Father tracks down 2lb 4oz ‘meteorite’ 18 months after watching ‘huge fireball’ fly past his house in Wrexham – and it could be worth £100,000
- Tony Whilding, 38, from Wrexham, North Wales has found a 2lb 4oz meteorite
- The father had searched for the rock for 18 months after seeing a fireball
- He is hoping to get it certified, as the space rock could be worth £100,000
A father who spent 18 months looking for a meteorite has finally tracked it down – and he believes the space rock could be worth £100,000.
Tony Whilding, 38, from Wrexham, North Wales, was on the search for his out-of-this-world find after seeing a ball of flames fly through the air.
After checking with experts around the world, Mr Whilding says he now believes the 2lb 4oz object, adorned with ‘amazing markings’ is a comet-crust meteorite.
He found the rock in a ploughed cornfield and is hoping to get the rock certified to find how much it is worth.
Mr Whilding said: ‘I was in my back garden having a midnight cigarette when I noticed the sky lighting up above my head.
‘I looked up to see a low-flying ball of fire with two swirling trails of smoke.
A father who spent 18 months looking for a meteorite has finally tracked it down – and the space rock could be worth £100,000
‘It got brighter as it approached my house at about twice its height. It was so low you could have kicked a football in the air and it would have reached it.
‘As it crossed over, it extinguished within a few seconds. There was no noise, it just disappeared, leaving only the trials of smoke.’
Fireballs, also known as bolides, are defined by the Center for Near Earth Object Studies as ‘exceptionally bright meteors that are spectacular enough to to be seen over a very wide area’.
He regularly walked along the object’s flight path around Wrexham and after 18 months, finally found what he was after.
‘It was in a cornfield that had been ploughed, which is probably why I didn’t see it before,’ he said.
‘It was covered in dry mud. When cleaned, it had a white fusion crust, a bit like glass.
A US expert who examined Mr Whilding photos suggested the rock appeared to be a comet-crust meteorite. Pictured, a stock image of a meteor
‘The rock had two tones with white crystalline streaks – but it definitely wasn’t quartz.’
Due to their scarcity, meteorites can be worth a lot of money – according to Meteorlab.com, they can even go for $1,000 USD per gram.
A US expert who examined Mr Whilding photos suggested the rock appeared to be a comet-crust meteorite, ruling out an ‘inner solar system meteorite’ due to its distinctive dimpling.
He said this is usually from ‘gaseous voids’ left after cooling down from atmospheric entry.
The expert also couldn’t rule out an earth origin from at least 12,800 years ago
Mr Whilding added: ‘I keep the rock on my bedside cabinet to remind me off that night four years ago.
‘Whatever it is, it’s not of this Earth. I like to think it might even have come originally from a Hayley’s Comet meteor shower!’
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