A man from Grand Rapids, Michigan, who told the university he wanted to remain anonymous, brought the rock to Sirbescu for examination earlier this year.
But that all changed when she was asked to examine an oddly shaped large rock that a MI man, who didn't want to be named, had had in his possession for the last 30 years.
"I walked in there and there's this rock and i said you got everything all cleaned up but what's this? and he said oh that's a meteorite", says David, who owns the meteorite. In the morning, the farmer and his father found the crater and dug out the still-warm meteorite.
The man reportedly hasn't figured out exactly where the meteorite will end up, but a number of institutions are apparently considering purchasing it from him for display.
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The 22-pound meteorite was examined under x-ray fluorescence scanning which determined that it was composed of 88 percent iron and 12 percent nickel (a metal that is relatively rare on Earth). "I wonder how much mine is worth'".
The chunk of iron-which was confirmed as a space rock by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. -is the sixth-largest meteorite ever found in MI, according to the museum. If it can not purchase it, the slice will stay in the collection.
The Smithsonian also sent the sample to John Wasson, professor emeritus in the earth, planetary and space sciences department at the University of California, Los Angeles. They all have agreed to name it the Edmore meteorite, she said. He is considered the guru of iron meteorites, Sirbescu said, and is doing a neutron activation analysis to determine its chemical composition.
Regardless of how much that is, Sirbescu feels that she, CMU and her students already have benefited. A mineral museum in ME is also looking into it.
The owner is considering selling the meteorite to a museum or collector, and has promised to give 10 percent of the sale to the university, the university said. So in February, he took the meteorite to Central Michigan University to have a scientist look at it.