Meteorite Reporting System


Welcome to the University of Alberta's Meteorite Reporting System, where you can use a list of questions to help figure out if the rock you have found is a meteorite, and where you can upload photos to be reviewed by an expert.

Instructions


Read through the list of questions below. If the answers to questions 1 and 2 are No, then the rock is almost certainly NOT a meteorite. If the rock is actually a meteorite, then the answers to most of questions 1 through 5 should be Yes, and question 6 should be No. However, it may still be a meteowrong - please fill out the report form below, and be sure to include photos.

You will be contacted within 4 weeks of submission if your specimen appears to be a meteorite. If you do not get a reply, then you can assume that your specimen is not a meteorite. Unfortunately, due to a lack of personnel to assist with reviewing submissions, we cannot reply to every non-meteorite inquiry. If you have any questions, or problems with completing a report, please call 780-492-3265.

Meteorite Identification Questions

Do you think that you have found a meteorite?


  1. Does the specimen feel unusually heavy for its size?
    (Yes = possible meteorite).
    Many meteorites, particularly iron meteorites, are quite dense and feel heavier than most rocks found on Earth.
  2. Does the specimen attract a magnet?
    (Yes = possible meteorite).
    Almost all meteorites contain some iron-nickel metal and attract a magnet easily.
  3. Can you see gray metal specks shining on any broken surface of the specimen?
    (Yes = possible meteorite).
    Most meteorites contain at least some iron-nickel metal. These fragments may be seen shining on a chipped surface.
  4. Does the specimen have a thin black crust on its outer surface?
    (Yes = possible meteorite).
    When a meteor falls through the Earth's atmosphere, a very thin layer on the outer surface of the rock melts. This thin layer is called a fusion crust. It is usually black and has the texture of an eggshell.
  5. Does the specimen appear to have "thumbprints or dents" on its surface?
    (Yes = possible meteorite).
    Often, when a meteor falls through the Earth’s atmosphere, these thumbprint-like features called regmaglypts form on the surface.
  6. Does the specimen have any holes or bubbles in it?
    (No = possible meteorite).
    Meteorites do not have holes or bubbles. Slag from industrial processes usually has holes or bubbles.

If the answers to questions 1 and 2 are No, then the rock is almost certainly Not a meteorite. If the rock is actually a meteorite, then the answers to most of questions 1 through 5 should be Yes, and question 6 should be No.


Report Form


Select specimen photos

Note: You can upload up to 5 photos, maximum file size for each photo is 5MB.