Posted by: T. Boyd | February 28, 2010

Where are the MicroMeteorites?

I wrote a year ago or so on this blog about finding micrometeorites in the snow, or in rain, or in just dust falling from the sky. And I talked about that it is estimated that a large fraction of these have iron in them, whereby they can be affected by a magnet.

Since that time, I have probably attempted more than 10 times to find a magnetic micrometeorite in snow, rain, and dust, to no avail. [Actually, I just re-read the previous article and remember I did find one potential particle which I accidentally lost in the search.]

I have looked at 1000’s of potential particles under a microscope with a strong magnet moving under the slide in close proximity, and have yet seen one such micrometeorite. There have been 2-3 flat looking magnetic particles which I imagine came from industrial polution, but they did not at all look like photographs of micrometeorites.

On the other hand, I have found probably 100 non-magnetic particles that look like photographs of the micrometeorites – they are black, rounded, and shiny, and in the average diameter I would say was about 1/10 mm.

So, I am wanting to know if others have had better luck in finding them, and what techniques did they use? I am suspicious that some of the “how to’s” I have read were not performed by the writers of those documents.

If you have a reference or an experience to share with me, please respond below.

There is a recently formed Facebook group talking about this topic, and it looks like they have had lots of success.

Thank you very much.



  1. Boyd, I heard the other day on the christian station that there is to be a solar flare in 2012 that will knock out power, I have read up on solar flares but would like your input into knowing how they know its coming and at that time, and were you aware of it.

    • I’ll look that up, Donna. When I worked for the Navy for 11 years before I retired, I was aware of solar storms going on all the time. Our satellites and power grid is always susceptible to damage from those storms. Maybe 2012 is supposed to be a peak. The activity on the sun goes in cycles – 11 years, I think. Thanks for writing.

  2. Hi, I do not know your name, sorry.
    OK micro m stuff. I have been involved for some time with micro m and a very interesting subject, sadly a few folks are now so determined to destroy the pleasure of the science with finding things which are not micro ms..Yes I have found them also from grinding wheel dust but thankfully not all that is found is NOT G/stone dust. In general I do find quite a good return for my efforts BUT (as there always is) I do find some rusty stuff (flakes) to be a problem, it didnt take long to find a way to dissolve this rusty stuff without destroying the micro ms. Here is my method. In a 250 beaker add the magnetically collected micros (a few mg) and add 20 mls of Cillit bang, set the beaker with a stirrer and leave for a few days after which the solution will turn brown indicating its working to remove rusty stuff. Remove the tiny bits with a magnet wrapped in a T/tube and wash with acetone, this helps to dry the micros befor mounting in a ring slide and cover glass. If anyone wishes to chat on this subject I will be delighted.Honestly. dave Bradbury. UK

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