Treasure Hunters Flock To California For Pieces Of Six-Billion-Year-Old Meteor

A stay-at-home mum was out walking her dog recently when she stumbled upon a weird, 17-gram rock. It turned out to be 4-6 billion years old. And from space. And it's worth $US20,000. Is El Dorado County due for another gold rush?

Space rocks have been on the county's mind ever since a minivan-sized meteorite exploded over it, creating a sonic boom. Tiny fragments of the rock — which predates the formation of the sun — were scattered all over the hills, setting off a red alert to fanatics of a certain stripe. The local CBS affiliate reports that thousands of geologists, scientists and treasure hunters have descended upon the town from all over the world hoping to get their own piece of precious space rock. Brenda Salverson, the lucky local mum, isn't the first to find a chunk of the pie. At least one professional hunter found some fragments, and if people keep hitching their wagons for gold country — many others will probably get lucky as well. [CBS via CNET]

Image: MarcelClemens/

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