Notice to amateur astronomers: beatings are organized this weekend in Lot-et-Garonne to find a black meteorite of 150 grams, as big as an apricot, which crashed last Saturday at 10:43 p.m. near Aiguillon, 30 km from ‘Agen.
The fall was recorded by the cameras of the observatory of the Ferme des Etoiles, based in Mauroux in the Gers, and piloted by the A Ciel Open association which belongs to the Vigie-Ciel network.
Thanks to a hundred automatic cameras installed on French soil, this network constantly monitors the re-entry of meteorites into the atmosphere.
Calls for witnesses on social networks, posters in the municipalities concerned: the Lot-et-Garonne meteorite has already been actively sought since the start of the week because it can provide valuable information to scientists.
“Meteorites are vestiges of the formation of the solar system and have the advantage of not having evolved over time unlike the surface of the earth”, explains Mickaël Wilmart, scientific mediator within the A Ciel Open association. “We can therefore find clues, the ingredients of the formation of our planet more than 4 and a half billion years ago,” he said to an AFP correspondent.
We regularly find meteorites in France but “a very fresh meteorite like that, which fell just a few days ago, has not yet been altered by the terrestrial environment and therefore contains very valuable information for scientists”, underlines M Wilmart.
So much so that François Colas, astronomer at the Paris Observatory and research director at the CNRS, will be present this weekend when the battues will be organized near Aiguillon.
“Since the start of the week, we have been scouting to prepare for these hunts,” said Wilmart, but the chances of finding her, given her size, are slim.
“It’s a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack (but) we also count a lot on the residents to look in their garden, on the edge of the paths, they could fall on this much desired stone”.
All those who wish to participate in these hunts can register on the site vigie-ciel.org.