To celebrate of 60 years of the Center for Meteorite Studies, we’re posting stories of historical Center events, new research initiatives, exciting outreach programs, conservation and growth of the Center’s invaluable meteorite collection. We invite you to follow us on social media, and share your memories and photos of the Center for Meteorite Studies using #CMS60.
During the early morning hours of June 2, 2016, a bright fireball was widely observed throughout the southwestern US, generating radar reflections consistent with falling meteorite material. Analysis of Doppler radar data showed that stones had likely landed on the southwestern corner of the White Mountain Apache tribal (WMAT) lands.
With the help of Jacob Moore (Assistant Vice-president of Tribal Relations at ASU), permission was granted by Ronnie Lupe, the WMAT Tribal Chairman, to enter the tribal lands and search for and collect meteorites. Center Meteorite Curator Laurence Garvie began searching the rugged, mountainous terrain of the WMAT for meteorites, along with (former ASU PhD Candidates, now alumni) Daniel Dunlap, and Prajkta Mane. After over 130 hours of meteorite hunting in remote Arizona backcountry, their efforts were rewarded and they ultimately recovered 15 stones.
Upon his return to ASU, Garvie immediately began the work of classifying this new meteorite. Given the name Dishchii’bikoh Ts’iłsǫǫsé Tsee by the White Mountain Apache Tribe, it was determined to be an LL7 chondrite, the fourth witnessed meteorite to fall in Arizona.
Dishchii’bikoh Ts’iłsǫǫsé Tsee remains the property of the WMAT, and will be curated in perpetuity by the ASU Center for Meteorite Studies.