Scientists, enthusiasts examine meteorites at Cranbrook

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Bloomfield Hills — The buzz from the meteor event which hit metro Detroit this week continued Saturday at Cranbrook Institute of Science, with at least two people bringing in small-sized meteorites to be examined by experts.

Geologist Erica Stevenson and Cranbrook Institute of Sciences volunteer Jessica Oakes (right) examine picture of piece of Michigan meteor Saturday at Cranbrook.

“It’s been intense,” said John Zawiskie, a geologist and curator of Earth and Life Sciences at Cranbrook. Some organizers believed there were about 150 people who attended the event.

Zawiskie and another local geologist, Erica Stevenson, examined rocks brought to Cranbrook Saturday by three men who found the meteorites on Bass Lake in Hamburg.

“They spent five hours on Friday searching,” said Stevenson Saturday at Cranbrook. “They didn’t have instruments. They used their naked eye.”

Stevenson displayed a picture of one of the rock saying it was “really impressive ... was fusion encrusted and was black.”

Greg Lemke, a self-professed amateur geologist and president of the Oakland County Rock Club also helped examined rocks and other stones brought in to Cranbrook Saturday. He said there was a crowd of people who wanted to show rocks they believed were meteorites.

Greg Lemke holds a meteorite from a 1947 Russia meteor.

“There’s been a lot of interesting stones (and) that’s a good thing,” said Lemke, who had meteorites from a meteor shower in Russia on display at the table he sat at.

Metro Detroiters filled exhibit rooms at Cranbrook, bringing their children with them, to look at meteorites on display at the science center.

People turned out, some toting rocks, to look at meteorites and other stones on display at the science center.

Judy Sikorski was among local residents who came out to have rocks checked out to see if they were meteorites. Sikorski brought along a small plastic bag of rocks she said belonged to her mom. Sikorski said the rocks were collected 20 years ago in Arizona and Michigan.

Intrigued by the meteor that came through Michigan Tuesday, Sikorski ruled out going in search of pieces of the passing meteor because of the cold weather. She said she is at least grateful for the interest because it brought out a geologists and others in the field who are willing to examine rocks and stones from people like her.

“I’ve been looking for a couple of years to get her rocks checked out,” said Sikorski about her mother’s stones.