back to top

    155 years ago Pultusk meteorite fell

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    In the evening, around seven o’clock, a fireball appeared over Warsaw, flashing across the sky from southwest to northeast. Residents of villages south and east of Pultusk saw the fireball getting bigger and brighter, then the light went out and a powerful, protracted detonation was heard. It was 155 years ago, on January 30, 1868, that the Pultusk meteorite fell.

    It was possible to see the phenomenon across much of Europe; if you look at today’s national borders, this would include Estonia to Hungary and Germany to Belarus. The meteorite that hit the Earth’s atmosphere broke apart into thousands of little pieces, which fell in an area of 127 square kilometres to the northeast of Pultusk. It ranged from Obryte (for the smallest fragments) to Rzewno (for the largest ones).

    The Pultusk meteorite is a part of the widely known group of meteorites, known as common chondrites, because of their granular composition and abundance. It came from the Hebe asteroid, located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

    It has been discovered that there are around 69,000 meteorite pieces that have been found so far, however, the largest one is estimated to be 9,095 kg and is being held in London’s Natural History Museum. In Poland, the biggest piece of space rock weighs 8.1 kg and is exhibited in the Museum of the Earth PAN in Warsaw. Additionally, the Regional Museum in Pultusk has a total of 13 parts of it, the heaviest of which is 0.21 kg.

    More in section