Hunt in Ireland for meteorite worth more than £80,000
Published 06/09/2010 | 09:55
The search is on in Northern Ireland and the Republic for a meteorite that could be worth more than its weight in gold.
A fireball blazed across the night sky last Wednesday, leading astronomy experts to believe it came down somewhere on the island of Ireland.
Astronomy Ireland chairman David Moore said the discovery of a meteorite would be very rare -- only three meteorites have been found in Ireland in the past 200 years.
A meteorite was last found in Ireland in 1999 when a Carlow woman found a handful of shattered meteorite pieces on a country lane near Leighlin Bridge.
The collector who bought the fragments valued them at £84,000
Astronomy Ireland says its switchboard has been jammed with calls from members of the public who had witnessed the meteor shower.
It says it should be able to pinpoint its general location within a week.
"The meteorite will stand out because it has a burnt, smooth exterior," Mr Moore said.
"People can pick it up. There is no kryptonite or any crazy substance that would poison or radiate a person."
The group is urging those who saw the latest shower to visit www.astronomy.ie and fill in a Fireball Report Form to allow experts trace its path and identify possible landing sites.