‘Extremely rare’ Winchcombe meteorite goes on display at London’s Natural History Museum

‘Extremely rare’ Winchcombe meteorite found on a driveway in the Cotswolds after dropping to Earth from a record-breaking fireball goes on display at London’s Natural History Museum

The meteorite fell to Earth in February, landing in sheep field in the Cotswolds

It’s an extremely rare type of meteorite called a carbonaceous chondriteIt could provide valuable clues to the building blocks of life in space 

To many, it might just look like a piece of gravel, but this rock has an extraordinary tale to tell.

It is in fact a piece of a meteorite, which has been floating around in space for more than four billion years.

It fell to Earth in spectacular fashion in February, crash landing in the Cotswolds and sparking a frantic search effort.

After being found in a sheep field, it is now on display at the Natural History Museum.

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After being found in a sheep field, the Winchcombe Meteorite is now on display at the Natural History Museum

The space rock, named the ‘Winchcombe meteorite’ after the town where it landed, is an extremely rare type called a carbonaceous chondrite.

Never previously found in the UK, these often contain organic compounds – providing valuable clues to the building blocks of life in space and what planets are made from.

It is the first meteorite to be recovered in the UK for 30 years, thanks to the spectacular orange and green fireball which streaked across the sky and was caught on film by home security cameras.

It is the first meteorite to be recovered in the UK for 30 years, thanks to the spectacular orange and green fireball which streaked across the sky and was caught on film by home security cameras

It is the first meteorite to be recovered in the UK for 30 years, thanks to the spectacular orange and green fireball which streaked across the sky and was caught on film by home security cameras

The footage, along with thousands of eyewitness accounts, meant scientists were able to predict where it may have landed.

One family heard a loud ‘shattering’ noise and discovered small fragments of black rock and debris at the top of their drive.

Their find prompted experts to search the surrounding area. They eventually came across this large piece – weighing 103g – in a nearby field.

Victoria Bond, 57, whose land it was found on, said: ‘There were about seven scientists going up and down looking for any larger pieces – they were jumping for joy when they found this one near where my sheep were grazing.

‘They said it was career-changing for them, and it’s surreal and completely magical for me. I never would have known from just looking at it.’

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