Throughout her tenure, Sirbescu has frequently been asked to examine specimens of alleged space rocks, to see if they were worth any money.
But the "neat" rock that David Mazurek kept at his home in Grand Rapids, Michigan was not just any old paperweight. "I wonder how much mine is worth, '" Mazurek said. He contacted Central Michigan University who tested and confirmed that the rock was not only a meteorite, but a particularly large one at that.
He said the farmer told him it was a meteorite that plunged to Earth in the 1930s - making "a heck of a noise when it hit" - and that he and his dad dug out the still-warm rock from a crater they found the next morning.
He was content to use it for propping the barn door open the last 30 years, until MI residents began selling much smaller meteorite bits that were sprinkled across the state when a meteor blazed through the sky in January, he told the university.
Mazurek says the meteorite came with a barn he bought in 1988 in Edmore. For the past thirty years, he has used it as a doorstop and sent it off to school with his children for show-and-tell.
'I could tell right away that this was something special, ' she said.
"For 18 years, the answer has been categorically 'no, '" she said.
The meteorite weighs over 22 pounds (10 kilograms), which makes it the sixth largest found in MI.
Then, "I said, wait a minute".
You probably don't have many incredibly valuable artifacts laying around your house, but if you did you nearly certainly wouldn't be using them as doorstops, right?
The Smithsonian Institution and a museum in ME are interested in purchasing the meteorite to put on display.
Sirbescu said this is the sixth-largest meteorite on record to be found in MI. This is apparently something that happens quite frequently to Sirbescu, who is part of the university's department of earth and atmospheric sciences. She said it will likely be called the "Edmore meteorite".
There is a possibility that the analysis could reveal rare elements that could increase its value.