120 years later, the Crumlin meteorite has returned to Northern Ireland

Meteorite from Crumlin

It traveled for about 200 million kilometers before arriving in Northern Ireland, but it vanished after two weeks.

After more than 120 years, the Crumlin meteorite has returned to its "earthly home" in the Ulster Museum.

One of only three found in Northern Ireland, it fell to the ground in 1902.

And even though it is only a small handbag in size, it would have had a significant impact in a variety of ways.

Meteorites are rocks or iron fragments that have fallen to Earth from space as a result of the solar system's formation.

Shooting stars and meteors can frequently be seen in the night sky, but meteorites that crash to the ground are much less frequent.

A fireball and shockwave were produced ten years ago when one crashed in Russia, lighting up the sky and injuring hundreds of people.

A fireball trail was also left by the 1969 Bovedy meteorite, which crashed nearby Limavady and caused it to fall into Northern Ireland.

The County Antrim community where the meteorite crashed on September 13, 1902, bears the name of the Crumlin meteorite.

It had to travel far to get there, said Dr. Mike Simms of the Ulster Museum.

According to him, the object came from the so-called asteroid belt, a region of space debris located between Mars' and Jupiter's orbits.

It's a long way, you're talking about a couple of hundred million kilometers or so. ".

According to Dr. Simms, it is also very old—billions of years old—and startled nearby farm workers as it fell to Earth.

They reported hearing a variety of strange noises, some of which they compared to a train veering off the tracks, an explosion in a mill nearby, or a swarm of bees.

Dr Mike Simms from the Ulster Museum i
The meteorite had to travel a great distance to get there, according to Dr. Mike Simms of the Ulster Museum.

"It was traveling at 30,000 miles per hour when it first hit the atmosphere, so that's basically a sonic boom.

People saw it land, and a man was 20 feet away picking up apples.

"He went over after noticing it hit the ground and dug it out. ".

Intriguing accounts about the meteorite were also published at the time.

It reportedly caused a bang that could be heard more than 10 miles away in Lisburn and Lurgan, according to a report in the magazine Nature in 1902.

Additionally, some locals began to worry that Armageddon had come.

According to Nature, "some of the hearers had taken the sound to herald the arrival of the Day of Judgement.".

But the meteorite's journey did not end in Crumlin.

It had already left Northern Ireland by the end of September 1902.

It was transported from the Natural History Museum to London by Sir Lazarus Fletcher amid some controversy.

When the meteorite was discovered, he bought it from Andrew Walker, the owner of the farm where it had fallen.

A John Bull-like character is seen fleeing with the meteorite in a newspaper cartoon from the time.

A newspaper cartoon of the time shows a John Bull like figure running away with the meteorite.
A John Bull-like character is seen fleeing with the meteorite in a newspaper cartoon from the time.

However, according to Dr. Mike Simms, that was not unusual at the time.

It returned to the national meteorite collection in the British Museum in London, or the Natural History Museum as it later became, in less than two weeks, he claimed.

It makes sense that it would go there because they have one of the best collections in the world, and since Ireland was a part of Britain at the time, it seemed like the right thing to do, he continued.

The Ulster Museum has the meteorite on display.

However, the meteorite returned to Northern Ireland on Monday after being loaned to the Ulster Museum by the Natural History Museum for more than 120 years.

Dr. Simms praised their collaboration with the Natural History Museum in bringing the meteorite back to Northern Ireland so that the locals could see one of their own meteorites.

"It has returned to its home on Earth rather than its home in space, I should say. ".

For the following three years, the Crumlin meteorite is anticipated to remain on display at the Ulster Museum.

  • Rock fragments from outer space fall to Earth as meteorites. When a meteor lands, it turns into a meteorite.
  • Each day, 44 tonnes (44,000 kg) of meteoritic material is thought to fall to Earth.
  • Ancient Egyptians used meteorites to fashion jewelry and other high status items.

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