4.5 billion-year-old meteorite found in back garden

Researchers at the Leiden's Naturalis Biodiversity Center announced on Monday, June 26, the discovery of a 1 pound meteorite that could help shed light on the origin of our solar system.

In a statement, the research center said several people in the Netherlands and Belgium witnessed on January 11 a fireball flying over the Dutch town of Broek in Waterland, making it the sixth meteorite to be found in the Netherlands in two centuries.

The extraterrestrial object hit the roof of a shed, shattering its wooden frame without causing any injury.

Researchers believe the asteroid originated from the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

Senior geology researcher Leo Kriegsman said it could provide key information about the formation of the solar system 4.5 billion years ago, as no stone this old can be found on earth.

Kriegsman described the meteorite as a 'L6 chondrite,' a common type of space rock.

Researchers at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center estimate that one meteorite of this size hits the Netherlands once in every 3-4 years, but that they are not always found.

The previous meteorite found in the Netherlands was 27 years ago in Glanerbrug, near the German border.