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Meteorite hunters find first fragments of Michigan meteor

Image courtesy: YouTube user Mike Austin

Meteorite hunters who flocked from across the U.S. to Detroit after a meteor exploded overhead are finding meteorite fragments.

NASA scientists say the 6-foot-wide (2 meters) meteor broke apart about 20 miles (32 kilometers) over Earth Tuesday. Most of the fragments landed in Hamburg Township.

The American Meteor Society says the first fragments were located Thursday by professional hunters Larry Atkins and Robert Ward of Arizona. Longway Planetarium astronomers have also located three meteorites that'll be displayed Friday.

A meteoroid is a small chunk of asteroid or comet. When it enters Earth's atmosphere it becomes a meteor, fireball or shooting star. The pieces of rock that hit the ground are meteorites, and are valuable to collectors. The remnants must be analyzed by a lab to be accredited as meteorites.

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