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Barwell meteorite

On Christmas Eve 1965, what may have been mistaken for the bright star in the east, was in fact a fireball sweeping across England, announcing the arrival of what was to become Britain's largest meteorite.

"When it first entered the atmosphere it would have been something like the size of a desk. Most of that would have been burnt up on its way through the atmosphere, but a sizeable chunk would still have made it through to the surface though - probably about the size of a Christmas turkey" - Kevin Yates from the National Space Centre.

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The Barwell meteorite is a carbonaceous chrondrite and probably came from the Asteroid Belt. It has been dated at 4.5 billion years, which makes it as old as the Earth.
You can see specimens of the Barwell Meteorite on display at the Natural History Museum in South Kensington and at the National Space Centre in Leicester.

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Barwell meteorite
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Title: The Barwell meteorite
Authors: E. A. Jobbins and F. G. Dimes , R. A. Binns, ~ M. H. Hey, and S. J. B. Reed

Part of a meteorite was seen to fall on a road (52 33' 55" N., 1 20' 23" W.) in the village of Barwell, Leicestershire, at about 16.20 hrs G.M.T. on 24 December 1965. Fragments have been found over an area some mile long by 89 mile across, and appear to have been part of a single stone, of which 44 Kg (97 lb) have been recovered. The distribution, impact effects, and crustal morphology of the recovered fragments are described. Barwell is a moderately metamorphosed white olivine-hypersthene chondrite; a chemical analysis, with the derived Wahl norm, and a modal analysis are given, together with optical data and electron-probe analyses of the principal constituent minerals.

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