Meteorite hunting with a Minelab by David Shackleton

25 Feb 2013

‘There’s a surge of excitement concerning the discovery of meteorites, and the chances of discovery increase dramatically with the use of Minelab’s cutting edge metal detection technology. According to experts, approximately 500 meteorites survive the trip through our atmosphere each year and impact with the Earth after exploding during re-entry and showering thousands of smaller pieces onto the Earth’s surface.

Russia has been in the news recently as the largest meteor in over a century blazed through the sky at 18 kilometers per second. The massive rock exploded about 12 miles off the ground. Prior to the explosion, experts estimate that the meteor was 15 meters wide and weighed 7,000 tons. After the explosion, particles rained down onto Earth, scattering fragments of the space rock over dozens of miles.

Metal detector enthusiasts have found some amazing specimens in recent years due to the meteorite’s typical metallic composition. Sizes and shapes vary wildly, ranging from the size of a common bean all the way up to specimens weighing thousands of pounds. Meteor hunters start in areas that are known to contain impacts, commonly called “strewn fields”. These are the areas which serve as the “footprint” of an impact area, and thousands of meteor fragments can be found in these areas. The deserts of the world are popular hunting grounds as they lack vegetation and overgrowth. Hunters comb the surface looking for small craters which are typically formed with larger meteor impacts, or study the ground for the shiny and typically smooth, dark, heavy rocks.

Metal detectors are the most widely used tool, and targets can be detected well below the surface of the wind-blown desert regions.

Meteorites are highly collectible finds, with specimens fetching incredible values based on size, character, and weight. The mystery of a meteor is quite intriguing: Where did it come from, how many miles has it traveled, and what is it made of? The toughest decision to make will be to keep it or sell it. Only a select few have that decision to make, but advances in technology are starting to give the metal detectorists a most definite upper hand.’

Editor’s note: Thanks to David Shackleton for supplying the article – click GPX 5000 if you’re looking for the best metal detector to find buried meteorites, click CTX 3030 if you’re looking for surface meteorites and click Excalibur II if you’re looking for underwater meteorites in a lake, deeper than 3m.

Click Where to Buy for your nearest Minelab Authorised Dealer.

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