“There’s gold in them thar' hills” is the cry we associate with’s book The Guilded Age. But Mark Twain didn’t invent the phrase, he borrowed it from a fella’ in Georgia during their gold rush a year before 1848.
Northern California was the sight of the famous Gold Rush in 1848, and now it’s the sight of another kind of rush: A meteorite rush! And folks are prospecting feverishly for them.
Last Sunday a minivan-sized meteor exploded over Northern California, prompting seekers from NASA and anyone who cares to look scavaging the landscape for bits and pieces of the fireball. Fragments scattered of Sierra Nevada towns of Coloma and Lotus, according to CNN.
“People used to pull the gold out of the ground. Now, things fall out of the sky,” NASA research astrophysicist Scott Sandford told CNN affiliate KTXL in Sacramento. “Lucky place, I guess.”
Coincidentally the first meteor fragments were discovered Wednesday a mile from where gold was found at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma in 1848.
Meteor hunterflew to Northern California and told CNN affiliate KOVR that is the first kind of fall to earth since the 1960s.
These fragments predate the creation of the sun. "It contains complex amino acids. It contains organic molecules. This thing is just a treasure trove of data for scientists," Ward told KXTV.
"A primitive type of meteorite can tell us an awful lot about the early stages of our solar system, so it is scientific gold in that respect," a NASA scientist told KXTV.