Think you've got a meteorite?

Please read "What to do" below.
Please do NOT do any of the following without getting permission from us via e-mail (address
  •  Do not contact us by phone - we will not return your call.
  • Do not send any samples to our lab without receiving permission via e-mail - we will not analyze them and we will not return them.
  • Do not stop by our office or attempt to visit us - we do not meet with individuals.
  • We do not prepare "certificates of authenticity"; we are not a meteorite testing service.

What to do:

Step 1: Learn more about how to identify meteorites and about materials that are commonly mistaken for meteorites.

  •  Be aware that the chances you have found a meteorite are extremely low, particularly a meteorite from Mars or the Moon. As of 2021, less than 1900 meteorites have been found in the United States over the past 200 years [Korotev]. Worldwide, less than 2 in 1000 of all meteorites are from the Moon and Mars.
  • Check the self-test check-list that Randy Korotev from WashU has created, which includes a flowchart devised by Deborah Guedes and colleagues in Brazil.
  • Check out "Meteorite or Meteorwrong?". This group is dedicated to helping people identify whether they have a meteorite or terrestrial stone (often called a meteorwrong). Here you can post images and get feedback from many people familiar with meteorites.

Step 2:  If after step 1 you still believe you have a meteorite, and want to have our opinion, you can send an email to, with a couple of images of your sample. Please send only a couple of images in a .jpg, .png, or .gif format as an attachment to your email.

About digital images:

  • If you send digital images, please try to get one or more images that are fairly close-up while still showing the whole sample, and in focus.  Images of ~100-700 kb should suffice.
  • If your sample is dark, you should photograph it against a medium-colored background (such as cardboard), not against a bright background. Be careful about glare - natural sunlight is usually best.
  • Do NOT send zipped images; rather include image files as attachments in regular formats (e.g., .jpg, .png, etc.) or embedded in the body of emails.
  • Do NOT send videos - we will not look at them, as it is hard to see moving objects.
  • Do NOT send links to a drive - we cannot access your drive - just an image file attached to an e-mail.
  • Send only a small number of your best images.  Image quality is more important than quantity.



  • Please, do not try to reach us by phone. Our lab phone has been given out by third parties, but this is the incorrect procedure to follow. We won't answer!
  • Please remember that we do meteorite identification as a service to the public, and we currently volunteer our time.  We get many public inquiries (dozens per week), so please respect our time, please follow step 1 before step 2, and please do not attempt to contact more than one of us.
  • We are not a commercial testing lab. We are willing to evaluate your sample via email. But we do not provide certificates.

Return to Main Page

Page last modified November 28, 2023