At 9:54 pm, on a quiet Sunday evening in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, a fireball was seen blazing across the sky.

The next day the Wilcock family came across something strange on their driveway – they were in for a shock. The family told BBC News:In all honesty, my original thought was – has someone been driving around the Cotswolds lobbing lumps of coal into people's gardens?

"…Either that or someone had upturned a barbecue tray."

But in fact, it was a meteorite. And not just any meteorite – the first ever carbonaceous chondrite to ever be recovered in the UK.

The Winchcombe meteorite

At this year’s British Science Festival, we’re sharing the juicy details of how the Winchcombe meteorite was found and is now being used to answer the secrets of our solar system.


Saturday 17 September, 14:00 – 15:00, Highcross Leicester 

More cosmic adventures at the British Science Festival…

Today (July 20) marks the 53rd anniversary of the first astronaut on the moon. And with the first images from Nasa’s James Webb space telescope published earlier this month, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share our excitement for all things space at this year’s British Science Festival. Don’t forget to book your free tickets to whatever tickles your fancy…

Between 13-17 September, the British Science Festival 2022 will be taking over the city of Leicester with over 100 free, engaging and off-the-wall installations, performances, and activities.

Humanising space

What do you think of when someone brings up space science? 

Most people imagine planets, satellites, or aliens. However, we tend to overlook the important role humans (earthlings) play in our understanding of space and its exploration.

Henrietta O’Connor from the University of Leicester will bring together a panel of experts to discuss how topics from space weaponry to tourism are humanising space, and how new laws are required to ensure space is for everyone.

Wednesday 14 September, 14:00 – 15:00, De Montfort University.


Black hole-and-seek

What happens when a black hole passes in front of a star? Einstein’s Theory of Relativity predicts that the gravity of the black hole would have incredible effects on visible light, bending it like a lens. 

Adam McMaster has been using Einstein’s theory to look for black holes, and you can find them too! Find out how he’s finding rare types of stars and join him in his quest to identify the black holes and stars that he’s searching for. 

This is a drop-in event, no booking is required.

Saturday 17 September, 11:00 – 16:30, The Clock Tower & Humberstone Gate, Leicester


Decoding the Northern Lights

Between Earth's magnetic field and space there’s something known as the magnetosphere. When material, known as plasma, enters the magnetosphere we see beautiful technicolour patterns, which many of you may know as the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights.

Join Maria-Theresia Walach from Lancaster University to discover how we can use the Northern Lights to develop better computer models which help us to understand our atmosphere and uncover exciting secrets…

Thursday 15 September, 11:00 – 12:00, De Montfort University


The Sky at Night: Question Time

For a spot of stargazing and a glimpse into the world of space and astronomy, become part of the live audience at a recording of the BBC’s much-loved programme, The Sky at Night: Question Time – hosted by Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Pete Lawrence, and Chris Lintott.

Do you have a question for the panel? Send it to the team using this email [email protected] 

Wednesday 14 September, 17:45 - 19:30, De Montfort University


Unveiling the hidden cosmos

By sharing some of the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope, Piyal Samara-Ratna from Space Park Leicester will give us the details on some of the major projects that are bringing space closer to home. 

He will take us beyond finding life on Mars and share how our understanding and the technology in space are helping with global issues, like climate change and addressing poverty.

Tuesday 13 September, 11:00 – 12:00, De Montfort University


For the full British Science Festival line-up, visit: 

And don’t forget to follow the British Science Festival on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram for all the latest on #BSF22!