View Full Version : Got a visitor from space

2004-Aug-12, 11:03 PM
THEY’RE about four and a half billion years old. And one of them could be sitting in your back garden, your street or your local park.

Meteorites, from hundreds of millions of miles away, are as likely to land on your doorstep as anywhere else on the planet. Experts believe about 30 fall on the UK every year, so there should be thousands waiting to be discovered, since only four have been formally documented in Scotland in the past 200 years.

Dating back 4,500,000,000 years - 4.27 billion years before the first dinosaurs roamed the Earth - they are lumps of rock and iron debris from the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars.

Asteroids range in size from tiny dust particles to worlds nearly 600 miles across. But the meteorites that reach the Earth are tiny fragments of these, usually ranging in size from grains of rice to melons.