The first exhibition of meteorites from the Lut Desert of Iran has opened at the Golestan Palace World Heritage Site in Tehran.

The exhibition is organised by UNESCO’s Lut Desert World Heritage Centre in collaboration with Hojjat Kamali who is a record holder in discovery of meteorites and the only Iranian collector of meteorites.

In this exhibition, the meteorite of Varamin, Iran’s largest meteorite, and one of the world’s seven Mesosiderites, has been put on show. The meteorite fell 138 years ago near Eshtehard, west of Tehran.

The Shahsevan nomads were tenting around the meteor shower, and they witnessed the incident three hours before the sunset. They sent the meteorite to the court of Naser al-Din Shah and the king donated pieces of it to his close friends.

Later on, Henry Ward, an American and social activist, noticed the existence of this meteorite and travelled to Iran to complete his collection and eventually took a piece of this meteorite. This was how the meteorite pieces were distributed in more than 10 major natural science museums of the world, and its name was repeatedly published in the world’s largest meteorite books.

This meteorite has a mass of about 54 kg and now its main part is kept at the Golestan Palace. Other pieces are kept at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and museums in Washington, Philadelphia, Vienna and the United Kingdom, as well as the universities of Harvard, Oslo, Strasbourg, Arizona, the Vatican, Tehran Geophysics Institute, and other museums of natural sciences.

The exhibition is organised by Hojjat Kamali, who has collected more than 1,200 pieces of unique meteorites from around the country. In 2016, he registered over 200 pieces of meteorite in the International Meteoritical Bulletin, upgrading Iran’s rank from 122 to 2. And the overall ranking of Iran among 136 countries reached 9.

The exhibition was opened on April 28 and will be open to visitors until May 18, 2019 at the Golestan Palace in Tehran’s Arg Square.

 

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