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Page last updated at 17:59 GMT, Friday, 11 June 2010 18:59 UK
Wold Cottage meteorite returns to East Yorkshire
Martin Goff presents a piece of the Wold Cottage meteorite to Katrina and Derek Gray.
Meteorite collector Dave Gheesling in America heard Mr. and Mrs. Gray didn't have a piece of the rock so he sent a fragment to Martin Goff who handed it over to them..

Part of a famous meteorite has been returned to the Yorkshire Wolds, where it landed more than 200 years ago.

The 23 kilogram piece of space rock fell to Earth in December 1795, on farmland near Driffield, close to a house called Wold Cottage.

But Wold Cottage's current owners didn't have a piece of it.

Now, however, meteorite collectors have given Katrina and Derek Gray a fragment of the space rock as a souvenir.

The Gray's run a farmhouse bed and breakfast. Meteorite enthusiasts often stay there and wander to the nearby field to see the monument marking the spot where the Wold Cottage meteorite fell to Earth on December 13 1795.

Collector Martin Goff from Manchester was one of these. But he was surprised to hear Mr and Mrs Gray didn't have a piece of the meteorite and resolved to help them.

He contacted fellow meteorite fan Dave Gheesling in America, who owns part of the original Wold Cottage meteorite. Dave sent a 1.5 gram fragment of the space rock to Martin, who had it framed, presenting it to Mr and Mrs Gray who will display it in their kitchen for visitors to see.

Katrina Gray told us: "It's great to have a piece at last."

Until the Wold Cottage meteorite crashed to Earth, scientists were reluctant to believe rocks could simply fall out of the sky. But Sir Edward Topham, who owned Wold Cottage in 1795, was a magistrate and took statements from the witnesses on oath. As a result astronomers took the report more seriously.

Meteorite expert Dr Caroline Smith from The Natural History Museum in London says: "The Wold Cottage meteorite was originally part of an asteroid and it's made up mainly of the minerals: Pyroxine and Olivine."




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