NOVATO (CBS13) – A light show hard to forget brought out rock hunters who are still canvassing Northern California days after the asteroid came crashing down.

There are all kinds of rocks in parking lots and gravel in fields so how do they know what a meteorite is? Well, they say to look for something that stands out.

It may look like a tar ball to us earthlings, but according to meteorite hunter Bob Verish, it’s a cosmic gem.

“It shows a history of having had some catastrophic collision in the asteroid belt,” he said.

It’s a rock so foreign, so ancient, he says it was floating around Jupiter before the Earth ever formed.

Bob Verish found this space ball worth about $10,000 while searching the Novato area in Marin County. (credit: CBS13)

Two weeks ago, a big, bright flash danced across the sky, sending a glow show across half the state.

“We don’t get many falls like this in California,” he said.

As impressive as it was when it crashed, that’s also why it’s so difficult to find its 4.5-billion-year-old parts.

“It came in at a lower angle. It spread out the stone,” he said.

Only four pieces have been found in Novato and they’re worth $100 per gram. Bob’s weighs in at about 100, making it a $10,000 rock.

It’s a true treasure for a man who once sent NASA probes to outer space. Now he’s probing this planet for galactic goods.

If it jumps to his magnet, he says it’s likely out of this world. Bob’s now convinced there are larger pieces to this puzzle in Novato.

“We try not to think about the fact that it’s worse than a needle in a haystack,” he said.

After searching several square miles, he’s convinced larger rocks are lurking.

The search seems difficult and endless. They also have to speed it up because every time it rains, they lose some evidence and so people like bob are racing against the clock. There’s another storm on the way.


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