FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions:
CAN I OWN A METEORITE?
Yes, you can. Private ownership of meteorites is perfectly legal and it's possible to purchase a quality specimen for as little as $25. Visit our Meteorite Men shop page for a selection of genuine space rocks currently for sale.
Geoff of Meteorite Men is the CEO of Aerolite Meteorites, INC, one of the world's foremost provider of quality meteorite specimens. View Aerolite's excellent online meteorite catalog here >>>
I WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE METEORITE MEN!
Please join our private mailing list, "like" the Meteorite Men on Facebook and follow the Meteorite Men on Twitter. Geoff and Steve regularly post exclusive photos and news using both platforms. It's the best way to stay in touch with the Meteorite Men.
WILL THERE BE MORE EPISODES OF METEORITE MEN?
To date, there have been 23 one-hour episodes of Meteorite Men. The official episode guide is here. If you'd like to see more episodes of Meteorite Men, please take a minute to let our networks, Science and Discovery know, by filling out this Viewer Feedback form. Our friends at the network welcome viewer comments. Geoff of MM continues to be very active in television and film. He won two Emmy Awards for the popular science series STEM Journals and has appeared on episodes of Globe Trekker, Richard Hammond's How to Build a Universe,Ancient Aliens, Shipping Wars, FOX Xploration Outer Space and many other shows. He is Associate Producer of Philip K. Dick's Radio Free Albemuth and Executive Producer of the documentary Neil Gaiman: Dream Dangerously.
CAN I BUY METEORITE MEN ON DVD?
At present, Science / Discovery have no plans to release Meteorite Men on DVD. If you would like to see the show on DVD (we would!), please fill out this Viewer Feedback form. Our friends at the network welcome viewer comments.
Until then, you can watch Meteorite Men on Geoff's YouTube channel.
ARE THE METEORITE MEN AVAILABLE FOR PERSONAL APPEARANCES?
Yes, as long as their schedule permits. The Meteorite Men have made personal appearances at the USA Science and Engineering Fest on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.; National Metal Detecting Day; at the Oscar E. Monnig Meteorite Museum at TCU, Fort Worth; the Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) in New York; the Stellafane astronomy convention, the Arizona Science & Astronomy Expo, Science Cafe for the Flandrau Science Center in Tucson; at the Lunar and Planetary Lab in Tucson; at the annual Tucson gem and mineral shows, among others. Speaking fees vary depending on the type of event. Please contact our media director for details.
I FOUND A METEORITE, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Meteorites are extremely rare. If you think you have found a meteorite, please read Geoff's illustrated Guide to Meteorite Identification. Due to our many existing responsibilities we are not able to accept suspected meteorite specimens for identification, sorry.
CAN I GO METEORITE HUNTING WITH YOU?
Yes. We regularly hold meteorite hunting training camps. Please visit our Meteorite Adventures website for details.
I OWN HUNDREDS OF ACRES, WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEARCH MY LAND?
We typically only work in areas where we believe meteorites may have fallen. Meteorites are so rare that randomly searching new areas is very unlikely to produce new finds, but thank you for the offer!
WHAT KIND OF METAL DETECTORS DO YOU USE?
We use a variety of equipment, some of it was manufactured especially for us and is not available for sale on the retail market. Meteorite Men has featured F-75 detector manufactured by our friends at Fisher Labs, as well as the Fisher Gold Bug Pro and the Teknetics T2. By special arrangement with Fisher, we are now delighted to offer for sale the the same metal detectors used by the Meteorite Men.
I WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT YOUR TRACKED VEHICLE, THE "ROCKHOUND"
The tracked vehicle we used in Season One and Season Three is called the Hydratrek multi purpose amphibious vehicle (MPAV). The company that designed and built it is based in Covington, Tennessee and you can learn all about the MPAV on the Hydratrek website.
WHAT KIND OF MAGNETS DO YOU USE?
We use very powerful rare earth magnets for meteorite hunting. The pull strength varies from about 28 lbs to 70 lbs per piece. We are pleased to offer the very same magnets used by the Meteorite Men for sale on our sister site, Aerolite Meteorites. If you purchase powerful magnets, please use extreme caution, as they can be very dangerous. If a finger or other body part gets trapped between two powerful magnets, severe injury can result. Rare earth magnets can also damage or erase credit cards, hotel room key cards, iPods, cassette and video tapes and other magnetic media. We've also seen vehicles scratched and damaged when magnets came in close proximity and stuck to a car or truck body. So, please be extra careful if you use them!
WHAT KIND OF ROCK HAMMERS DO YOU USE?
We use a variety of rock hammers. Most major home improvement stores carry similar equipment, or you can order picks from online companies that specialize in prospecting equipment.
I SAW A FIREBALL, WHERE DID THE METEORITES FALL?
Plotting the likely fall zone of meteorites produced by a fireball is difficult, complicated, and very time consuming. Many fireballs burn up completely and no meteorites make it to the surface. In order to research a witnessed fall, we typically require a large number of independent eyewitness reports, in order to predict a possible fall location.
Due to their great brightness large fireballs often create a remarkable optical illusion in which it appears that they have hit the ground somewhere nearby. The glowing fireballs we see in the night sky are caused by atmospheric pressure and friction, but meteors stop ablating (burning) while still seven to twelve miles above the surface of our planet. If you are lucky enough to witness a bright fireball, and the flame goes out while it's directly overhead, it is possible that the meteorite will land nearby.
When we see a bright shooting star or fireball apparently landing close by, what we are actually seeing is it arcing away, over the horizon, while still high up in the atmosphere. Due to the curvature of the Earth, the fireball may seem to hit the ground, when it has in fact just moved out of our field of view and gone beyond the horizon. Because of its extreme brightness a fireball may appear — to our human eyes — to be much closer than it actually is. It's something I, myself, have been fortunate enough to witness a couple of times and it's frustrating because it does look as if the meteorite landed "just over there." However, it probably landed hundreds of miles away. Another thing to consider is that when a meteorite lands near observers, those witnesses report hearing loud sonic booms, and/or "whizzing" noises. If no sound accompanied the spectacle, then the meteor was probably a great distance away. But at least you had the privilege of witnessing a real fireball.
I WANT TO FIND A METEORITE, HOW DO I DO IT?
Meteorites are valuable, difficult to find, and we make our living from recovering them. We have already visited many of our favorite sites in Meteorite Men and are always investigating potential new sites. If you want to learn how to find meteorites yourself, we highly recommend Geoff of MM's award-winning book, Meteorite Hunting: How to Find Treasure from Space. It won a 2012 IPPY Award as one of the year's best independently published science books and is the world's only guide to meteorite hunting. It discusses strategy, safety, tools, metal detectors, how to gain permission from landowners, as well as detailed information on meteorite identification. Order on Amazon, or directly from us.
I WANT TO BE A METEORITE HUNTER, HOW DO I START?
Steve and Geoff have over thirty years of accumulated experience in meteorite hunting, and the techniques they have developed have been learned through hard work and experimentation. You will find Geoff's Guide to Meteorite Identification interesting, as it answers a number of basic questions about meteorites. We also highly recommend Geoff's book Meteorite Hunting: How to Find Treasure from Space (see above) and his thrilling autobiography, Rock Star: Adventures of a Meteorite Man. At 252 pages, with over 130 exclusive photos, and an Introduction by celebrated author Neil Gaiman, it is a fascinating look at the life of one of the world's most successful meteorite hunters.
I HAVE DISCOVERED A NEW METEORITE CRATER, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Meteorite craters are extremely rare and, in fact, there are only two craters in the entire United States that have produced meteorite fragments. There are numerous old, and much larger crater structures such as Beaverhead, Montana and the Alamo Breccia in central Nevada, but those sites are so ancient that all meteorite fragments have long since decayed.
There are many terrestrial features that can be mistaken for meteorite craters, such as sinkholes, bomb craters, and natural depressions. Meteorite fragments found around a crater typically denote the real thing, as does shocked quartz, and/or impactites which are terrestrial rocks deformed by a significant meteorite impact. If you wish to learn more about you may enjoy Geoff's column about impactites on Geology.com