4.5 billion-year-old meteorite found in Ore.

4.5 billion-year-old meteorite found in Ore.

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on May 30, 2010 at 7:19 AM

Updated Monday, May 31 at 11:51 AM

An extremely rare and pristine meteorite was found on the side of the road in Eastern Oregon and experts say it’s 4.5 billion years old.

Don Wesson found the rock 11 years ago in rural Morrow County and he is just learning about its rare qualities. It was just the fifth meteorite ever found in Oregon.

After watching a TV show about meteorites recently, Wesson brought his rock to the experts who had a big surprise for him. They said they believe the rock hit the earth between 200 and 800 years ago but it’s actually even older than that – by far.

“It's a piece of the asteroid belt, a leftover from the formation of the solar system, No two are quite alike,” Wesson explained, recalling what the experts had told him.

Wesson said he was thrilled to learn more about his rock but already has the amazing satisfaction of knowing he’s touched something from outer space.

Wesson donated some samples of the meteorite to Portland State University.

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