Need a light? Use the meteorite that's just landed in my garden

A STYRAY meteorite from the Persiod meteor shower, hot enough to light a cigarette, is thought to have landed in a Leeds garden.
Meteorite mystery: David Stevenson with the rockMeteorite mystery: David Stevenson with the rock
Meteorite mystery: David Stevenson with the rock

David Stevenson, 46, was at home in Bramley with a friend when in the early hours of last Wednesday he walked outside to the smell of burning. He found a circular area of grass on his lawn, about a metre wide, that was smouldering away and giving off wisps of smoke.

He retired to bed baffled but it was only upon closer inspection in the light of day that he discovered a weighty rock, roughly the size of two tennis balls near to the area of parched ground.

Having dismissed any prank or mischief,

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Mr Stevenson believes the rock may be a fragment of meteorite that has been sent crashing onto his garden lawn from outer space. His own tests have found it to be magnetic and it was initially giving off enough heat to light a cigarette.

He said: “I was having a cigarette with a mate outside and we thought we could smell a bonfire burning. It was really smoky and we noticed, in the corner of the garden, a glowing patch. At first we thought it must be a wind up, someone has thrown something over the fence, but it genuinely looked like something had landed from the sky and crumbled.

“The next morning it was still glowing. Everything in a metre radius was all white and I thought, that’s been really hot. That’s when I found the rock.”

Mr Stevenson, a customer relations manager for Audi, has been in touch with the Natural History Museum in London to inform them about his find and he hopes the rock can be tested to confirm whether it is indeed a piece of meteorite. The museum’s identification and advisory service team is currently dealing with his enquiry.