Cheltenham public urged not to touch meteorite fragments

Hundreds of people reported seeing a fireball over Gloucestershire on Sunday night.

Cheltenham public urged not to touch meteorite fragments: Experts are warning people not to touch fragments from the meteorite. The green and yellow glowing ball was visible for a few seconds just before 10pm. The International Meteor Organisation (IMO) said they received over 900 reports of the fireball.

Some reports came from the Netherlands and Belgium. Scientific experts are now trying to locate the fragments and are asking the public for their help. Many of these are thought to have fell around the Cheltenham area. Pieces of the meteorite would be the first recovered in the UK for over 30 years.

A planetary geoscientist at the University of Glasgow, Dr Luke Daly, said “It’d be really exciting to get hold of it. This is the first fireball we think has dropped such a substantial amount of mass, and it would help us build up a picture of how the solar system has evolved over billions of years.”

The Glatton meteorite, the last recorded one to land in the UK, was found by a pensioner tending his oinions at the time of the impact back in 1991. Dr Katherine Joy of the University of Manchester urged “If you do find a meteorite on the ground, ideally photograph it in place, note the location using your phone GPS, don’t touch it with a magnet, and, if you can, avoid touching it with your hands.

Pick it up in a clean bag or clean aluminium foil if possible!” Dr Daly went on to say “It’s really unfortunate that this has happened in a pandemic. At any other time, the whole team would be driving down to Cheltenham and searching for it.” He also urged members of the public not to use magnets on the fragments as this would instantly erase magnetic signals and dates from billions of years ago.


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