Russian meteorite recalls Weston meteorite of 1807

A meteorite flies across the sky in Russia’s Chelyabinsk region, as captured in this dash cam shot posted on YouTube.

Earlier this morning, a meteorite fell from the skies in Russia’s Chelyabinsk region. Hundreds of people were injured from its powerful blast, which caused a sonic boom, according to a report by the Associated Press.

This latest meteorite strike recalls the first documented meteorite in the United States — the Weston meteorite.

As documented by Yale University: On Dec. 14, 1807, around 6:30 a.m., a blazing fireball was seen traveling across the sky by early risers in Vermont and Massachusetts. Three large explosions were then heard in Weston and as far as 40 miles away.

After hearing about the fireball, Yale professors Benjamin Silliman and James Kingsley came to investigate. Several large stones, including one that weighed 200 pounds, were found in Weston (which at that time incorporated the town of Easton, the area where the stones were actually found). Parts were also found in Trumbull and Fairfield. It is estimated that 350 pounds of the meteorite fell to the ground.

Called “The Weston Fall,” this was the first meteorite phenomena recorded in America.

Most of the stones from the Weston meteorite were broken by people who were curious about what was inside them. A 30-pound fragment was saved and now resides in Yale University’s meteorite collection.

In 2007, Weston and Easton held a special ceremony to celebrated the bicentennial of the Weston Fall.

 

 

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