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The first meteorites were acquired by the Natural History Museum (NHM) in 1803. At this time when meteorites had just begun to be generally accepted as extraterrestrial by the scientific community. Over the last 200 years the collection has grown to be one of the largest and most diverse in the world. The collection is made up of approximately 1900 meteorites, including examples of all of the main types, from about 90 different countries. It is the largest collection of meteorite falls (meteorites observed to have fallen through the atmosphere, in contrast to those found later) in the world. The current strength of the collection and associated research can be attributed to the passion for meteorites shown by members of the Department of Mineralogy over the years, especially keepers Nevil Story-Maskelyne, Lazarus Fletcher and George Prior.

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