Scientists recently dug up a 154-pound meteorite that had been buried 4 feet deep in a Kansas wheat field. They located the meteorite by using radar technology that NASA someday hopes to use on Mars.

Roxana Hegeman writes in that this new technology was able to locate the meteorite precisely and make an accurate three-dimensional image of it, while it was still in the ground. Space scientist Patricia Rieff says, “It validates the technique so we can use something similar to that instrument when we go to Mars.”

No one knows when the meteorite hit the earth, but astronomers can now make educated guesses. Astronomer Carolyn Sumners says, “We know it is recent. Native Americans could have seen it.” In fact, scientists have traced pieces of the meteor shower as far away as Indian mounds in Ohio, where the meteorites were traded as pieces of jewelry and ceremonial artifacts.

Alan Binford, who owns the field, is being paid about $50,000 for the meteorite.

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