Talampaya

March's Meteorite of the Month is Talampaya, an achondrite that fell in Argentina, in 1995.

According to the Meteoritical Bulletin (MB 83): 

Stories circulating among meteorite dealers tell of a meteorite that fell in Argentina, producing a sonic boom that scared a mountain climber. The climber eventually found the meteorite somewhere down range. The location of the fall may have been in San Juan or La Rioja province.  One 1421 gram stone was recovered, and sold in the United States.

Talampaya is a cumulate eucrite, and part of the HED (Howardite-Eucrite-Diogenite) meteorite group, believed to have formed on the surface of asteroid 4-Vesta.
Talampaya

Photo © ASU/CMS/Garvie.

Eucrites are the most common type of achondrite meteorite falls (vs. finds) and are believed to have formed from the cooling of magma on the surface of the Asteroid 4-Vesta; the number 4 refers to Vesta being the fourth asteroid ever discovered, in March of 1807, by German astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers.

In September 2007, NASA launched the Dawn mission to study Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres to provide insight into the formation and evolution of solid bodies in the early solar system, using a visible camera, a visible and infrared mapping spectrometer, and a gamma ray and neutron spectrometer.

Dawn stayed in orbit around Vesta for a year, thoroughly studying the asteroid's geology, chemistry and more; insights gained there helped build the link between Vesta and the howardite-eucrite-diogenite (HED) class of meteorites. 

2014’s First Asteroid Discovery!

The first asteroid to be discovered in 2014 appears to have broken up over the Atlantic Ocean, according to NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office.  Entering Earth's atmosphere in the early hours of January 1, 2014, this small asteroid, labeled 2014 AA, was first identified by researchers at the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) near Tucson, Arizona.  Subsequently, data from infrasound observation stations around the world was used to determine a likely location of the 7 to 10 foot (2 to 3 meter) asteroid's break-up over the mid-Atlantic.

Asteroid 2014 AA is only the second asteroid to be tracked as it approaches and then impacts with our planet.  The first, asteroid 2008 TC3, was also identified by CSS before it broke up over northern Sudan in 2008.  The associated meteorite, Almahata Sitta, an anomalous ureilite (achondrite), was later collected and analyzed.

View an animation of asteroid 2014 AA's flight, as well as a map of its potential impact location, and read about its discovery here!

Asteroid 2014 AA Trajectory
Trajectory of the final hours of asteroid 2014 AA. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech