The Meteorite of Mauerkirchen is the largest stone meteorite that has fallen on formerly Bavarian territory. That was 250 years ago, on November 20, 1768. At that time, the scholars puzzled over where this fallen stone from the air came and put forward various theories on it.
The stone was literally the bone of contention among the scholars. For example, one came to the conviction that the lump of stone-like matter must have been assembled in the air, much like hail or snowflakes. This was contradicted by another claim that said the stone was probably lying loosely on a mountain until it brought with it a violent whirlwind. Other options such as volcanoes, earthquakes or lightning and thunder were brought into play as an explanation. Nobody thought about a cosmic origin of the meteorite at that time. Only the physicist Ernst Flores Friedrich Chladni put this theory into his work and thus created the basis of modern meteorite science.
“The meteorite of Mauerkirchen is one of the oldest documented meteorite cases, of which material is still preserved today. So I’m all the more pleased to be able to showcase the two biggest of the more than 70 collections and museums around the world”, says Christoph Keilmann, Managing Director of the Munich Show—Mineralientage München. The exhibition is supplemented by historical literature on the meteorite case.