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Rocks from space: the geology of Meteorites by Dr Alan Cayless

Friday 27th February, 7-8pm

Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle

In 2013 a huge fireball streaked across the sky near the Russian city of Chelyabinsk – a dramatic reminder of the fact that space is not empty, and of the objects that occasionally fall to Earth.

Meteorites are rocks from space and can be fragments of asteroids, pieces of our planetary neighbours, and even remnants of the original primordial material from which the Earth and the solar system were formed 4.5 billion years ago. Some meteorites are therefore older than even the most primitive rocks and are indeed the oldest objects to be found on the surface of the Earth.

Alan will describe the different types of meteorites, their origins and how they come to fall to Earth. He will also examine what can be learned about the origins of the solar system and of the Earth itself, and about the most likely places in which meteorites are to be found.

Alan Cayless is a physics and astronomy lecturer with the Open University and also a former chairman of the Stirling Astronomical Society whose activities include preserving an observatory in the centre of the city.