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September's Meteorite of the Month is Fairfield, an iron (IAB-MG) meteorite found in Butler County, Ohio, in 1974.
According to the Meteoritical Bulletin (MB83):
An iron mass of 1600 g was found by Mr. Roy Ballinger among material dredged by the American Materials Company from 120 feet depth in a gravel pit in Pleistocene glacial deposits.
Fairfield is one of 12 meteorites recovered in the state of Ohio – read more about meteorites from the Buckeye State on the Ohio Geological Survey website!
Battle Mountain is an ordinary (L6) chondrite that fell in Humbolt County, Nevada, August 22 of 2012.
According to the Meteoritical Bulletin (MB101):
The fall was observed in weather radar imagery from the US NEXRAD radar network, operated by the US National Weather Service. The discovery and analysis was done by Dr. Marc Fries, Galactic Analytics LLC. The KLRX radar in Elko, Nevada, is approximately 33 km from the fall site and recorded the fall in eight radar sweeps between 0619.26 UTC and 0621.03 UTC. This time span of 97 s is short compared to other meteorite falls observed by radar. This could be a result of meteorite production by a single, large breakup event, by relatively little fragmentation, or a combination of the two factors. The first stone was found on September 1, 2012, 10:50 AM (PDT) by Robert Verish; it weighs 19.25 g. As of 3 Oct 2012, at least 23 stones with a total mass of ~2.9 kg have been reported.
Albareto is an ordinary (L/LL4) chondrite that fell in northern Italy in July of 1766.
The meteorite’s fall was widely witnessed, as it occurred in the middle of the day, and accounts describe the stone impacting with such force that the ground shook and a cow was knocked off its feet. The 2 kg stone was recovered from a crater approximately a meter deep.
The fall of the Albareto meteorite was very well documented by the Abbé Domenico Troili in a short book published later that year: About the Fall of a Stone from the Air, Explanation, Dedicated to Their Most Serene Highnesses of Modena.
Photo: Mossimo Barbieri. Il frammento della Meteorite di Albareto caduta del luglio 1786 conservato presso il Museo del Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra di Modena Gemma 1786.
In their 2002 paper Domenico Troili (1766): “The true cause of the fall of a stone in Albareto is a subterranean explosion that hurled the stone skyward“, Ursula Marvin and Mario Cosmo discuss the Albareto meteorite fall, as well as the place of Troili’s publication in the history of meteoritics:
In mid-July, 1766, a stone fell at Villa Albareto near Modena in northern Italy. A sudden explosion like a cannon shot follwed by fierce whistling sounds frightened people over a wide area. Some saw a fiery body falling from the sky; others said it was dark and smoky. The ground shook when the stone plunged into the soil making a hole nearly a meter deep. The Abbé Domenico Troili collected eyewitness reports, examined the stone, and reported the presence of marchesita, and old name for pyrite. A century later, this mineral, which proved to be iron sulfide (FeS), was named “troilite” in his honor. Troili’s description is unquestionaby that of a meteorite fall, and therefore some scientists have argued that it is Troili, rather than Ernst F. F. Chladni, to whom we should give credit as the first person to record the fall of a stone from space. However, Troili, himself, had no such idea; he wrote that a subterranean explosion had hurled the stone high into the sky from a vent in the Earth.
Utrecht is an (L6) ordinary chondrite that fell June 2nd, 1843, in the Netherlands.
The meteorite’s spectacular fall was described by Dr. E.H. Baumhauer (Annalen der Physik 142(12):465-506). Three to four explosions, compared to loud canon fire, were heard within a 25km radius of the city of Utrecht, followed by a whistling that lasted two to three minutes. While most witnesses were startled by the noise, some initially thought the sound was actually produced by a distant musical performance, or the shouting of children. One of the two stones was seen to fall by a farmer in his field, and almost 10 kg of material were ultimately recovered.
The Utrecht meteorite is one of only five Dutch meteorites, all of which have been witnessed falls.
Sterlitamak is a IIIAB iron meteorite that fell late on the night of May 17, 1990, in Russia.
Bishopville is an aubrite that fell in Sumter County, South Carolina, on March 25, 1843. According to Nininger (Meteoritics vol 19):
Its meteor and the explosion which accompanied the fall were witnessed over an area 30 to 40 miles in diameter. One six-kilogram stone was seen to strike the Earth and recovered from a depth of about three feet in the soft soil.
Image copyright ASU/CMS.
Vigarano is a (CV3) carbonaceous chondrite that fell the evening of January 22, 1910, near Ferrara, Italy. Vigarano is the type specimen for the CV group meteorites which are, according to The Meteoritical Society, "distinguished by large (mm-sized) chondrules, many of which are surrounded by igneous rims, large refractory inclusions and abundant matrix (40 vol%); CV chondrites may be divided into oxidized and reduced subgroups."
The history of the Vigarano meteorite is particularly interesting. While 16 kg of material were recovered in 1910 (the first mass immediately after impact, and the second the following month), research undertaken by Dr. Trevisani in recent years, has unearthed an additional 6.9 kg in a private collection, as well as a plethora of Vigarano imposters. Some of these imposters were even identified in museum collections!
The meteorite's fall was widely publicized, and the main mass was featured on a tourism postcard in 1911.