Ahnighito or Tent meteorite c.1894: Photographer unknown via Meteorite Recon
Like fugitives on the run from distant solar systems, meteors hurtle through the earth’s atmosphere, lighting up the eyes of observers on the ground. Often these fireballs of metal and rock burn up in a blaze of glory, and many do not survive their impact with the Earth’s surface. Those that do though start a more settled life here on Earth as meteorites. Some might even claim to be the new sheriffs in town – they’re that big and resistant to weathering.
Photographer unknown via NASA
Back in the day: Willamette meteorite pre-1923
Here’s our magnificent 7 of the most massive known single meteorites on earth – iron monsters that have remained in one piece for thousands of years.
Photo: Dante Alighieri
7. Willamette, USA: Estimated weight: 15.5 tonnes
At 7.8 metre sq and 15.5 tonnes, Willamette is the largest meteorite found in the US, a peculiarly pitted lump composed of 91% iron and 7.62% nickel, with no impact crater preserved at its original site in Oregon.