photo credit: Bayerischer Rundfunk

photo credit: Bayerischer Rundfunk

The Machtenstein meteorite (1422 g , H5 , S2 , W2/3, size: 13 x 9 x 7.5 cm) was found by the young farmer’s son Josef Landmann from the Rennhof farm during arable farming in a field called Rennacker (48.28405° N, 11.31350° E) south of Machtenstein, Dachau county, Bavaria, Germany between 1956 and 1960. Mr Landmann recognized the unusual stone immediately as it lay on the surface of the loose soil. He picked it up and noticed that it was unusually heavy. At home he and his brother Andreas used an angle grinder to cut into the stone. The emitted sparks told the brothers that the stone must contain iron. They even speculated about it being a meteorite but didn’t go into the matter any further. Around 1982 the Landmann brothers gave the stone Josef had found as a boy to their friend Hans Hartl from the neighbouring village of Machtenstein. Mr Hartl guessed that it could be a meteorite, but found no one to confirm this. Eventually he considered it to be one of the many slag pieces that can be found in the region and because of the stone’s exterior ugliness used it as a filling stone under some collected fieldstones and pebbles meant to deliminate a plant bed in the garden next to his house.
In spring 2014 Mr. Hartl was asked by a family member to look for a representative and beautiful stone from the region to be used as a gift. While going through the heap of pebbles in his garden, he found the strange rusty rock again. Curious about this rock and its true nature again, he did some internet research and came across the meteorite identification page * on the website of the DLR Feuerkugelnetz * . On 14 April 2014 Mr. Hartl contacted Mr. Heinlein and provided him with the stone on the same day. Mr. Heinlein immediately recognized it as a meteorite. The meteorite was added to the Meteoritical Bulletin* on 17 October 2014.

The official handover of the Machtenstein meteorite

The official handover of Machtenstein © karmaka

The meteorite was presented at the Munich Show (24-26 October 2014) and on October 24, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. it was officially handed over as a donation to the Mineralogical State Collection Munich. Thus it officially became property of Bavaria. The Machtenstein meteorite had been bought from the owners for a five-digit Euro amount by the organizers of the Munich Show and will be exhibited in the new Bavarian Natural History Museum from around 2020.

The Bavarian television (BR) reported about the handover and the show (24 October 2014, Abendschau – Der Süden, Bayerisches Fernsehen).


R. Hochleitner, M. Kaliwoda, A. Günther, E. Schmidbauer, V.H. Hoffmann, Y. Yamamoto, T. Mikouchi, D. Heinlein
46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, March 16–20, 2015.

Grüße aus dem All – Meteoritenfund bei Dachau
Bavarian TV (BR, Abendschau – der Süden), 8 October 2014, 18:00

Short TV documentary about the story of the Machtenstein meteorite
Terra Xpress (ZDF, 8 November 2015), between 0:24 and 9:05 min. running time

The Meteorite Theme Book of the meteorite exhibition at the Munich Show 2014 contains an article about how the meteorite was discovered. It can be ordered HERE.

The organizer of the Munich Show Christoph Keilmann in an interview (in German) in the show Eins zu Eins. Der Talk on radio Bayern 2 (22 Oct 2014)

Der Meteorit vom „Machtenstein“ – vom Findling zum Vitrinenstar, including interviews with Hans Hartl and Josef Landmann: Der Meteorit vom „Machtenstein“ – vom Findling zum Vitrinenstar (Die klingende Landkarte, VHS Schwabhausen (MP3)