Scientists appeal for help tracing fragments of meteorite near Shrewsbury

The fire ball was seen over Shropshire on Wednesday night Credit: UK Meteor Network

Scientists are appealing for people to help them find pieces of a meteorite, after a fire ball was seen flying over Shropshire on Wednesday night (13 April).

After being spotted flying over the county, it's believe to have landed somewhere south of Shrewsbury, and its fragments could hold precious information.

Scientists say the rock would be a glossy black or brown colour, with the largest pieces about the size of an Easter egg and the smallest the size of a mini egg.

Fire ball Credit: UK Meteor Network

There's been a nationwide search to recover parts of meteorites over the Easter bank holiday weekend, led by experts from the organisation UK Fireball Alliance.

Their aim is to recover freshly-fallen meteorites across the country, so scientists can learn more about space. It's a collaboration between the UK’s six meteor camera networks.

Professor Katie Joy from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Manchester University said: "The meteorite won't be hot and is safe to handle as any other rock, but please don't pick it up with your bare hands as that would contaminate the stone."

She says pieces can be found in unusual places like in a garden or on a path, but is urging people not to take risks looking for it.

People in the community joined in to help search the Shropshire countryside during the bank holiday.

Dr Luke Daly from FALLUK and the University of Glasgow said: "We think about 500g of meteorite survived to the ground in approximately four fragments just south of Shrewsbury.

"Given the amount of wheat and oilseed rape in the area, we have been literally looking for a needle in a haystack."