On the morning of Feb. 15, residents of Chelyabinsk, Russia, and neighboring towns were startled by a meteor that streaked overhead, then exploded spectacularly, shattering windows, damaging buildings, injuring hundreds, and raining down celestial debris.
In an age of cell phone cameras and the Internet, news of this remarkable event spread around the world within minutes.
A little over 200 years earlier, and halfway around the world, a similar event took place in the skies above New England. In the early morning hours of Dec. 14, 1807, the peaceful rural quiet was shattered by a passing meteor exploding over the eastern part of Weston, an area that would become part of Easton in 1845.
There were several eyewitnesses to this historic celestial event, but at a time when news traveled by horse and foot, their story took weeks to reach the outside world. Over the next two centuries, despite its importance as the first recorded fall of a meteorite in North America, the Weston Meteorite’s location became lost in confusion and rumor.
The Historical Society of Easton presents an exhibit at the Easton Public Library, 691 Morehouse Road, Easton, from Wednesday, March 27, to Tuesday, April 30, describing the results of research to re-discover the actual fall sites of the Weston Meteorite and ultimately correct its location in the scientific literature. The library’s hours are listed on its website at eastonlibrary.org.
The exhibit is sponsored by the Historical Society of Easton with additional support from the Weston Historical Society.