One of Norway’s most famous astronomers left a trail of fears and ‘oh dears’ in the wake of March’s meteorite fall.
The fireball, which caused meteorites to be spread over southern Norway and Sweden, resulted in an appeal from Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard for information. In an interview with The Foreigner at the time, he said he had so far received “800 answers with reports of sightings so far.”
Whilst one of the black rocks made a hole in the roof of a property in Oslo, another meteorite fragmented into several pieces after hitting frozen ground.
An anonymous person had discovered the some 4.6. kilo object in the capital’s Grefsen district in the spring. It is believed to be the largest find in Norway for over 100 years.
Nevertheless, nothing more has been seen or heard of it since astronomer Mr Ødegaard appeared on broadcaster NRK’s 7 pm news programme on 30th April, until yesterday.
Concerned Oslo Natural History Museum experts issued a press statement, appealing for help to locate what they thought was the ‘missing’ meteorite, promising a finder’s fee.
“This meteorite is very interesting for us scientists," said Rune Selbekk, the museum's associate professor of mineralogy, geology, vulcanology and geochemistry. "We would really wish we could study the Grefsen meteorite thoroughly and carefully - who knows what questions it could answer?"
Expressing worry it could be broken up into smaller pieces or sold to foreign owners, he continued, “there is a commercial market for meteorites, and it worries us that such valuable sources of important knowledge are not going to museums and research institutions."
Today, however, museum personnel admit they have discovered an email from Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard dated 04th July, informing them the meteorite is in his possession after he bought it from the discoverer in Grefsen. Whilst fears have been allayed, Mr Selbekk finds the affair a bit of a shower.
“I’m actually a little skeptical about this. I would argue that this meteorite should have been used in connection with research and exhibited at a museum that has significant national expertise in meteorites,” told NRK.
He said to The Foreigner, "We don't like that private persons are buying objects of national and international interest. They should be offered to a museum first."
Like this article? Show your appreciation.