99 Counties | FIND Iowa
Jul 25, 2024 | 00:02:39

Why do you think meteors fall to the Earth?

On the same day that the Old Capitol building became part of the University of Iowa, a meteorite fell to Earth, connecting these two events in history.


Abby Brown:

Let's see if you can guess where I'm at. It's very impressive, right? Almost like I'm at the state capitol. I am at the state capitol, but not the current state capitol. That's in Des Moines. Today, I'm in a completely different part of the state. When Iowa first became a state, the capitol was here, in Iowa City. Until it moved to a more central location in Des Moines about 10 years later. This building, that was once the capitol of Iowa, housed the first state university of Iowa. It's still an important part of the University of Iowa campus. Now it's a museum, inside that museum is an artifact that tells an amazing story about Iowa's history. Let's go take a look. A long time ago, on the exact day that this building became the University of Iowa, a meteor could be seen and heard shooting across the sky. Part of that meteor is right here! As the meteor fell through the atmosphere, the gravity of Earth pulled it to the ground. So it was speeding through the air. Historical reports say it sounded as if thousands of bullets were flying through the air because, as objects fall, they speed up due to the continuous pull of the Earth's gravity. Black clouds and smoke could be seen in the distance where the meteor fragments hit the ground. What a way to start the long life of our beloved University of Iowa. Visitors to the Old Capitol Museum, here in Iowa City, can see a lot of Iowa history on display; even a part of this meteorite that marks some very important moments in our history.

Every county in Iowa has a once-in-a-lifetime story to tell. Thank you for discovering Johnson County with me.