30,000 years old
in Wiltshire, U.K. until September 22nd. The 90kg (200lb) space rock fell on a glacier some 30,000 years ago and was apparently preserved by the frozen conditions during the last ice age. Thousands of years later, the Neolithic people who built Stonehenge found and incorporated it into a burial mound, in which the local chalk content continued to preserve it. The heavy stone was unearthed in the 19th c. by British archaeologist Edward Duke, whose family had owned the land and lived in the residence, Lake House, 11 generations. Despite having his own private museum, Duke apparently placed it on the doorstep, where it remained when the house was owned by brewer Joseph Lovibond (Mayor of Salisbury in 1878-79 and 1890-91) and the Bailey family (who lived in it from 1928 to 1991). When the Baileys put the property on the market, they brought the meteorite to the Natural History Museum, where it was identified and stored. The stone's history - and prehistory - was pieced together when it was recently reexamined by Professor Colin Pillinger: "It was a real mystery that needed a lot of detective work. That's the great thing about science, that you start off with one thing and then end up with a different story altogether."
30,000 miles per hour