Monday, April 26, 2010

Wow. Happy 207th birthday to the meteors of L’Aigle, France


By Jack Brummet
Barely Explained Phenomena Editor

207 years ago today, roughly 3,000 meteorites weighing between one quarter ounce and 20 pounds fell on the town of L’Aigle in Normandy, France, 100 miles from Paris.  Holy s**t!!

No one was killed. Or even hurt.  And, it was the first time that scientists could actually verify that stones could come from outer space.

How the scientists figured it out is anyone's guess. Doctors at the time still believed that "humors" in the blood caused all illness. Bloodletting was the cure-all. Doctors didn't even wash their hands until the late 19th century, when Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister's findings led to antiseptic surgery. Antiseptic practice saved thousands of lives during the Franco-German War, and yet American and British doctors--who killed far more people than they saved--long resisted the theory of sepsis.

But I digress. . .The French Academy of Sciences sent a young scientist, Jean-Baptiste Biot, to investigate. and his eventual paper described how these stones must be of extraterrestrial origin.  Biot's research  gave birth to the science of meteoritics
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