Breaking: meteorites from Texas fireball possibly found!

By Phil Plait | February 18, 2009 8:15 pm

Oh, this is very cool: two astronomers think they may have found meteorites from the fireball that roared over Texas last week.

They found two small pieces matching a description of meteorites (they had a blackened surface, called a fusion crust) in a town called West, between Waco and Dallas, which looks to be right along the fireball’s path.

If this pans out it will be very exiting! With all the eyewitnesses and the video, a good orbit for this object may be backtracked. And now, if this pans out, we’ll have samples that can be examined chemically to determine the fireball’s composition! It’s the next best thing to going to an asteroid itself, so this is could turn out to be a major boon for astronomers who study asteroids and meteorites both.

And not only that, this thing that came in was probably a meter or so across, which means larger chunks might be out there, just waiting to be found. I hope some folks in that area go looking!

Tip o’ the ten gallon Whipple Shield to BABloggee Lowell Vaughn.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff, Science

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