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This website only lists information on modern-day comets and meteor showers. The book, however, thoroughly investigates how specific ancient impacts and near misses changed religious beliefs around the world.

Famous Meteorites

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Some of the most famous meteorites are listed below in chronological order of their known, or estimated, impact on Earth.

Hoba Meteorite    

In 1920, a farmer in Nambia, Africa hit a meteorite with his plow. Weighing 66 tons, its the most largest intact meteorite ever discovered. In 1955, it was declared a national monument, but not before vandalism and scientific studies had whittled the Hoba Meteorite down to a paltry 60 tons.

Canyon Diablo Meteorites    

Around 50,000 years ago, a meteorite left a crater nearly a mile wide and 570 feet deep. It's known as Meteor Crater or Barringer Crater. The meteorite was traveling 28,600 miles an hour and created an explosion 150 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. On impact the meteorite fragmented. The largest piece ever found is the Holsinger Meteorite at 1,409 pounds (639 kg).

Willamette Meteorite    
In 1855, eighty-eight surviving members of the Clackamas in Oregon were relocated to the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation. They later sued for the unlawful removal and return of a 32,000-pound (14.5 metric ton) meteorite, which they held sacred. The Clackamas knew the meteorite as Tomanowos. Others know it as the Willamette Meteorite.
Ahnighito Meteorite    

In 1818, explorer John Ross noticed that natives in Greenland possessed unusual knives, harpoon points, and engraving tools. Testing revealed they were made from iron meteorites. Five expeditions from 1818 to 1885 failed to locate the parent object, since indigenous people would not reveal its location. Finally, in 1894, in exchange for a gun, a native guided Lt. Robert Peary's expedition to Cape York. There they found three meteorite fragments ("The Tent", "The Dog" and "The Woman" separated by roughly four miles (6 km).

Agpalilik Meteorite    

In 1963, a fourth meteorite was found in Greenland. It was called Agpalilik ("The Man"). Although it was smaller than Ahnighito ("The Tent"), Agpalilik still ranks in the top ten largest meteorites ever found.

Campo Del Cielo Meteorites    

Between 3,000 and 2,000 BCE several meteorites hammered an area 600 miles (1,000 km) northwest of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Collectively, these meteorites are known as the Campo Del Cielo Group. The largest fragment is El Chaco, which is the second largest intact meteorite in the world. Only the Hoba Meteorite is larger. The Campo Del Cielo Group, and its craters, were first recorded in 1576 CE, long before it was accepted that "rocks" fell from space.

Ensisheim Meteorite    

On November 7, 1492 CE a loud explosion was heard near a small town named Ensisheim in France. Shortly afterward, a 330-pound meteorite struck the ground. As news spread people broke off chips and the German King Maximiilian even stopped by to visit the object sent by God. He considered a good omen that would ensure his victory against the French army.

l'Aigle Meteorites    

In 1803, astronomer Baptiste Biot was sent by the French government to investigate the fall of "thousands of stones" near the town of l'Aigle—87 miles (140 km) northwest of Paris. The residents told Biot that the "rain of stones" came off one large meteorite.

Chassigny (Mars Meteorite)    

On October 3, 1815 a meteorite fell in Chassigny, Haute-Marne, France. The Chassigny Meteorite was the only known chassignite meteorite until NWA2737 was discovered in Morocco. Why are they so rare? Because they came from Mars.

Southern Delta Aquariid Meteor Shower    
On June 30, 1908, a 100-foot-wide (30 m) asteroid, or piece of comet debris, exploded 5 miles (8 km) above an uninhabited area of Siberia near the Tunguska River. A blinding flash was followed by two explosive booms and a prolonged thunderous rumbling heard by people fortunate to live hundreds of miles from ground zero. The shock wave from the explosion leveled millions of trees, covering an estimated 800 square miles (2,000 square km). No meteorite, definitively associated with Tunguska, has ever been found.
Barwell Meteorites    

On December 24, 1965 pieces of a meteorite hit Britain causing minor damage: Damaging a car, penetrating a driveway, and crashing through a factory roof. Why is this meteorite famous? It certainly wasn't its size. Intact it was only the size of a basketball. The British Museum fueled interest by offering a then-remarkable seven shillings and sixpence per ounce of recovered meteorite. The reward sparked meteorite hunters to descend on the tiny British village.

Allende Meteorites    

In 1969, a meteorite fell near Allende, Mexico. The chemicals in this meteorite were older than our solar system.

Chelyabinsk Meteorites    

More than a century after Tunguska, on February 15, 2013, residents of Chelyabinsk, Russia were ready to begin a day of work when a colorful fireball appeared in the sky followed quickly by a flash. Within moments the shockwave from the explosion reached the ground, shattered windows in hundreds of buildings, collapsed a factory roof, and sent 1,500 people to the hospital. Scientists announced that an asteroid—the size of a school bus—had exploded 18 miles (30 km) above Chelyabinsk. Thankfully, the explosion, which was roughly twenty-five times more powerful than the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki, occurred in our atmosphere and not on the ground.



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