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Moss (Moss, Norway) CO3.5 (stone) Fell 14th July 2006

On July 14th at about 10:10am, a brilliant fireball was observed from southeast Norway and from parts of southwest Sweden. The luminous event, along with accompanying sonic booms, was observed by thousands of people busily preparing, no doubt, for a weekend at the cottage (or hytta as they're called in Norwegian). One guy, who was already at his hytta, had just stepped out of the hytta's outdoor 'facilities' when he heard what sounded like an explosion, then a whizzing followed by a loud bang!

No more than 2m away, a 45g stone from this new fall hit a piece of metal roofing material before shattering into several pieces. He assumed that it was somehow related to the nearly constant detonations that occur at a nearby military airfield, until his brother-in-law suggested that it might be a meteorite. He was right, and the search began for more Moss meteorites. A second stone was found, soon after a family returned home from their holiday. The father was out preparing their yard for his daughter's birthday, when he noticed that several branches had been broken off his plum tree and that there was a hole in the ground. Upon investigation, he retrieved a 750g whole stone and soon found himself in the media spotlight.

The following week, yet another stone was identified with more than 1.5kg eventually being recovered from the area. It is the fragments from this stone that are for sale here. They were carefully collected and wrapped in aluminium foil and were not touched with bare hands. Immediately after collection, arrangements were made to send some of this clean, dry material to be made into thin sections for analysis and some for short-lived radionuclide counting work. The work is ongoing but we now know that the Moss meteorite is representative of a CO3.5 (preliminary classification) carbonaceous chondrite.

About a week after this recovery, a fourth stone was found totaling approximately 800g of broken fragments. And then the rain came. The first major rainstorm since the fall revealed a leaking hole in a warehouse roof. Inside the hole, was a 650g whole stone! In all, more than 2kg of the Moss meteorite is in the hands of private collectors and dealers with the rest held by the University of Oslo.


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