Meteorite findings

Meteorites are pieces of stone or iron that have broken off from asteroids and planets and fallen from space to Earth. Meteorites have great scientific value, and rare types of meteorites also have significant monetary value.

The meteorite collection of Luomus is a Finnish national treasure. It is developed and fostered to enable scholarly research on meteorites and introduce them to the public also in the future. 

How do you identify a meteorite?

Location and circumstances of find

Meteorites are most easily found when they have fallen on grass, sand or ice, in other words, somewhere where there are no other stones. At times, the fall of a meteorite is noticed, and it can, for example, make a thump on the roof of a building. 

Stony meteorites are made up primarily of silicate minerals, whereas iron meteorites contain mainly metallic iron.

Most stony meteorites are magnetic and quite heavy for their size, as they contain metallic iron. Stony meteorites are usually angular, as they have broken off in the collision of celestial bodies and often break down further when they hit the atmosphere. Stony meteorites have a thin, glassy and dark fusion crust, which is formed when the outer surface of the object entering the atmosphere temporarily heats up and then cools down. 

If a corner of a stony meteorite has chipped off, you can often see inside small, round grains, known as chondrules, and metallic grains. The inside is often light in colour, but it can also be almost black.

Iron meteorites are highly magnetic and very heavy for their size. An iron meteorite the size of a matchbox weighs roughly 200 grams.

The surface of iron meteorites is usually very bumpy, with bumps that look like they were pressed with fingertips. Iron meteorites have a thin, dark fusion crust, but if they have spent a long time on Earth, they will be covered by a thick layer of rust.

Report your finding!

Please include as detailed a description as possible of the location and circumstances of the find, your observations and a couple of well-focused photographs. If your report appears promising, a specialist will propose laboratory examination of the specimen. Do not break the meteorite yourself, as its scientific and monetary value will decrease.

If the find is confirmed as a meteorite, Luomus will initiate bilateral negotiations with the finder on the conditions under which the meteorite or a part of it could be added to the national collection. As an alternative to donating the meteorite or a part of it, you can exchange it for another meteorite or receive a financial compensation. Most recently, a rare stony-iron meteorite from Lieksa was donated to the national collections of Luomus by the finder in 2018.