Novo mesto is no longer just a town in Dolenjska.
It is now also the name of a piece of meteorite that flew through the atmosphere on February 28 and was found in the village of Prečna near Novo mesto. It attracted a lot of attention as many saw it flying across the clear sky.
The finder Gregor Kos noticed a strange stone in the driveway in front of his house. He sent his son Jernej to take a look.
The stone was different from the others in the surrounding area, so they immediately thought it might be a meteorite.
The piece found weighs 203 grams. When entering the earth’s atmosphere, its total mass is estimated to have been between 5 and 90 tons and a diameter of about four metres.
According to initial analysis, it is one of the most common chondrites [stony meteorites that have not been modified due to melting or differentiation of the parent body] on Earth. It has a black exterior and a light interior.
The black layer is called the firing crust. It is created during flight through the atmosphere. Due to the high speed the surface burns, the minerals on the outside melt and a glassy substance is formed.
»In addition to the black crust, tiny millimetre-sized balls called chondrules are visible. They arise as a result of microgravity in space,« explains geologist Bojan Ambrožič.
There are probably dozens more such pieces around Novo mesto. Scientists therefore ask locals to pay attention to strange stones in their surroundings.
The time for finding them is running out, as they may soon be overgrown with grass.
Points to Consider
- Have you ever found an unusual stone?
- Do you happen to know how many meteorites have fallen to the ground in Slovenia?
- Do you like to star gaze?
The original version of this article was published on February 26th.