Ever seen a meteorite before? A meteorite is a natural object originating in outer space that survives an impact with the earth’s surface. While in space it is called a meteoroid. When it enters the atmosphere, impact pressure causes the body to heat up and emit light, thus forming a fireball, also known as a meteor or shooting star.
Mbozi Meteorite is located at Marengi Hill in the Mbozi District of Southern Tanzania, its borders with Malawi and Zambia. The meteorite is three-meters-long and one-meter-wide object and weighs some 16 tonnes and consists of 90 per cent iron, about 9 per cent nickel, and small amount of cobalt, copper, sulfur, and phosphorus.
No one is sure when the meteorite fell, but it must have been long ago. W. H. Nolt, a land surveyor from Johannesburg reportedly found it in October 1930. The meteorite is presently standing on a stone altar, a product of a trench dug around it. The meteorite has remained in its original landing place.
Dr. D. R. Gratham of the Geological Society in 1930 used a hack-saw to cut out a specimen of about ten centimeters. This took ten hours. This piece is presently at the British Museum in London.
The Mbozi meteorite site has been arranged to accommodate visitors, with a little reception house and benches and tables. The warden lives in a small mud house about 50 meters from the meteorite, and will ask you to sign the visitor’s book.
It is a wonderful environment, good for picnicking. A visit would help you understand the primordial nature of the earth and our universe at large.