Martian meteorite winds up in Fort Myers

Posted at 11:31 PM, Aug 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-14 07:09:06-04

FORT MYERS, FLA -- An out of this world exhibit has arrived in Fort Myers.

The Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium is one of the few places in the United States where you can now have your own close encounter with a Martian meteorite.

"We are about to become the fourth place in the U.S. where you can actually touch a piece of Mars," said Heather Preston, the planetarium director.

Meteorite collector and hunter Tim Heitz donated the golf ball sized space rock to the center.

Heitz says it was knocked loose from something crashing into Mars and wound up in the deserts of Morocco.

"These ones have probably been on earth for awhile, probably about two to three thousand years on the desert floor," said Heitz, who also donated a Martian meteorite to a museum in St. Louis.

Heitz says Martian meteorites are hard to find.

"When I first got involved there was probably about 15 Martian meteorites known to man," said Heitz. "Now there is probably around two hundred on earth," he added.

The meteorite is done moving and is now a permanent fixture at the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium.