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The Pułtusk meteorite fell down near Pułtusk in the form of a shower of aerolites, spreading over an area of 127 km², between the villages of Tocznabiel, Wielgołas (from the south-west) as well as Rzewnie and Boruty (from the north-east). The “ball of fire” flew from south-west to north-east, dragging a whitish bent tail. This phenomenon was watched in many places in Poland, including, for example, Wrocław, Gdańsk, Königsberg, Kraków and Lviv.

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The Pułtusk meteorite fell down near Pułtusk in the form of a shower of aerolites, spreading over an area of 127 km², between the villages of Tocznabiel, Wielgołas (from the south-west) as well as Rzewnie and Boruty (from the north-east). The “ball of fire” flew from south-west to north-east, dragging a whitish bent tail. This phenomenon was watched in many places in Poland, including, for example, Wrocław, Gdańsk, Königsberg, Kraków and Lviv. Back then, it was a hot topic in the press for a long time.
“An aerolite has fallen! This incident has stirred Warsaw and kept it agitated for a few days. [...] The meteorite that flew over Warsaw on 30 January and shattered into pieces over a certain distance was a fireball or a bolide. The features associated with this phenomenon are almost identical, except for a few minor differences. [...] The meteorite from 30 January was really spectacular [...]" (Kłosy [Ears of Corn], 1 February 1868, issue 137).
The Pułtusk meteorite is a stone meteorite — ordinary chondrite with a high content of iron-nickel. The name “chondrite” comes from chondrules, i.e. grains found in chondrites. Chondrules are round silicate formations which mostly consist of olivines and pyroxenes. Their size does not exceed 1 mm, so they can only be observed after polishing their surface.
The fusion crust of the meteorite is a thin coating (approx. 1 mm), usually black or dark brown, and regmaglypts found on it, i.e. the characteristic indentations formed while flying through the atmosphere, are also worthy of attention.

Elaborated by the Geological Museum of the Institute of Geological Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences, editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved

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Cosmic dust…

Every year approximately one million tons of cosmic material enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Not only in the form of meteorites, which in fact constitute an insignificant percentage of falls, but primarily in the form of cosmic dust. Traces were found in Małopolska and among other places it has been detected in the Wieliczka Salt Mine.

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Every year approximately one million tons of cosmic material enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Not only in the form of meteorites, which in fact constitute an insignificant percentage of falls, but primarily in the form of cosmic dust. Traces were found in Małopolska and among other places it has been detected in the Wieliczka Salt Mine.
However, progressive air pollution makes it hard to study this cosmic dust material as it is more and more difficult to separate it from the substances which are a side effect of human industrial activity.
But a very simple experiment can be done – you only need to dissolve rock salt in water and then bring a magnet nearer to the dissolved sediment. The particles that cling to the magnet are cosmic dust – traces of cosmic material.

Elaborated by Anna Berestecka (Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums),
Licencja Creative Commons

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

Bibliography:
Andrzej Manecki, Meteoryty, pyły kosmiczne i pyły księżycowe, Warszawa-Kraków 1975.

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If you happen to see a falling meteorite – a guide…

Following the advice of Professor Andrzej Manecki, an eminent cosmologist and expert on meteorites, we present a short briefing addressed to those lucky ones who will witness the fall of cosmic material.

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Following the advice of Professor Andrzej Manecki, an eminent cosmologist and expert on meteorites, we present a short briefing addressed to those lucky ones who will witness the fall of cosmic material:
– You should note the general location and the direction of the meteorite’s fall
– The time between noticing the object and its collision with the Earth’s atmosphere is merely a few seconds
– If you manage to reach the landing site, you can start studying the object immediately without fear of being burnt (as meteorites cool down very quickly)
– The location of the crater created in the place of the fall should be noted (is it straight or at an angle)
– It is advisable to note some characteristics of the fall (the brightness of the meteorite during the fall, the surrounding sounds – e.g. possible explosions)
– You should inform the appropriate bodies – e.g. The Department of Mineralogy and Geochemistry of AGH University of Science and Technology

It is also recommended to inform the editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, who will be sure to publicise the event thoroughly.

Elaborated by Anna Besrestecka (Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums),
Licencja Creative Commons

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

Bibliography:
Andrzej Manecki, Meteoryty, pyły kosmiczne i pyły księżycowe, Warszawa-Kraków 1975.

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Olympic meteorite

During the Olympic Games in Sochi the organisers announced that participants who won a gold medal on 15 February would receive a special meteorite medal containing a piece of the Chelyabinsk space rock. The rock, which had fallen a year before in especially dramatic circumstances, injured about 1,600 people and caused damage to several thousand buildings.

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During the Olympic Games in Sochi the organisers announced that participants who won a gold medal on 15 February would receive a special meteorite medal containing a piece of the Chelyabinsk space rock. The rock, which had fallen a year before in especially dramatic circumstances, injured about 1,600 people and caused damage to several thousand buildings. In the end, the idea was not implemented as the International Olympic Committee would not accept any adding of extra elements or signs to medals handed out to the Olympic champions.
Yet it was not the first idea of the Russians to make use of cosmic material – the authorities in Chelyabinsk together with local businessmen decided to raise funds for the repairs of the damage by selling a special product – perfume with the scent of the Chelyabinsk meteorite. A small bottle of perfume with a typical stone and metallic scent can be found, among others, at online auctions. Car air fresheners having the predominant note of metal, stone and ozone have been also available for sale…

Elaborated by Anna Berestecka (Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums),
Licencja Creative Commons

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

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“Pułtusk” meteorite

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