When a meteorite exploded in the atmosphere over Murchison, about 160km north of Melbourne, on 28 September 1969, it sounded like the roar of an express train. No-one was hurt and surprise turned to fascination when they realised the cause. The meteorite fell in many pieces over an area of 35 square kilometres.
The meteorite is rare in that it was actually observed falling and so came to scientists ‘fresh’ rather than weathered by wind and rain. Scientists were surprised to discover that it contains both organic molecules and water. It also contains tiny pre-solar grains. Mineralogist Dermot Henry will explain why its composition is so significant making it one of the most extensively studied meteorites in the world.
Speaker: Dermot Henry, Deputy Director Sciences, Museums Victoria
Suitable for ages 12 and over.