Hunt for fallen meteorite hits Galway

Coal or gold? — the meteorite could be worth a fortune.

Coal or gold? — the meteorite could be worth a fortune.

The hunt for the meteorite which landed on Irish soil last week has been narrowed down to an area between Portumna and Galway city, according to Astronomy Ireland which is appealing for more people to log reports of the fallen fireball.

Wellie-clad and eagle-eyed treasure hunters are already hoping to hit the jackpot by locating the coveted meteorite, estimated to be worth up to €1 million, and which is predicted to have fallen somewhere between Portumna and Galway city.

However the chairman of Astronomy Ireland, David Moore, says that this price tag could be a “bit of a stretch”, as the discovery could be the size of a desk or just a few pebbles. “It is certainly worth tens of thousands and the National Museum has indicated that it will be putting up an award. The important thing is that it is found. The last time a meteorite fell in Ireland it was 1999 and it took two weeks to find. We had narrowed down the location to north Carlow and there it was found. Collectors at that time paid $500 per gram.”

Mr Moore explained that there are reports received of fallen meteorites all the time but that most end up in the sea. “We’re really excited that this one actually landed on Irish soil. It could lie on Irish soil and weather away and that would be a tragedy. It is vital that those with information get in touch and fill out a report form. Without eye witnesses reports we can’t do it.”

Regarding the predicted location of this latest meteorite Mr Moore said: “It would have fallen between Portumna and Galway city, that would be my guess. This is based on analysis of about 500 eye witness reports which have helped us triangulate on a map to that area. With the reports we ended up with paths criss-crossing an area where the counties of Clare, Galway, and Tipperary meet, and where they meet is Portunma. However we are still talking about a drop zone of 1,000 square metres so we are appealing for people, particularly in those three counties, to get in touch with Astronomy Ireland and report what they saw on Wednesday, September 1, at 9.20pm. Just go onto our website and fill out the report.”

To log a meteorite fall report go to www.astronomy.ie

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