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That big rock sitting in the garden? Meteorite.

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Only after spending time beneath a deck barbeque, visiting a county fair and passing through two universities did it receive the official classification as a meteorite. [Meteorite craters on Earth.]

"It was probably plowed up by a farmer and tossed to the side of the road," said Dick Pugh, a geologist at Portland State University in Oregon. "There is even evidence that the rock was hit by a plow."

Space rock's tall tale

Wesson finally began asking around after watching a television program about meteorites. He took the rock to a local county fair in Castle Rock, Washington in the summer of 2009, where he spoke with a member of the Southern Washington Mineralogical Society.

The find was referred to Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., where initial sample tests showed it was probably a meteorite. Final confirmation came from the Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory at Portland State University, which classified the Morrow County meteorite as an L6 ordinary chondrite that had been highly shocked (S5) but minimally weathered (W1).

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