Largest single fragment of stony meteorite ever found

08:43, December 29, 2010      

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In 1976, a rare large meteorite shower covering 500 square kilometers appeared in Jilin City. The largest meteorite, weighing 1,770 kilograms, occurred in the showers and was known as Meteorite No.1 of Jilin. Rarely has the world seen a meteorite with such a large scale, heavy weight and exact scientific records.

The last thermic event to affect the Jilin meteorite dates back 33,000 years. It may correspond to the collision of two asteroids and the breaking away of the Jilin fragment. The mass of the meteoroid on its entry into the Earth's atmosphere has been estimated to be 15 metric tons. This means that the parent body of the Jilin meteorite must have been huge.

The meteorite is kept in the Jilin Meteorite Museum, which is located in the south bank of Songhua River near Changchun Bridge. It is China's only purpose-built meteorite museum. The museum contains exhibits relating not only to meteorite showers in Jilin, but a collection of space-rocks from China and several other countries, including Meteorite No.1, the largest stone in the world. The museum not only showcases the rocks but also graphs, analysis and other information regarding meteorites.

By Huang Beibei, People's Daily Online
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