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Meteor that landed in Cotswolds is 'dream come true' for UK scientists – First in 30 years

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Roughly 65,000 meteorites have been found on Earth to date, but only 1,206 were seen falling to the ground.

Of these, only about 51 are carbonaceous chondrites and the Winchcombe meteorite is the first carbonaceous chondrite found in the UK.

The last meteorite found in the UK was the so-called Glatton meteorite that crashed into a residential garden in 1991.

Professor Sara Russell, Merit Researcher in Cosmic Mineralogy at the Museum, said: “The Japanese space mission Hayabusa2 returned around 4.5 g of fragments from asteroid Ryugu to Earth in December last year, and at the Museum we are helping to characterise this material.

“The Winchcombe meteorite fall is very timely as the rock is similar to Ryugu in many ways, and we can use the meteorite to rehearse for mission analyses.”

Dr Luke Daly from the University of Glasgow, added: “It’s thanks to this international collaboration, including researchers as far away as Australia, that we were able to calculate where this meteorite landed so quickly and with such accuracy, as well as where it originated from in the asteroid belt, a rarity that can be said of only about 40 of the 65,000 meteorites on Earth.



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