The Ensisheim meteorite is the oldest remnant of a meteorite fall observed in Europe. It came down in a wheat field near Ensisheim – a small town in Alsace - on November 7th 1492, making a loud rumbling noise and weighing 127kg. For a long time, the meteorite was kept inside the church to keep away evil spirits. The main mass is now on display in Ensisheim’s town hall. The fragment shown here (235.3 g) was part of a private collection belonging to Ernst F.F. Chladni (1756-1827), founding father of meteoritics. It was donated to the Museum after his death in 1827.
The Krasnojarsk meteorite was discovered in Siberia (Russia) in 1749 and described in detail by the German naturalist Peter Simon Pallas. It has a mass of 700 kg and is a stony iron meteorite, composed of iron-nickel metal and the mineral olivine. This class of meteorites is known as pallasites in honour of Peter Simon Pallas. The fragment shown here (879.7 g) is a gift from Czar Alexander I. and became part of the meteorite collection in 1803.
The Martian Nakhla meteorite was part of a 40-rock meteorite shower that hit the Earth nearthe Egyptian town of Abu Hummus in 1911. It is a magmatic rock that formed on our neighbouring red planet approximately 1.3 billion years ago. Nakhla contains minerals that are unequivocal proof that there was liquid water on Mars. The piece shown (170.3 g) has been part of the meteorite collection of the Museum since 1914.