Meteorites have struck San Angelo before. A famous meteorite hit San Angelo and was featured in a prestigious scientific journal on March 8th, 1897. According to the Rochester Academy of Science, the San Angelo object weighed 194 pounds and was 51cm long, 29cm wide, and 14cm thick.

John Johnson discovered it on July 1st, 1897, seven miles south of San Angelo is "Lipan Flats." To this day, the meteorite is named San Angelo.

Meteorites pockmark the landscape of Texas. Last week, a meteorite weighing a thousand pounds struck the earth after residents near Mission heard what was described as "mysterious" and "ground-rattling" blasts.

Fragments of the meteorite fell on a rural area of Starr County, starting about 20 miles southwest of San Isidro. If you find pieces of the space rock, NASA recommends you use clean gloves, tongs, or aluminum foil to pick them up.

It is not to protect you from contamination. It is to preserve the elements on the meteorite for study.

Because fragments of meteorites are so rare, finding one on your property could be your lucky day. Actually, the day the meteorite landed on your property and didn't hit you was probably your lucky day. As common as meteors are, there is only one known case of a meteor hitting a person on the ground.

It happened to Ann Hodges when a meteorite crashed through the roof of her apartment in Alabama back in 1954. The 9-pound rock only slightly injured Ann Hodges, but she became embroiled in a famous legal battle over ownership of the space rock.

One of Ann's neighbors found a piece of the meteorite and was able to sell it and make enough money to buy a car and a new house.

Texas Law states that if a meteorite lands on your property, you own it. The federal government says if you find a meteorite on public lands, it must be turned over to the Smithsonian Institution for study.  Fat chance, right?

If you find a meteorite on your property, you could have a big payday. According to to Go BankingRates, an 82-pound iron meteorite from an asteroid recently sold for $44,100. A unique four-pound pallasite meteorite featuring crystals of olivine and peridot recently sold for $60,480.

Pieces of Mars rock can command big payoffs as well. A 4.25-pound piece recently sold for $63,000.  The most significant profit is from a meteorite that came off the moon. A 406-gram lunar meteorite sold for $189,000.

Photo: Christies Auction
Photo: Christies Auction

Finding a meteorite is only slightly more likely than hitting the Powerball or MegaMillions jackpot. Lately, it is much more likely that you'll be hit by a piece of a shot-down Chinese "weather" balloon.

It could still happen, and it could still be fortunate for your wallet if it does. Keep looking up. You never know.

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