Meteor scavengers run to California gold rush country for new precious metal
Stardust fragments can sell as much as 20 times as gold
A meteor storm in Northern California has sent countless "meteor
zombies" scrambling for a different sort of precious metal in Gold Rush
Country. The great California gold rush of 1848 began in the Coloma
Valley, and now a meteor rush is underway as stardust fragments sell for
20 times the price of gold.
A meteor storm in Northern California has sent countless 'meteor zombies' scrambling for a different sort of precious metal in Gold Rush Country. The great California gold rush of 1848 began in the Coloma Valley, and now a meteor rush is underway as stardust fragments sell for 20 times the price of gold.
The meteorite is believed to have been the size of a minivan as it hit the earth's atmosphere and shattered, scattering rare rocks across the California countryside.
The meteor dates back to five billion years ago. Fragments contain a very rare rock called CM chondrite.
An extremely rare type of meteor containing water and the building blocks of life, collectors are paying as much as $1,000 a gram for prime specimens.
Locals have been scavenging fields, hillsides and even their own back gardens to "make hay" on the gift from above.
Thousands of prospectors, known as "meteor zombies," are scouring the Californian desert in the hope of finding a tiny black nugget.
"People used to pull gold out of the ground. Now, things fall out of the sky. Lucky place, I guess," newspaper reporters quoted Nasa researcher Scott Sandford as saying.
Most of the meteorites found till date are tiny, with the largest weighing 19 grams.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Meteor, gold rush, Coloma, California, stardust
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