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Seres Meteorite: Its long journey from Serres to Vienna and Athens after 200 years

It was June 1818 when a 8.5-kg meteorite fell in the town of Serres as we know it today, in North Greece. The Seres meteorite that is also referred to as the ‘Macedonia’ and the ‘Serrai’ meteorite. It is the first and only documented meteorite to have fallen in Greece.

Exact data about the recovery and the impact of the meteorite are not known or are vague. However, almost three decades later after its fall, the main mass of the meteorite landed in the Natural History Museum in Vienna where has been kept together with thousand of meteorites until now.

Efforts by Geologist Ioannis Baziotis who has examined the Seres meteorite in 2014, have brought results and the extra-terrestrial piece will be exhibited in Athens in early November.

So much is known that locals collected the mysterious piece that had fallen from the sky and handed it over the regional ruler, the Ottoman Pasha. The Pasha gave the rare piece to his German doctor.

Somehow, two pieces of the meteorite weighting 4.7kg and 1.3 kg  were given to Austrian chemistry professor and botanist  Johann Andreas Scherrer. On his part Scherrer donated the meteorite  to the Natural History Museum in Vienna in 1844, where its main mass has been kept together with thousand of meteorites until now.

Famous Swedish chemist Jons Jacob Berzelius conducted an analysis of the Seres Meteorite in 1832.

According to bibliography, Berzelius recognized four separate phases in Seres meteorite (chromite, olivine, meteoritic iron, and troilite), but only olivine and meteoritic iron were mineralogically described essentially as they would be described today

Seres is often described as a gas-poor meteorite and has an unusually short 0.64 Ma cosmic ray exposure (CRE) age.

Seres is the 20th most massive of 51 recognized falls now classified exactly as ‘H4’ chondrites (May 2017).

According to Baziotis, the meteorite is the residue of an original asteroid moving into the so-called “asteroid zone” located between the planets Mars and Jupiter. Its age is estimated to be 4.55 billion years so old as our solar system and the planets, the Earth included.

On the occasion of the 200 years since his fall, Baziotis made many efforts to exhibit the Seres meteorite in Greece.

With the help of the Municipality of Fyli and the Hellenic Space Organization (ELDO), the meteorite will be exhibited at the Herakleidon Art Museum in  Athens, from 7th to 11th November 2018.

Herakleidon Museum has two buildings: Iraklidon str 16 and Apostolou Pavlou 37, Thisseio, Athens.

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