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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Things that are difficult to find out - What's the piece of meteorite that's at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich called?

(Photo taken by Emma, author of http://challengethat.blogspot.com/)

The rock that is, at the time of writing, on display at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, (currently on loan from the Natural History Museum) is a fragment of the Gibeon meteorite which fell in Namibia in prehistoric times. Small fragments of it were used to build weapons and tools by natives. The extraterrestrial origin of the rock was first confirmed in 1836 after fragments were analysed by John Herschel (no, not that Herschel. That Herschel was William Herschel, the guy who discovered Uranus. He was John's dad.)

Feel free to post any questions you may have about meteors, meteorites, meteoroids, shooting stars as a comment below and I'll do my best to answer them. If the question's big enough, I'll probably do another post...