Discovering the Hoba Meteorite: Namibia's Cosmic Wonder

18th February, 2024


A Meteorite of Massive Proportions:

● The world's largest known single meteorite ● Over 60 tons (approximately 12 adult elephants!) ● Primarily iron with unusually high nickel content

80,000-Year-Old Crash Landing:

● Estimated arrival on Earth roughly 80,000 years ago ● The unique flat shape slowed its fall minimally Landed with surprisingly little ground penetration

Unearthed by a Plow

● 1920: A farmer accidentally discovers it while working his field ● Uniquely, it wasn't buried deep underground ● Speaker Notes: Hoba hid in plain sight! For countless years,  it simply sat there on the ground until a chance encounter in 1920  revealed its extraterrestrial nature. This reminds us that amazing discoveries can be made in the most unexpected ways.

Insights from Space

● Easy to study due to its exposed position ● Offers clues about early solar system formation ● Unique nickel content provides research opportunities ● Speaker Notes: Hoba is a science gift! Unlike meteorites found deep underground, it's easy to access and minimally contaminated. Scientists analyze its composition to learn about how planets formed and what materials were swirling around billions of years ago.

National Monument & Tourist Attraction

● Declared a National Monument in Namibia ● The visitor center allows people to walk on and around it ● Contributes to local tourism and science education ● Speaker Notes: Hoba has gone from a surprise plow obstacle to an iconic landmark! Namibia grasped its unique appeal, safeguarding it  for generations to come. You can touch this space relic, appreciating its size and its journey.

Earth's Collection of Cosmic Visitors

● Hoba is the largest, but many other impressive finds exist ● Meteorites come in various sizes, compositions, and origin ● Speaker Notes: As unique as Hoba is, it's only one in a long line of space objects our planet's embraced over its VERY long history! Studying them is how we unravel the story of our solar system, one fallen chunk at a time.

Where Did Hoba Come From?

● It is likely a fragment of a much more giant asteroid. ● It reminds us space is incredibly dynamic.