Stolen Meteorite Found at a Tennis Court

Here’s a bit of good news: the Serooskerken meteorite, which was stolen from the Sonnenborgh Museum and Observatory in Utrecht, Netherlands on Monday night, has been recovered. It was found in a bag left in some bushes alongside a tennis court and turned in to the police.

It’s not quite “game, set, match” though; unfortunately the meteorite was broken during the theft. (See a photo here via Twitter follower Marieke Baan.) Still, the Sonnenborgh Museum director is glad to have the pieces back, which he said will remain useful for research and can still be exhibited. (Source)

The Serooskerken meteorite was recovered from a fall in the Dutch province of Zeeland on August 28, 1925. Classified as a diogenite (HED) it is thought to have originated from the protoplanet Vesta, the second most massive object in the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter (and the previous target of NASA’s Dawn mission.) It is one of only five meteorite specimens ever recovered in the Netherlands.

The meteorite was one of several items reported stolen from the Sonnenborgh Museum on the night of August 18-19, 2014.

Find out more about the recovery (in Dutch) and see photos here.

HT to Google+ Space Community member Andre van der Hoeven for the update on this story.

5 Replies to “Stolen Meteorite Found at a Tennis Court”

  1. That the meteorite was broken is a tragedy – but now that it is, I’m sure the inside is as interesting as the outside.
    One wonders if it was dropped and shattered as a result, or if it was cracked open with a chisel. Is there any chance we’ll hear the whole story?

  2. At least the thieves care about science and know how to make a random bag be not so random.

  3. Some smashed stones in a bag? And the police thought that “Oh, maybe this is the stolen meteorite!” Either the police is very good, or something is wrong with the news about this.

    Anyway, the aliens who stole it and smashed it got their hidden crystal back and are very happy about it… 😎

  4. I am volunteer at Sonnenborgh so let me add some details: The tennis players who found the stolen meteorites recognized the boxes from the news coverage. The Serooskerke is/was a rather brittle meteorite and it had lost little pieces before. The stolen safe was dropped down the stairs and then down the high wall of the Sonnenborgh bastion, the mediaval fortress on which the observatory was built in the 19th century. These falls probably caused the Serooskerke to break in pieces.

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