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Buseck Center for Meteorite Studies


Samelia is a IIIAB iron meteorite that fell the evening of May 20, 1921, in India.

In a 1924 publication, Sir Lewis Leigh Fermor (then acting director of the Geological Survey of India) described witness accounts of the meteorite’s fall:

“The fireball moved from south to north and left a white trail in the sky.  At the end of the trail the fireball burst thundering like a volley of guns, and several pieces dropped down to the earth. . . . The white trail in the sky disappeared after a quarter of an hour”

In the Handbook of Iron Meteorites (1975), Buchwald describes the circumstances of the fall:

“Three masses were observed to fall in the Bhilwara district on May 20, 1921, at about 5:30 p.m. One mass, of 1125 g, fell in the Samelia jungle . . . another, of 587 g, in the Beshki jungle . . . and a third, of 750 g, in the village of Beskalai.  All masses were recovered quickly and donated to the Geological Survey of India . . .”

In total, 2.46 kg (5.4 lb) of the iron meteorite were collected.

Photo © ASU Buseck Center for Meteorite Studies: This cut piece of the Samelia meteorite shows a fusion crusted edge, and measures approximately 2 cm in length.