METEORITE OR METEORWRONG?
Meteorites are not magnets - they won't attract paper clips or
pins. Most (>95%) meteorites (chondrites,
irons), however, will attract a magnet because they contain a
lot of iron-nickel metal.
Some of the rarest kinds of meteorites (achondrites, lunar meteorites,
martian meteorites) do not attract magnets because they contain little
or no metal. Most terrestrial (Earth) rocks also do not attract magnets
for the same reason. Some earth rocks do attract magnets, however, because
they contain the mineral magnetite.
A good way to test if a rock is attracted to a magnet is with
a circular ceramic magnet like those often used for "refrigerator
magnets." Put it on its edge on a flat, hard surface. If a rock attracts
a magnetic, you can cause the magnet to roll by pulling the magnet with
the rock. Don't use a neodymium (rare earth) magnet. Those things are
so strong that they attract many kinds of rocks. An ordinary chondrite
will respond to a simple refrigerator magnet.
Throw away your rare earth magnet. Iron
meteorites are strongly attracted to even weak magnets.
If you have a rock that DOES attract a magnet,
its probably not a meteorite because magnetite-rich Earth
rocks are much more common than meteorites. Cut or break it open.
If it has lots of metal flecks or veins like these ordinary
chondrites, then it might be a meteorite (but industrial slags
sometimes contain metal).
If you have a rock that DOES NOT attract a magnetic, it could
be a meteorite, but the probability is exceedingly small because nonmagnetic
Earth rocks are exceedingly more common than any kind of achondritic