Five U.S. academic institutions will share parts of a rare meteorite that exploded in a fireball over Northern California last year.
The Field Museum said Wednesday that the meteor dates to the early formation of the solar system 4 to 5 billion years ago. It was probably about the size of a minivan when it entered the Earth's atmosphere in April 2012.
The Smithsonian cut the meteorite into five sections that will go to five institutions: The Field Museum in Chicago; the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington; the American Museum of Natural History in New York; Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz.; and the University of California-Davis.
Scientists plan to use the pieces for research. They used a CT scan to determine the meteor's age and chemical composition.
The meteorite came crashing to earth near the small town El Dorado County town of Lotus and triggered a rush of hunters searching for pieces of the rock.
One professional meteorite hunter paid $2,000 for a four-gram meteorite found in a park.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.