Meteorites are Welcome!
Overnight on 28 February, something amazing happened in the sleepy little Cotswold town of Winchcombe. An extremely rare meteorite landed on the driveway of Rob and Cathy Wilcock, who just happen to be members of the Winchcombe WaW steering group. They were advised to remain anonymous but really wanted to share a good news story so later agreed to be interviewed on TV. They had no idea that their story would be shown on TV News all over the world. Winchcombe couldn’t have had better publicity if it tried, it put our WaW efforts into the shade!
On Monday 22 March Winchcombe WaW members were asked to join a Zoom meeting with scientists from the Natural History Museum and the Open University. We were given a talk about how meteorites are formed, how to identify them, and how to collect them. Then they encouraged local walkers to go and search in a certain area where they are sure there will be other fragments. The scientists expected to find no more than 50g of material, but already over 500g has been collected over the wider area. A recent Japanese space probe cost billions of pounds and brought back just 5g of similar material.
We are sure all this publicity will lead to more visitors once lock-down ends and it has led to us thinking about how we can incorporate the meteorite landing in our walking festival. Exciting stuff!