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Old 15-04-2012, 12:44 AM   #99
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Lightbulb Hoba meteorite

Hoba (also known as Hoba West) ( "HOE-bah") is a meteorite that lies on the farm "Hoba West", not far from Grootfontein, in the Otjozondjupa Region of Namibia. It has been uncovered but, because of its large mass, has never been moved from where it fell. The main mass is estimated at over 60 tons, and it is the largest known meteorite (as a single piece) and the most massive naturally-occurring piece of iron known at the Earth's surface.

The Hoba meteorite left no preserved crater and its discovery was a chance event. The owner of the land is said to have encountered the object while ploughing one of his fields with an ox. During this task, the farmer heard a loud metallic scratching sound, before his plough came to a sudden stop. The meteorite was excavated soon after and identified and described by scientist Jacobus Hermanus Brits, whose report was published in 1920. This report can be viewed at the Grootfontein Museum in Namibia.

The Hoba meteorite is thought to have landed less than 80,000 years ago. It is inferred that the Earth's atmosphere slowed the object down to the point that it fell to the surface at terminal velocity, thereby remaining intact and causing little excavation. The meteorite is unusual in that it is flat on both major surfaces, possibly causing it to have skipped across the top of the atmosphere in the way a flat stone skips on water.

Last edited by lightgiver; 15-04-2012 at 12:49 AM.
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