The Ensisheim meteorite is the oldest preserved meteorite in theworld. It landed in 1492 in Ensisheim, a small village in eastern France. The rock itself isn’t really anything spectacular. It’s what’s known as anordinary chondritewhich, as you might guess from the name, isn’t the rarest thing that’s ever fallen from the sky. Ordinary chondrites make up nearly 90 percent of all meteorite finds.
But in the 15th century, the Ensisheim caused quite a stir. Accounts of the meteorite describe it as a falling inferno, a fireball that could be seen more than 150 kilometers (93 mi) away. Locals were quick to chalk it up as a sign from God, and the meteorite was immediately excavated, carted into town, and chained inside the Ensisheim church. Pieces of the meteorite were then chipped off and sent to theHoly Roman Emperor and Pope Pius III. The meteorite was even commemorated in songs and poems from the era.