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The Weston Incident

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Easton Exhibit Tells Story Of America's First Meteorite

Early one morning in December 1807, people across New England saw a bright fireball move across the sky, ending with three loud explosions heard over what was then Weston. Residents reported finding at least six large chunks of stone scattered around town after the event.
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Most pieces fell in what is now Easton, then part of Weston. Yale, which owns many fragments and which exhibits the largest at the Peabody Museum, says several large stones, including one of about 200 pounds, had been smashed on the rocky ground. Others were broken up by the finders: "Strongly impressed with the idea that these stones contained gold and silver, they subjected them to all the tortures of ancient alchemy, and the goldsmith's crucible, the forge, and the blacksmith's anvil, were employed in vain to elicit riches which existed only in the imagination"
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The Weston meteorite is a meteorite which fell to earth above the town of Weston, Connecticut at approximately 6:30 in the morning on December 14, 1807. The meteor fall was widely witnessed and reported in newspaper accounts at the time. Eyewitnesses reported three loud explosions, and stone fragments fell in at least six locations.á
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The Weston (H4) meteorite fell in Connecticut, USA, on the 14th December, 1807.
A total mass of 150 kg was recovered.

41░ 16'N, 73░ 16'W



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When a fiery meteor crash in 1807 lit up the dark early-morning sky in Weston, Connecticut, it did more than startle the few farmers in the sleepy village. More importantly, it sparked the curiosity of Benjamin Silliman, a young chemistry professor at nearby Yale College. His rigorous investigation of the incident started a chain of events that eventually brought the once low standing of American science to sudden international prominence.
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Weston Meteor Was Almost Lost to Science

Weston residents may not know that their town once played an important role in the science of cosmic geology. On Dec. 14, 1807, a meteorite blazed across the sky. Racing toward the ground at seven miles per second, it created a sonic boom that echoed across three states.
Upon impact, the 350-pound space rock shattered, causing an explosion heard 40 miles away.

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On Dec. 14, 1807, a meteorite blazed across the pre-dawn sky, appearing to be two-thirds the size of the moon. It was visible to early risers as far away as Vermont and Massachusetts, but it was over the town of Weston, Conn., that three loud explosions rent the air. Stone fragments fell in at least six places.
It took two or three days for Benjamin Silliman, a chemist at Yale University, to hear about the phenomenon, but he dropped everything he was doing and hastened to the scene, where he and Prof. James. L. Kingsley visited each site where stones were reported to have fallen.

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The 28 -pound rock on the third floor of the Yale Peabody Museum isn't much to look at.
It's about the size of a cinder block, with jagged edges and a rusty hue that, beneath the glint of a Plexiglas case, shimmers when viewed from the right angle.
áThe rock is no ordinary remnant of glacial boulders, a common find in Connecticut.
It is a piece of meteorite that, shortly after 6 a.m. on a cloudy morning 200 years ago this Friday, flashed through the sky in a ball of fire, producing a sonic boom that shook people out of their beds and rained fragments of nickel and iron across a 10-mile strip of what is now Easton and Monroe, but at the time was Weston.

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A time capsule, believed to be the first in town, will be buried in front of the Easton Public Library on the morning of Dec. 14.
The steel container will commemorate the exact moment, 6:04 a.m., 200 years ago when the first recorded meteorite to strike the United States fell in town, which was then a part of Weston.
The 2 pound rock, coloured grey and brown, was plucked from a field here shortly after the incident and placed on permanent display at the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University in New Haven.

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