On Sunday 28th February 2021, a fireball lit up the sky over the UK and Northern Europe.
It was seen by thousands of eyewitnesses, and was captured on many fireball and home surveillance cameras, and now, in what has been named a “major event in UK science”, a meteorite which fell from that fireball has been found and safely recovered.
Almost 300g of a very rare meteorite, which is known as a carbonaceous chondrite, survived its fiery passage through the Earth’s atmosphere – travelling at nearly 14km per second – to land on a driveway in the small Cotswold town of Winchcombe, and with the help of specialised cameras, its flight path has been created to allow scientists to determine exactly where in the solar system it came from, and predict where it fell.
Apparently, the meteorite was retrieved in such a good condition, so quickly after its fall, that it’s comparable to the samples returned from space missions, both in quality and quantity.
To put it into perspective of how rare this discovery is, there are approximately 65,000 known meteorites on Earth, but only 1,206 have been witnessed to fall, and of these, only 51 are carbonaceous chondrites, which means that this is the first known carbonaceous chondrite to have been found in the UK.
It’s also the first meteorite recovered in the UK in 30 years.
How brilliant is this?
Once the meteorite was identified as genuine, plans were made for it to be safely moved to the Natural History Museum, where it will be properly cared for until it begins an official process of classification to establish its “validity and scientific significance”.
Dr Ashley King – UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellow in the Department of Earth Sciences at the Natural History Museum – was among the first on the scene when the meteorite was discovered and has been advising on its handling and care ever since, admitting that “the opportunity to be one of the first people to see and study a meteorite that was recovered almost immediately after falling is a dream come true”.
Researchers from the University of Manchester are among the team of specialist scientists from across the UK who have now been tasked with searching the rest of the predicted fall area for more fragments.
Dr Katherine Joy – a Royal Society University Research Fellow at The University of Manchester – said: “This is a hugely exciting scientific event as it is the first time in 30 years that a meteorite sample has fallen and been recovered in the UK.
“Normally we have to send spacecraft to collect bits of other worlds, but this time one has fallen right into our laps.
“We look forward to using our laboratories in Manchester and working with our colleagues to investigate how the newly recovered UK meteorite fall can provide insights to how planets in the early Solar System were formed”.
You can find more information via the University of Manchester website here.
A look at the plans to turn historic Ancoats mill with rich musical heritage into new apartment complex
Hodder + Partners have just revealed new CGIs and a more detailed look at the plans for their redevelopment of the longstanding Brunswick Mill in Ancoats which is set to become a brand-new apartment complex.
The proposals to turn the once creative space with decades of musical heritage into a new residential site were revealed back in 2021 and approved within just a few months, despite having been met with plenty of resistance given its history and cultural significance.
Nevertheless, Northern company Big Red Construction recently kicked off the £50+ million renovation on behalf of developer Arrowsmith Investments and the apartments are projected to be finished in 2026.
With that in mind, the architectural designers Hodder have just released a new look at what Brunswick Mill is set to look like once completed:
Set to transform the historic industrial mill-turned-creative space and music studios on the edge of New Islington into 153 new apartments, ranging from one, two and three-bedroom residences, the redevelopment will be spread across two phases.
In line with designs by Hodder + Partners, the initial phase involves converting the existing mill building and the construction of new four and seven-storey elements to accommodate the remaining 127 homes on the Bradford Road plot in Ancoats.
Big Red Construction, who are also working on the Peelers Yard building for CERT Property and Myprotein founder Oliver Cookson, are expected to complete phase one by the first quarter of 2026.
Here’s another look at what living space people are already buying up:
Along with Hodder + Partners as architects, the project team also consists of HW Consultancy who are covering structural aspects, Manchester firm Clancy for mechanical and electrical considerations, as well as AM Pyro as fire engineers.
With property company Orlando Reid serving as estate agents for the project, 42 out of the 153 apartments have already been sold off-plan, with managing director Baljit Arora describing it as “an exciting period for all parties involved and for the city of Manchester”.
This is just the latest chapter in the continued regeneration of the Ancoats and the New Islington areas, which remain two of the most heavily re-developed areas in the city centre and Greater Manchester as a whole. You can see other hot properties in and around the region HERE.