Sunday, August 14

The Civil Guard recovers a fragment of a León meteorite ‘lost’ for more than 50 years

Agents of the Civil Guard, belonging to the Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA) of Madrid, have delivered to the Director of the National Museum of Natural Sciences (MNCN-CSIC), Rafael Zardoya, a fragment of the Reliegos meteorite that was found unaccounted for for more than five decades.

The police intervention began at the instigation of the MNCN when the curator of the Geology collection, Aurelio Nieto, discovered the announcement on the internet for the sale of the fragment and recognized the labeling of the museum’s collections. At that time, the Civil Guard, specifically Seprona de Tres Cantos, Madrid, was alerted through a complaint.

“The agents managed to identify the author of the advertisement and, after verifying the authenticity of the fragment and the labeling, they proceeded to requisition it and return it to the museum today,” reports its Press Office.

“Recovering this piece allows us to re-expose it to the public, along with the other fragments of the meteorite that are preserved in the museum. It is also an excellent way to continue celebrating our 250th anniversary”, explains the director of the MNCN Rafael Zardoya.

The fragment located is part of the meteorite that was found in the town of Reliegos (León) in 1947, and it was the researcher Laborde Welinde, who died in 1993, who was in charge of studying it.

“Meteorites are studied to better understand the origin of the Solar System, the composition of the Earth’s core and even investigate the origin of life” explains Aurelio Nieto, who from now on will be responsible for their custody.

“In this case it is a rocky meteorite, that is to say, chondrite that fell in 1947. For its study it was cut and currently, in addition to the ones we have in the museum, there are fragments in the natural history museums of Washington and New York” , keep going.

You can read an extensive report on the Reliegos meteorite here.