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London Meteorites

One of the Finest and largest collections of British Meteorites can be found in the Natural History Museum collection in the country's capital London, England. Over five thousand individual pieces of space rock fragments are contained in the hallowed walls of the NHM, London. This also includes thousands of significant and extraordinarily polished meteorite slices used for optical and electron microscopy, including tektites.

 

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The collections began when the British Museum in 1802 acquired the first documented meteorite falls—Joseph Banks gave three historic stones. The Wold Cottage fall (a chondrite meteorite that fell in Yorkshire, England on 13th December 1795,. A small sliced example of which was sold by Christie's for £8750 in November 2014 ), the Krakhut fall ([Benares or Krakhut, India] A shower of extraterrestrial stones or spherical chondrite, the largest recovered was 1 kg., fell around 8 p.m on the 19th December 1798) and the Siena fall (an LL5, Fell in Siena, Italy at 7:00 p.m. on 16th June 1794).

In nineteen ninety-one, a fall occurred in Cambridge, which by meteor standards is a stone through away from the city of London! The Glatton fall was the first observed fall in over twenty-two years. A rock the size of a grapefruit hurtled through space, eventually entering our atmosphere. The objects fall was unique as no sonic booms were heard, and no fireball was seen; if Mr Arthur Pettifor was not working in his garden that dreary cold and overcast afternoon, no one would have known of the fall. Arthur was startled by a whining noise and crashing through his conifer hedge. By the time Arthur touched the meteorite, it was warm, not hot, weighing 767 grams, about one-half the size of a large grapefruit which science decreed was the original size in our solar system before entering the upper atmosphere.

The major auction houses Sothebys, Bonhams and Christies in the capital also sell at auction meteorites discoveries from around the world. However, British falls must surely be among the most scarce and valuable rocks on the planet.

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