EKU given piece of scientific history

RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Eastern Kentucky University is now home to a piece of scientific history.

The school has received a 33-pound meteorite believed to have landed on the Kentucky-Tennessee line more than a century ago.

When Donna Lewis handed Dr. Jerry Cook The rock that had been at her family farm outside of Pineville for nearly 80 years, it was a big scientific moment for EKU.

"My precious," said Dr. Jerry Cook, rubbing the meteor. "We're extremely lucky to find something like this to obtain at our university is really terrific."

The rock is 33 pounds of iron and nickel. Since the 1930's it was a doorstop at Donna's grandparents front door.

"Back in the 30's my grandfather found it in a cow field," said Donna Lewis.

For the previous 4 and a half billion years or so it was hurdling through space, and that's where Dr. Cook's excitement comes in.

"I took one look at it and knew what it was... It passed all the tests," said Cook.

Dr. Cook believes its from a meteorite fall in Taswell, Tennessee that was discovered in the 1850's.

"You really can't say anything about the size of the meteorite or when it actually impacted, you can only say we found the first ones here in this area on this date," said Cook.

The science faculty at EKU is still deciding how best to use the meteorite. Dr. Cook says it will remain intact and will be a hands on part of the teaching that goes on in Richmond.

Lewis had the meteorite checked out at the University of Tennessee. She says they wanted to cut it up to study. She gave it to EKU because they promised to keep it intact.

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