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A Piece of Vesta Has Been Stolen!

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Posted August 21, 2014

Calling all meteorite collectors and enthusiasts! There’s a hot space rock at large and, as Indiana Jones would say, it belongs in a museum. Perhaps you can help put it back in one.

On Aug. 19 a burglary was reported at the Sonnenborgh Museum and Observatoryin Utrecht, Netherlands, and one of the items missing is a meteorite that is thought to have originated from the asteroid Vesta.

The Meteorite of Serooskerken at the Sonnenborgh Museum (Source: Sterrenwacht Sonnenborgh)

The Meteorite of Serooskerken at the Sonnenborgh Museum (Source: Sterrenwacht Sonnenborgh)

Seen above in a photo from the museum’s collection, the Meteorite of Serooskerken was recovered from a rare fall in 1925 in the province of Zeeland. Only five meteorites have ever been found in the Netherlands, making the Serooskerken specimen somewhat of a national treasure – not to mention a valuable piece of our Solar System’s history!

About 5–6% of all the meteorites found on Earth are thought to be from Vesta, the second-largest world in the main asteroid belt. (Source)

Mosaic of the asteroid Vesta made from images acquired by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCAL/MPS/DLR/IDA

Mosaic of the asteroid Vesta made from images acquired by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCAL/MPS/DLR/IDA

It doesn’t sound like the meteorite was the target of the burglary, but rather it just happened to be included with other things taken from the museum’s safe.

If you have any information on the burglary or see this meteorite offered up for sale anywhere, please report it to the Sonnenborgh Museum here.

Source: Universe Today, written by Jason Major

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