There are two ways to obtain a meteorite. You can send a billion dollar robot to retrieve asteroid monsters, or you can wait for free at a friendly space rock land outside your door. The last option happened on February 28, when a rare meteorite from the early solar system landed in a driveway in Winchcombe, England.
Scientists call this type of meteorite “carbonaceous chondrite”
New footage from the #fireball tonight. Sent by Katie Parr pic.twitter.com/J4jmsM9tFj
– UK Meteor Network (@UKMeteorNetwork) February 28, 2021
Residents of Winchcombe, England, saw a fireball land on the night of Sunday 28 February before exploding in mid-air. The next day someone found the rock in their driveway, packed it up and contacted the UK Meteor Observation Network.
As noted by the Natural History Museum, the Winchcombe Meteorite is significantly larger than rocks collected by multi-billion dollar space probes. The Hayabusa2 probe returned to Earth last year with just 4.5 grams of asteroid rock, while the OSIRIS-REx probe is expected to return in 2023 with 60 grams of rock. But the Winchcombe Meteorite is 300 grams. Good things come to those who wait, I guess.
Source: Natural History Museum via Nerdist