The Archeological Museum donates to the University remains of a meteorite that fell on Cangas de Onís in the 19th Century
May 15, 2014
The ten fragments identified will be publicly exhibited for the first time and permanently at the Museum of the Faculty of Geology
The Archeological Museum of Asturias has donated to the Museum of the Faculty of Geology of the University of Oviedo ten fragments of the meteorite that fell on Cangas de Onís in 1866. The act, which took place this morning at the premises of the Museum of Geology, featured Ignacio Alonso (Director of the Archeological Museum of Asturias), Luis Miguel Rodríguez Terente (Director Curator of the Museum of Geology), Álvaro Rubio Ordónez (Professor responsible for the discovery) and the academic authorities of the Department and Faculty of Geology, as well as different teachers from related disciplines.
Thanks to the agreement reached with the Archeological Museum of Asturias, the new meteorites will be exhibited permanently and for the first time in a display at the Museum of Geology of the University of Oviedo, alongside the historical fragment that was placed in the Office of Natural History of the University, and which, with its 3,278 g, constitutes the second largest sample of this meteorite in the world, after the one that is kept at the Museum of Natural Sciences of Madrid.
The new pieces of the collection have been identified as ten meteorites whose total weight amounts to 414.10 g. According to the existing documentation, around 56 pieces were recovered from the aforementioned meteorite, which would amount to a total of 35 kg. Several unfortunate historical events have led to the survival of only 22 kg of the meteorite, making its survey and analysis very difficult due to the disappearance of samples, loss of assets, etc. These samples are spread throughout nationa and international museums, such as those of Paris, Washington or London.
The meteorite that fell on Cangas de Onín on December 6, 1866 is one of the most studied meteors in the world, since, like the one that fell on Chelyabinsk (Russia) in February 2013, the moment of its desintegration was heard and seen by the inhabitants of the area. This made it easier for many of them to recover the fragments that they saw falling on the ground. The composition of iron of these meteorites makes them very unstable in our climatic conditions, which destroyed the samples that had not been recovered some months after the fall.