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The Fireball of Tutankhamun

The extraordinary story of how a mysterious gem in one of Tutankhamun’s necklaces led to the discovery of a dramatic new cosmic threat. Italian archaeologist and geologist Vincenzo de Michele was walking through the Egyptian Museum in Cairo when he spotted a strange, unidentified, yellow-green stone in a piece of jewellery recovered from Tutankhamun’s tomb. When he applied for permission to test the gem, he discovered that it was in fact a type of glass. What’s more he was able to show that the glass was of natural origin, and came from a remote location in the middle of the Great Sand Sea in the Egyptian Sahara. But how and why is this mysterious and beautiful glass scattered about in this area of the desert?

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