Jeffrey Wolf and Dave Delozier
The front yard doubles as a play area for Carlos Martinez and his 7-year-old son. They play football and kickball together. Now they can add meteorite exploration to their list of front yard activities.
On Memorial Day, Martinez and his son were playing kickball when the ball rolled near some bushes. Martinez went over to retrieve it because he had seen a bull snake in that area the day before.
This time he didn't see a snake, but he saw a rock that got his attention.
"It just caught my attention, just that it was sparkling," Martinez said. "I was like, 'Oh that's cool,' and I picked it up and put in on my window sill."
The heart shape of the object also added to the intrigue. The more he looked at it, the more he began to wonder what it was.
"I went to the library, looked at books and different pictures and talked to the librarians and they said maybe take it to the University of Northern Colorado," Martinez said.
When Bob Brunswig, a professor at UNC, looked at the object it was obvious to him it was a meteorite.
"If it was an iron core meteorite, it is pretty easy to identify because of the heaviness of it and it definitely had heavy burns on it. It had obviously come through the atmosphere, so it had all the right characteristics," Brunswig said.
Because the meteorite was found near the surface, Brunswig theorizes it fell during a meteor shower in the last year.
"When he [Martinez] described it, he said that it was in a very shallow depression in the ground which suggests that if it wasn't buried or partially buried that it had come down fairly recently," Brunswig said.
The meteorite was found approximately 50 feet from Martinez's home. Given the speed the meteorite would be traveling at, he feels fortunate.
"I wouldn't want to get hit by one," Martinez said.