Appeal for help to find meteorite’s landing site

Astronomy Ireland is appealing to the people of Cork to help them identify the landing zone of last week’s meteorite.

At approximately 1am last Friday, the Cork sky was lit up bright blue, by a passing fireball. The sight was witnessed by at least 50 people who have filed reports with Astronomy Ireland.

Meteorites can fetch anything up to 50 times the price of gold per gram but you first you need to find where it landed.

“There have been just under 50 reports in, which is a bit low,” David Moore, editor of Astronomy Ireland magazine, told the Irish Examiner.

“One question we asked was was it brighter than a full moon, a majority of people said it was and this is an indicator that something that bright generally survives.

“A lot of people were in-doors when they saw the flash, probably only six people gave us a specific location with some saying north, but the majority of people are saying the south.

“If it did head for the south then you have the south coast and it could have possibly gone out to sea.”

A group of volunteers will sit down this weekend to analyse the data gathered from all the reports so far to see if a landing one can be predicted.

Mr Moore is appealing for as many witnesses as possible to file their reports to www.astronomy.ie so that they can get an accurate a landing zone.

The last time they predicted a landing zone, Astronomy Ireland had received several hundred reports.

In the 20th century, only two meteorites were found here, despite two landing in Ireland a year.

When a meteorite was found in Carlow in 1999, Astronomy Ireland had received 400 reports. A meteorite trader subsequently bought it and sold it for $500 per gram.

Astronomy Ireland will release its report on the meteorite on Tuesday.


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