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21st Century
2005 HAMBLETON, Yorkshire, Pallasite

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Pallasite, find 17.6kg, August 2005
A mass of 17.6 kg was found beside a forest track by Rob and Irene Elliott while hunting for meteorites, approx. 2km south of Hambleton, North Yorkshire, England. Physical characteristics: One individual was found. It has a highly weathered exterior with cm-sized patches of blue weathering products. No fusion crust is present.
Astronomical Society of Edinburgh Journal No. 50 - November 2006
Summary taken from Astronomical Society of Edinburgh Journal No. 50 - November 2006

Rob Elliott of Fernlea Meteorites lives in Fife, Scotland. He has found several small meteorites, notably the small several gram stone Glenrothes while out fishing. However, he has always kept his eyes to the ground when rambling the countryside. This was to prove extremely fortunate last year when out with his wife Irene on the Yorkshire moors on a meteorite hunt. This area of moorland is an undeveloped piece of countryside and ideal for meteorite hunting as the land has remained unturned for a long period of time. A large rock weighing 17.6 kg was found and the magnet Rob always carries was attracted to this curious rock. It was thought to be a possible suspect in the search for extra terrestrial interlopers. It was duly hauled out of the muddy undergrowth and taken home where it ... sat outside for three months in the glorious Scottish wind, rain and sleet! Now, you and I as meteorite enthusiasts would probably balk at this location, but hear me out. It was thought to possibly be a meteorite due to the magnetism, but in reality it was more likely to be some iron slag. After all it had a thick and extremely friable rust covering and a strange sulphurous smell. So it wasn't going to be house guest just yet.

The nearest town to where this rock was found is the small village of Kilburn in North Yorkshire near the Hambleton Hills. The outline of the White Horse of Kilburn is a well-known landmark on the hillside. Narrow country lanes criss-cross the pasture land, many of which are shown as farm tracks. Strangely enough, they are shown up on satellite navigation systems as passable to all traffic and yet only safely negotiable by four-wheel drive vehicles. It was along such a track that the Elliotts drove, parked the Land Rover and went hunting for meteorites. This was in summertime with a lot of greenery. This can be an obstacle, as meteorites can be obscured by undergrowth for a large part of the year. Yet luck was on their side as the rock was found by a wall and relatively easy to retrieve.

Hambleton almost as found Hambleton meteorite almost as it was found (bar the small piece cut off for analysis). Note the furrow along the top.

After a couple of months Rob hacked off a sample which was sent to Dr. Monica Grady, now at The Open University. She is at the time of writing involved in the analysis of the Stardust samples supplied by NASA from the sample return mission to Comet Wild 2. Dr. Diane Johnson of the Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute asked by Monica to communicate directly with Rob as she was doing the SEM mineral analysis. It turns out that the meteorite is a main group pallasite with a really beautiful small scale Widmanstatten structure that is clearly visible in the SEM scan emailed to Rob.

backlit thin slice of Hambletonbacklit thin slice of Hambleton

It is also possible the following fireball sighting of Aug 18th 1783 matches the recent find...
R. P. Greg in his catalogue 1860, gives the following entry... A very celebrated and remarkable meteor. First seen in the Shetland Isles; like the planet Mars; 1/3 moon, from Mullingar to York; equal 2 full moons over Kent; appeared to burst into two straight over Lincolnshire, with a report 8' or 9' heard at Windsor afterwards; visible 20" at once for an arc of 75°; 60 miles high; 20 miles in a second; tail 10 > than body; turned a little to E. after partially bursting; left a streak and sparks; tail not much seen at first, perhaps foreshortened. In Ireland, seen moving parallel to horizon 10° or 12° high. Seen over Burgundy in France; altogether for a distance of 1200 miles. At Greenwich as a double bolide, very brilliant. Heard to explode also over York some minutes after.