Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Arizonans track down new Wisconsin meteorite


Marvin Killgore, the curator of meteorites for the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona, and his wife, Kitty, recovered a 300-gram chunk of breccia that is so far the largest piece of a meteorite that exploded over Wisconsin on April 14.

NASA estimated the incoming meteor was about a meter across and blew apart with the force of 20 tons of TNT. According to the UA, "Killgore estimated the rock first detonated at 30 kilometers – about 18 miles above the Earth's surface – with the first radar signature occurring at about 30,000 feet, sending a two-mile wide,14-mile-long shower of fragments into the Wisconsin countryside."

The piece will be on exhibit with other meteorites from the UA collection June 12-13 at the Foothills Mall in Tucson.

Watch the dark sky light up as the meteor comes into the atmosphere, followed by an explosion.

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