2015-01-30

Hoba Meteorite, World's Largest Meteorite

Hoba meteorite is named because it lies on "Hoba West", a farm in the Otjozondjupa Region, Namibia. Although it was discovered, the large mass of the meteorite has not been removed from its original location. Its main mass is more than 60 tonnes. This makes it the largest meteorite is known in the world and the largest naturally occurring piece of iron on Earth's surface. It is believed that the Hoba meteorite fell more than 80,000 years ago. The object fell to the Earth's surface at a terminal velocity. This allowed it to remain intact and caused little excavation. The largest known meteorite, measuring 2.7x2.7x0.9 meters and containing a tabloid metal body. It is composed of 84% iron, 16% nickel, and 0.76% cobalt.

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Hoba meteorite | The World's Largest Meteorite in Namibia
Hoba, Meteorite in Namibia

Jacobus Hermanus Brits were the landowner who discovered the Hoba meteorite in 1920 while plowing one of his fields using an ox. He heard a metallic scratching sound, and his plough stopped abruptly. It was identified as a meteorite and the obstruction was removed. In 1954 the curator of the American Museum of Natural History in New York tried to purchase the Hoba Meteorite. The meteorite was remained in Namibia due to transport problems caused by its weight. A group of locals became concerned about the matter and brought it to the attention of the authorities. It was declared a National Monument the following year.

Image credit Dave Conroy
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Meteorite in Namibia

Largest meteorite ever found


It is quite surprising that the Hoba meteorite has not been surrounded by any crater. A meteorite this large should be able to punch through the atmosphere at an extremely high speed and strike Earth with enough force that it can blast a large crater. However, there is no crater around the site of the meteorite in Namibia. This indicates that the meteorite fell to Earth at a slower rate than was expected. Scientists believe the object's flat shape may have contributed to its slow impact velocity. The Namibia meteorite has a life expectancy of between 190 million and 410 million years. Although the site was made a National Monument in 1955 you could not visit it until 1985. Grootfontein Namibia is now a well-maintained site. It offers a great opportunity to see it close up. It is a small tourist attraction that is visited annually by thousands.


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Namibia Meteorite
Image credit Sergio Conti
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The Hoba Meteorite
Image credit Sergio Conti
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Grootfontein Namibia
Image credit Dave Conroy
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Grootfontein Namibia
Image credit Carlos Reis
The meteorite is estimated to be between 190 and 410 million years old.  The site was declared a National Monument in 1955, though you couldn't visit it until 1985. The site has now been improved very well, a good opportunity to get close up, that anyone can touch it even anyone can stand upon. A small tourist center and is visited by thousands of people each year.
Hoba Meteorite Facts
Image credit Dave Conroy
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Hoba
Image credit Sergio Conti
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Meteorite in Namibia
Image credit Sergio Conti
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Namibia Meteorite
Image credit Jay Selley
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Hoba Meteorite

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