Where to send a suspected meteorite for testing

After doing a preliminary analysis of your specimen and having determined that it could be a meteorite, you can then send a fragment of it to any of the following labs for positive identification. There is no need to send the whole specimen, unless of course the entire specimen is very small, or if it is difficult to remove a fragment. There is no charge for this I.D. service, and your sample will be returned to you (it's best if you request it ahead of time, but they will usually do this automatically). Be sure to include return postage when you send them your sample. Also include your full name and your postal address.


David A. Kring
Lunar and Planetary Sciences
The University of Arizona
1629 E. University Blvd.
Tucson, Arizona 85721-0092
(520) 621-2024


J.T. Wasson, PhD
Institute of Geophysics
University of California
Los Angeles, California 90095-1567
Phone: (310)825-1986
e-mail: jtwasson@ucla.edu

Wasson recommends sending a grape-sized fragment of the sample. Be sure to include your full name, your postal address, telephone number, FAX number, and e-mail address. The institute will pay a cash reward for any meteorite with a composition that is new to science. Contact Dr. Wasson for further details regarding this reward program.


Cascadia Meteorite Lab

Mail your sample (including return postage!) to:

Alex Ruzicka
Cascadia Meteorite Lab
Portland State University
Dept. of Geology
Room 17 Cramer Hall
1721 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97201

Tel: 1-503-287-6733

Before sending the sample through the mail, Dr. Ruzicka recommends emailing him an attached image of your suspected meteorite (700 kilobytes maximum size), along with a brief description.

Cascadia Meteorite Lab's main web page
Cascadia's sender info page

Take this quick and easy test

If even one or two of the answers to these questions are "YES", then you may have a meteorite.

1) Is the sample attracted by a strong magnet?

2) Does the sample appear to have a thin, DARK-colored crust, or a thin, RUSTY-colored crust, or a thin GLOSSY crust?

3) If the sample looks like it is mostly ROCKY, does the INTERIOR of the sample contain small BB-sized spheres?

4) If the sample looks like it is mostly ROCKY, does the INTERIOR contain shiny speckles that look like tiny pieces of metal?

5) Does the EXTERIOR of the sample have indentations that look like someone pressed their thumb into a piece of modeling clay?

6) If the sample is NOT rocky, does the sample appear to be all or mostly metal?

7) Was the sample detected by a metal detector [particularly when the detector is set in "ferric mode"]?

Return to the top of this page.

Did you see a fireball fall and want to report it?

Hell Creek Life © 1997-2010 Phillip Bigelow