Barstow, California: 2nd Largest Iron Meteorite In The U.S.

The "Old Woman Meteorite" weighed over three tons when it was found in the California desert in 1975. The Smithsonian claimed it, lopped off 15 percent of it for "scientific study," then gave the rest back to California in 1980. It's been in Barstow ever since.

Desert Discovery Center

831 Barstow Rd, Barstow, CA
At the Desert Discovery Center. I-15 exit onto Barstow Rd/Hwy 247, then drive north two blocks. On the right.
Tu-Sa closes at 4 pm (Virus outbreak may affect access to attraction. Call to verify.)
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2nd Largest Iron Meteorite In The U.S.

You gotta stop to see the 2nd Largest Iron Meteorite In The U.S. Amazing indeed.

[Robert, 07/24/2010]

Old Woman Meteorite.

Old Woman Meteorite

This is the second largest iron meteorite found in the U.S. The 6,070 pound meteorite was discovered in the Old Woman mountains in 1975 by three prospectors and was later verified by Dr. Roy Clarke of the Smithsonian Museum. The remote and extremely rugged terrain where it was found required the assistance of the U.S. Marine Corps, who removed it with a helicopter.

In 1980 the meteorite was transported to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. where a 942 pound piece was removed for scientific examination to determine its content and make-up. Removing the piece took 120 hours of sawing with a special garnet abrasive saw. The examination revealed that the four and one-half billion year old meteorite is composed of a rare combination of metallic elements never seen in combination before. The meteorite is on permanent display at the museum.

The largest iron meteorite found in the U.S. is the Willamette, found in an Oregon forest in 1902 and weighing 14.5 tons. It is on permanent display at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City.

[Phil Pasquini, 06/24/2010]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Giant Fire HelmetGiant Fire Helmet, Barstow, CA - < 1 mi.
High Desert History CollectionHigh Desert History Collection, Barstow, CA - < 1 mi.
Taxidermy with Mexican FoodTaxidermy with Mexican Food, Barstow, CA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Giant Rock, Landers, CA - 53 mi.

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