The Nature Museum in Berlin has confirmed the discovery of rare meteorites in Brandenburg. The museum announced on Monday that preliminary results from examining more than 20 samples from the scattered field of the asteroid that burned up on January 21 showed that it was a rare animal called Operetta. “So far there is only material in collections of 11 operetta cases that have been observed around the world,” said Ansgar Griszak, scientific director of the museum's meteorite collection. Meteorites are pieces that reach Earth from a celestial body.
The fireball could be widely seen in the sky near Berlin on the night of January 21. After that, many scholars and antiquities collectors came to the Haviland area west of Berlin.
A team of researchers and students from the Nature Museum Berlin, the German Aerospace Centre, the Freie Universität Berlin, the Technische Universität Berlin, and the SETI Institute (USA) collected more than 20 specimens for the museum's assembled research collection. The findings were submitted to the Meteorological Society's International Nomenclature Committee for review and confirmation on February 2, the museum said.
Christopher Hamann, a research associate at the Natural Nature Museum, said that the Aubriette — named after an 1836 case near Aupres in France — closely resembles gray granite. They consist mainly of magnesium silicates enstatite and forsterite, contain almost no iron, and “the molten crust, by which you can usually easily identify meteorites, looks very different from most other meteorites.” Aubrites are therefore difficult to identify in the field. The operetta, on which this material was first described, is also in the research collection of the Berlin Museum. Visitors will also be able to see some fragments of the new meteorite at the exhibition in the future.
The US space agency NASA announced that a meteorite fell on Sunday morning near Neynhausen in Haviland, west of Berlin. Berlin experts explain that this is only the eighth case in the world in which an asteroid collision with Earth was predicted shortly before it happened. NASA gave the cosmic rock catalog number 2024 BX1. In a video on YouTube, the museum shows the meteorite and the search for its remains. (dpa/jad)