Farmers Find Meteorite in Corn Field

May be part of similar meteorite found more than 100 years ago

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 1, 2013 7:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – A 33-pound meteorite isn't what farmers Bruce and Nelva Lilienthal expected their harvest to yield. But sometimes these things just fall into your lap—or corn field, as the case may be. The Minnesota couple found the rock two years ago, but didn't follow up on the peculiar stone (despite its weight, it's only about 16-by-12 inches, and 2 inches thick) until recently. When they sent a photo of it to University of Minnesota professor Calvin Alexander, both parties were surprised to discover it was a rare non-magnetic meteorite, Space.com reports.

"I am about to retire at the end of next year, and this was the first real meteorite that's been brought in," says Alexander, who believes it may be part of another meteor found in Arlington in 1894. Both rocks are iron, with about 8% nickel. The rock still technically belongs to the Lilienthals, and though they both thought it was ugly at first, its extraterrestrial origin has made it suddenly more appealing. "It's a novelty right now," says Bruce Lilienthal. "The university wants to do more tests on it, so we'll let them do more tests and then we'll decide if we want to sell it or keep it."

  (Shutterstock)
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