FORT MYERS, Fla., - Southwest Florida kids and parents will be able to get close and personal with a piece of space.
A piece of a meteorite dating from the formation of the solar system will reside at the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium in Fort Myers for the next 3 years as part of a loan from the Toomey Foundation for Natural Sciences.
The piece of the meteorite weighs close to 130 pounds. Experts say the original meteor was 12 feet wide and weighed 800 tons. The meteorite landed 4,500 years ago in Northern Argentina and was give the name Campo Del Cielo, which is Spanish for "Field of the Sky."
"A lot of times the ones that you see are tiny, the size of your fist or the size of your thumb. This is a big piece of iron and that's pretty unusual. There's nothing like that in Southwest Florida," said Derek Buzasi, an astronomy professor at Florida Gulf Coast University.
If you're more interested in sky gazing than touching the astronomical artifact, the Perseid meteor shower is going on through August 24th.
Experts say during this time, Earth will pass through the dust and debris-filled trail left by Comet Swift-Tuttle and can result in about 100 meteors dotting the sky each hour. The best time for optimal viewing is after midnight. All you need to enjoy the sight is a dark spot under clear skies, something comfortable to sit on and bug spray!