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Natural History

Natural History

Rocks & Minerals

We have a modest collection of mainly British rocks and minerals from around the world. Our display in Elements of UV-responsive rocks is probably the largest in the UK.

The star of the collection is a piece of the Barwell meteorite, which is the largest meteorite fragment known to have fallen in Britain. It landed in the village of Barwell in Leicestershire on Christmas Eve 1965. It was a fragment of a piece of rock which weighed an estimated 46kg before it entered the Earth's atmosphere and broke up. When the object flew over Coventry, police received reports about a flying saucer! The fragment of the meteorite displayed here weighs 412g. Although it came from outer space it is partly composed of olivine and iron, which are both minerals that are found on Earth. It is about 4.5 billion years old – the same age as the Earth.

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