CMU professor confirms Michigan's 6th largest meteorite found in Montcalm County

Katie Ramirez
October 5, 2018

The farmer told the man that as it was part of the property, he could have it.

Sirbescu says people ask her all the time if odd rocks they found are meteorites.

Upon receiving the meteorite, Sirbescu evaluated it and discovered it was an iron-nickel meteorite, composed of 8 to 8.5 percent iron and 11.5 percent nickel. "I could tell right away that this was something special".

The rock, which came down on farmland in Edmore, Michigan, in the 1930s, could be worth $100,000 (£77,000).

Even though Dr. Sirbescu knew exactly what it was, it had to be sent to the Smithsonian Museum for verification, it wasn't until Thursday word came back it definitively is a meteorite, the 6th largest ever found in MI. "It's the most valuable specimen I have ever held in my life, monetarily and scientifically".

According to the report, the man had been using the meteorite as a doorstop for the last 30 years.

The man said that he was able to discover the meteorite's origins, noting that he'd spoken with the farmer who'd originally discovered the space rock in the 1930s.

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This is where geologist Mona Sirbescu of Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant enters the story. He reportedly used the meteorite as a doorstop and sent it to school with his children for show and tell.

All that changed when an unnamed man from Grand Rapids, Michigan asked her to examine a rock he had in his possession since he bought a farm in 1988.

The farmer said that it had come down onto the property in the '30s - "and it made a heck of a noise when it hit", the new owner recalled him saying, according to CMU's statement. "I'm done using it for a doorstop", he said, "let's get a buyer".

The meteorite hasn't sold yet, but the Smithsonian Museum is considering buying it, as well as another collector.

But he's not hoarding the payday, because 10% of the rock's value is already pledged to CMU's earth and atmospheric science students. They all have agreed to name it the Edmore meteorite, she said. The Smithsonian considered buying the meteorite for display. A museum in ME is also interested.

"A piece of the early solar system literally fell into our hands", Dr Sirbescu said in a video made by the university to promote its discovery.

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