Morasko meteorite nature reserve
The Morasko meteorite nature reserve is located in Morasko, on the northern edge of the city of Poznań, Poland. It contains seven meteor craters, and was created in 1976 with an area of 55 hectares (136 acres).
The land of the reserve is covered by a forest of oak and hornbeam trees, among which grow a number of uncommon plant species, including:
- Martagon or Turk's cap lily (Lilium martagon)
- Wild ginger (Asarum europaeum)
- Tropical hornwort (Ceratophyllum submersum)
Some uncommon birds can also be found here, including
- The European Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus)
- The Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
The largest of the seven craters on the reserve has a diameter of about 100 metres, and is about 11 metres deep. Five of the craters, including the largest, contain lakes. The date of formation is estimated to be about 5,000 years ago ( Holocene ).
The first meteorite found at Morasko was uncovered in 1914 by German soldiers working on the construction of a military fortification. Since then, many further fragments have been found, including one weighing 78 kg in 1956.
In September 2006, Krzysztof Socha , a meteorite-hunter from Kielce, working for the Geology department of the city's Adam Mickiewicz University, uncovered with the aid of a metal detector a meteorite which, after the removal of the dirt which covered it, was found to weigh 164 kg. This is the largest meteorite yet discovered in Poland. Analysis showed that the meteorite contained, apart from iron - nickel alloy , a small quantity of silicates (pyroxenes) not occurring on Earth.
Currently, Adam Mickiewicz University is considering founding an educational centre, in order to draw attention to the reserve and the subject of meteorite discovery.
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