Specifically, meteorites from this fireball are possible anywhere from Sandy Point State Park to Anne Arundel Community College north of Route 50 to the Magothy River and possibly Gibson Island.
Here’s what that looks like on a map.
A meteor is a space rock burning up in our atmosphere. The bigger the rock, the bigger the fireball (usually). Sometimes they explode into a bunch of smaller rocks as the temperature rises, which is what makes the fireball look like fireworks.
The rocks or fragments can make it to the ground if they don’t totally incinerate in the atmosphere. The only way to know for certain that a meteorite made it to the ground is to go out and look — which is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. But there’s strength in numbers, Hankey says, and the more people looking, the better chance there is of someone finding something.
Here’s what you’re looking for: A small, shiny, black rock without holes or pox marks on them. This rock literally landed after it was on fire in the sky, so it’s going to have a thin shiny coating on it called a “fusion crust.” You might even see flow lines or trails of where melted rock blew off the stone as it came screaming through the atmosphere. These stones will also attract a magnet.
Only four meteorites have ever been found in Maryland, Hankey says, and the last one was in 1919.
“A meteorite found in Arnold would be the first meteorite found in Maryland in almost 100 years and would certainly be worth its weight in gold,” Hankey wrote on his blog. “More importantly, freshly fallen meteorites possess scientific value that can lead to new discoveries about our solar system and how it evolved.”
We don’t want to get your hopes up, since there’s just a very small chance that a meteorite made it to the ground where someone can find it. However, because it’s so rare, it seems worth it to at least be aware when you’re outside.
Should you quit your job and spend every day looking for the Magothy meteorites? Probably not. Is it worth keeping an eye out while you work in your yard, walk your dog or go for a jog? Absolutely.
Did you find something? Email Mike Hankey and he will help you determine if it’s a meteorite.