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Hessle

New Year’s Day Meteorite!

Hessle is an ordinary (H5) chondrite that fell south of Uppsala, Sweden January 1, 1869, shortly after noon.  This was the first meteorite fall ever witnessed in Sweden, and was seen by a number of people as they were leaving church.

It was an overcast day in Hessle, so the bright meteor associated with the event was only seen from a distance, where conditions were clearer, however, the sonic boom and subsequent whistling were clearly noted.

Dr. Walter Flight, noted English chemist and member of the Royal Society, described the arrival of the Hessle meteorite in his 1875 work “History of Meteorites”: 

The noise accompanying the fall resembled heavy peals of thunder, followed by a rattling noise as of waggons [sic] at a gallop, and ending at first with a note like an organ tone, and then a hissing sound.

20 kg of the Hessle meteorite were recovered, including a piece that left a 3-4 inch hole in the shore ice of the frozen Lårstaviken Bay before bouncing up to land next to a fisherman.