite?

The William M Thomas Planetarium is sometimes called upon to determine whether or not a strange rock is a meteorite. A rock with thin black fusion crust and/or is magnetic is a possible candidate but usually it is a terrestrial rock. Here is what the Planetarium Director, Nick Strobel, does when presented with a strange rock:

  1. He sees if one of our Geology faculty can identify the rock as a terrestrial rock (select the link and search for "Geology" in the faculty job titles).
  2. He checks out the following websites about meteorite identification:
    1. https://geology.com/meteorites/meteorite-identification.shtml
    2. https://www.aerolite.org/about/have-you-found-a-meteorite/
  3. If the Geology faculty cannot identify the rock as a terrestrial rock, then he advises the hopeful discoverer to send the rock to one of the places listed on  http://meteorite-identification.com/verification.html .

Good Luck!