Bar­well me­te­orite chunk now on show in Amer­i­can mu­seum

Gra­ham flew out to de­liver it and tell peo­ple about the vil­lage

Hinckley Times - - NEWS - LUCY LYNCH hinck­ley­[email protected]­plc.com

A FRAG­MENT of the Bar­well me­te­orite along with the story of how it fell through a fac­tory roof has gone on dis­play in a USA mu­seum.

The space rock is on show at the Tel­lus Science Mu­seum in the town of Cartersville in Ge­or­gia.

The frag­ment be­longs to me­te­orite col­lec­tor Gra­ham En­sor whose life­long fas­ci­na­tion with me­te­orites be­gan with the Bar­well me­te­orite. He was just nine and liv­ing 10 miles from Bar­well when the space rock crashed to earth.

Mr En­sor flew to Ge­or­gia to lend his frag­ment to the mu­seum and give a talk. He de­scribed how his frag­ment fell through the roof a fac­tory over the 1965 Christ­mas break. The rock was found by a fac­tory worker Ernie Wright who took it home. Wor­ries it might be ra­dioac­tive meant it was ban­ished to a box in the fam­ily’s garage. Af­ter al­most 50 years Mr En­sor ac­quired it from Mr Wright’s son.

Mr En­sor said: “I flew out a few weeks ago with it and now it is on dis­play there with info about Bar­well and the fall. I was asked to give a talk about Bar­well, the area and the story of the fall and my as­so­ci­a­tion with it at the open­ing event.

“The whole thing has gone very well and I’m be­ing flown back in March next year to col­lect it and give an­other talk at a me­te­orite sym­po­sium there.”

The me­te­orite crashed to earth in Bar­well on Christ­mas eve in 1965 shat­ter­ing into frag­ments. The largest frag­ment be­longs to the Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum and is on per­ma­nent loan to the Na­tional Space Cen­tre in Le­ices­ter.

Mr En­sor’s frag­ment is part of dis­play of in­for­ma­tion about me­te­orites fall­ing to earth and the dam­age they did. The story of Ann Hodges also fea­tures. In Sy­la­cauga, Al­abama, she was left with a mas­sive bruise af­ter a me­te­orite crashed thought he roof of her home, bounced off a ra­dio and struck her on the hip. An­other ex­hibit is a car dam­aged by a me­te­orite which fell in the town of Peek­skill near New York in 1992.

Sci­en­tists es­ti­mate be­tween 36 and 166 me­te­orites fall to earth each year. Many more burn in earth’s at­mos­phere be­fore they reach the planet’s sur­face.

Most me­te­orites which do reach earth fall in the sea or re­mote ar­eas. The chances of be­ing hit by a me­te­orite are very low with Mrs Hodges the only per­son ever known to have been hit by one.

In 2013 a large me­te­orite fell near the city of Chelyabinsk in Rus­sia. It didn’t hit any­one but there were wide­spread in­juries. That’s be­cause the sonic boom cre­ated dam­aged build­ings, par­tic­u­larly win­dows, and peo­ple were in­jured by shat­tered glass.

Me­te­orite col­lec­tor Gra­ham En­sor with his 139g frag­ment of the Bar­well me­te­orite found af­ter it smashed through the roof of a fac­tory on Daw­sons Lane, Bar­well, on Christ­mas eve 1965.

A chunk of the Bar­well me­te­orite be­long­ing to the Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum landed back in the vil­lage on the day a green plaque was un­veiled on the site of the sky­fall on Christ­mas Eve 1965, De­cem­ber 2016. Pic­ture: An­drew Car­pen­ter

Na­tional Space Cen­tre cu­ra­tor Dan Ken­dall with the largest known chunk of the Bar­well me­te­orite which fell to earth on Christ­mas eve 1965. It is now owned by Lon­don’s Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum

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