Two farmers find meteorites near Livingston - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Meteorites on display at UW-Madison

MADISON (WKOW)-- At least five pieces of the meteorite that fell in southwestern Wisconsin last week will be on display at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Geology Museum.

The public can see the pieces starting Tuesday, April 20th through the weekend.

Each piece is approximately the size of an unshelled peanut and is partially covered with a thin "fusion crust" of dark material that forms when a meteor heats up as it passes through Earth's atmosphere.

The museum will have special extended hours this week and weekend for seeing the meteorites and other exhibits: Tuesday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday noon-4 p.m.

The museum also has pieces of five of the 12 previous known meteorite falls in Wisconsin.

Sunday, April 25, is the Geology Museum's annual open house, with special activities for the whole family including "make-a-quake" and geology bingo. At 2 p.m., geophysics professor Harold Tobin will talk about what causes earthquakes and some of the recent quakes around the world.

Click here for maps and parking information.


LIVINGSTON (WKOW) --Two farmers from southwest Wisconsin, near Livingston, found meteorites from Wednesday's meteor shower.

UW's Geology Department got to study one of them on Friday -- but only for an hour.

"I've been at the University of Wisconsin for 27 years, and this is the first time someone has walked in who had a real meteorite," said geology professor John Valley.

Only 12 meteorites had been discovered in Wisconsin until now.

The farmer who found the meteorite wanted it back, so researchers only spent an hour examining it under powerful microscopes.  He did not want to be identified.

Researchers say the two meteorites were found near Livingston. 

In fact, Doppler radar from Wednesday night around 10:08am shows a small blue spec near the area.

Meteorite hunters from across the country are heading to Wisconsin to search for their own space treasure.

Tim Heitz was approaching cars at the Mobil Gas Station on Highway 80 in Livingston, with that Doppler radar map showing the area where the meteorites could've fallen.

"I'm telling them to look for black rocks," said Heitz. "Something the color of a piece of coal."  Heitz pledged to donate any meteorites he finds to the planetarium in St. Louis.

Other meteorite hunters posted business cards and flyers at the gas station.

So far, no one has come forward.

If you've got something that could be a meteorite, contact the UW's Geology Museum for advice.  You can probably sell it for $10 an ounce, but be cautious about working with a meteorite hunter who approaches you because it's possible they'll try to take meteorites from your property and sell them.



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