Museums in Ostrobothnia

Meteoria Söderfjärden Visitors Centre

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Did you know...
Söderfjärden is one of the 190 known meteorite craters in the world. There are ten other craters in Finland.

The Meteoria Observatory is a unique visiting centre in the middle of the Söderfjärden meteorite crater. On display in the kiln is the 520 million year history of Söderfjärden – all the way from the collision of the meteorite to the agricultural tract of today.

A large crater was formed in Söderfjärden, Sundom as the result of the crashing of a meteorite on the area millions of years ago. The form of the crater is best visible from the air. Nowadays it is a desiccated farming area with its fertile fields and in the spring and autumn a real paradise for the birds. In the old drying barn in the middle of the Söderfjärden expanse is a visiting centre, which recounts the crashing of the meteorite and life after it.

A multimedia-show demonstrates the history of the region with illustrative pictures and sounds: the crashing of the meteorite, the upthrust, the Stone Age, the desiccation of the area and the “sea of barns”. During the period of plentiful cattle in the middle of the 20th century there were 3 000 barns in the Söderfjärden region at its peak. Nowadays about 100 of them survive. The course of history is also illuminated with agrarian items and equipment and with discoveries from the Stone Age. The Tellus Timeline, a balance bar, which illustrates the passage of time from the birth of the earth to the present time, is an interesting part of the exhibition, and it is in use for most of the year.

The astronomic observatory offers visitors the possibility to explore the stars and the orbs once a week during the dark months or upon request. An open house is held in Meteoria usually in September.

Next to the visiting centre is a bird tower with a view over the most important lay-by of cranes in Finland. Enormous flocks of cranes stop every autumn on the flat fields of the meteorite crater to the great delight of birdwatchers.

The energy cellar of the visiting centre generates all the electricity needed in Meteoria. The energy cellar is at the same time a research station in co-operation with the University of Vaasa and the Vaasa Energy Institute. Renewable energy, for instance new biofuels and small-scale wind and sun energy, are researched on the station. There is also a model of our solar system and a model of the crater.

Two new exhibitions will be opened in June 2018. One with agriculture machinery, which was used in the area, and the other one with meteorites and impact structures all around the world in co-operation with Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) and LUOMUS, Finnish Museum of Natural History.

Söderfjärden is nowadays a Natura2000 region. Meteoria is being maintained by the Sundom village association (Sundom bygdeförening) together with the astronomical society Vaasan Andromeda ry. Andromeda attends to the observatory.