Space Rock Alert! Help Find a Meteorite in Staffordshire

3rd Jun 2024
Space Rock Alert! Help Find a Meteorite in Staffordshire

Experts from the UK Fireball Alliance (UKFAll) believe the fireball spotted over the Midlands in early May was most likely a small meteorite. Scientists are having to enlist the help of the public to find the unique space rock for further investigation.

A mysterious meteorite that fell in Staffordshire has still not been found

On 6 May, British astronomy enthusiasts observed an unusual phenomenon in the night sky of the Midlands – the rapid fall of a fireball. Scientists who track and analyze meteorites believe that a celestial visitor from outer space visited Staffordshire.

The UK Fireball Alliance (UKFAll), a consortium that deals with such astronomical phenomena, is asking locals to help in the search for the meteorite. Experts reckon the potential impact zone is in the Blythe Bridge and Uttoxeter area. Professional teams have already begun targeted searches in the designated area. And because meteorites don’t have an inbuilt GPS sensor, searching for a tennis ball-sized rock in the fields of Staffordshire is almost like looking for a needle in a haystack. 

However, scientists are not losing optimism and urge the public to report any unusual stone finds.

Special attention is asked to pay special attention to dark and shiny stones of medium size with a smooth, vitreous surface. As reported in UKFAll, the meteorite’s size is about 5-10 centimeters in diameter, and its weight is about 500 grams.

what to do if you found a meteorite guide
If you think you’ve found a meteorite, take a picture of it and follow these guidelines. Credit: UKFAll

When it comes to fallen meteorites, careful handling of the find is crucial to preserve its natural characteristics.

For example, experts ask not to pick up the stone with bare hands, because this can lead to contamination of its surface. And this, in turn, will complicate further research into the extraterrestrial visitor. If you are lucky enough to find a real meteorite in your lifetime, use aluminum foil or a clear, sealed plastic bag to protect your find.

Dr Ashley King, a researcher from UKFAll, expressed optimism about public involvement in the recovery effort. ‘We believe that someone from the local community could be the first to discover this valuable scientific specimen,’ he said. However, Dr. King cautioned against visiting unsafe sites or engaging in risky behavior during the search.

The value of this object to science and the increased interest from scientists is not at all coincidental. Each fragment found provides invaluable insights into the formation and evolution of the solar system and neighboring planets.

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