One of a kind meteorite puts New Deal, Texas on galactic map - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/27/10

One of a kind meteorite puts New Deal, Texas on galactic map

NEW DEAL, TX (KCBD) - After a mysterious rock is found in New Deal, a family makes the rare discovery that it is a meteorite.

It was back in June that the Smith's came across an unusual stone in their front yard. Immediately they started researching and now more than two months later, their discovery will go down in history.

"It was a Saturday I was just out here mowing and just happened to look down and saw something that just didn't look right," says Todd Smith. He saw it sticking out of the ground. "I made a pass and picked it up, and knew immediately that something was different about it anyway, it was way too heavy. I mean I knew it was a long shot at best that it was a meteorite."

Todd took the golf ball sized rock and gave it to his son Payton, who started doing research.

"I thought there's no way it could be a meteorite here in our front yard," said Payton. After some Google searches, they found out how to test the mysterious stone. "The biggest test is, is it magnetic? Will a magnet stick to the rock? That would be your first test," said Todd.

The rock passed a few more tests and Payton says he was pretty sure it wasn't from this planet. "I went back out to dad while he was on the weed eater and I said Dad, I think you might have a meteorite."

So Todd started emailing experts from all over the country and he ended up sending the meteorite to a lab at UCLA for an analysis. After a few more tests, they discovered not only was this a meteorite, but it was unique, meaning it was not just a piece of another one.

"Just two days ago it received its name which is the New Deal meteorite," says. The New Deal meteorite is one of only 297 meteorites ever in Texas, and to this date there are only 1,366 in the U.S.

"I'm just psyched, you know, it's just such an amazing thing to have it right here in New Deal," said Payton.

The meteorite has been shipped off to join a collection at the TCU museum in Fort Worth. As for Todd and Payton, this father-son discovery is not one they will soon forget. "There are some meteorite experts that take ages to look for meteorites and then to just have one sitting in your front yard, it's just pretty astounding," said Payton.

The majority of the meteorite will go to the museum, but the Smith's will keep a small slice and donate another piece to New Deal schools. Payton says this experience has really inspired him. He says when he grows up; he wants to be a meteorite hunter.

Copyright 2010 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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