Published: Sun, January 21, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Prescott meteorite hunter finds 3 rocks from Michigan meteor

Prescott meteorite hunter finds 3 rocks from Michigan meteor

With the size of this asteroid, it was a near certainty that pieces of it would reach the ground as meteorites, so in the days after, the hunt was on. For this MI fireball, Atkins, who spends his winters in Arizona, made a special trip back to his hometown area of Ann Arbor to participate in the search.

The team found three meteorites in a 90-minute timeframe on Thursday, Jan. 18.

"It's a really spectacular specimen", the researcher said, showing off the largest of rocks he found on a frozen Hamburg Township lake.

A grin stretched across Robert Ward's face Thursday afternoon as he talked about the three meteorites he found in less than four hours.

The American Meteor Society received hundreds of reports of a fireball Tuesday night over the state, including many in the Detroit area.

This brought out dozens of meteorite hunters in hopes of finding precious stones.

As we can see from the photographs, these meteorites - each about 3/4 of an inch to an inch wide - did not cause much of a disturbance in the snow.

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"I'm sure I'll be back", he said.

The event, seen by many in MI, creating a streak of light and a loud bang that could also be seen in other states and Canada.

"It's been really cold here, but today was one of the warmer days", Ruff told Space.com in an interview January 18, explaining that temperatures then were as high as 20 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 7 degrees Celsius). The first meteorite found was reportedly the size of a pecan, with the third about the size of a walnut. Ruff joked that he was jealous that others had made the first finds, but added, "the debris field area is so huge, and somebody has to make a find". In fact, he was able to attend college at the University of MI.

On the night of Tuesday, January 16, 2018, residents of southern MI and southwestern Ontario, as well as others from hundreds of kilometres around, were witness to a bright meteor exploding in the night sky. Some observers even saw it from the province of Ontario, in Canada. The discovery came just two days after a blazing meteor tore through the skies above the northeastern U.S.

Over 50,000 meteorites have been found on Earth alone, according to NASA.

"Meteorites are exceedingly rare", Pitt said.

In 1996, the space agency established the Spaceguard program that monitors near-Earth objects such as comets and asteroids that come within 45 million kilometers of the planet's orbit. "It's probably 4-5 billion years old, something like that".

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