Hundreds of people from all over the country this week took to California’s 30-square-mile “Gold Country” region to search for fragments of a meteorite that fell to earth last week, rattling windows and causing a sonic boom as it entered earths atmosphere and fell to the planets surface.
The search for the meteorite has brought out more than just geeky men and women in lab coats and pocket protectors, that’s because a single gram of the meteorites rock can sell for upwards of $1,000.
In the meantime searching for the rocks is moving forward at a frantic pase since their chemistry is likely changing and many of the pieces can be wiped away by heavy rain if not found soon.
Scientists in the meantime are willing to pay a small fortune to get their hands on the material because as one astronomer tells the Los Angeles Times:
“This is scientific gold. We want to learn about this asteroid.”
This particular meteorite is special because its believed to be “older than the sun” and actually pre-date the meteorite that crashed down in Australia way back in 1969.
So far a few locals and one out of towner have managed to grab a piece of the big rock including a meteorite hunter from Arizona who grabbed a pebble-sized chunk from a parking lot and a local firefighter who decided to do a quick search on his way to work and ended up with a 2-gram chunk of the meteorite and then received $2,000 on the spot from a dealer who was also searching for pieces of the space rock.
The biggest find so far comes from a local mom who managed to scoop up a 17-gram chunk while taking her dog for a walk.
Scientists hope to study the rock to learn more about the origins of life in our universe.