Michigan Meteorite at Field Museum

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 12:49 -- pheck

A bright fireball streaked across the sky on January 16, 2018 near Detroit. The shockwave through the air caused a magnitude 2.0 earthquake in the area. Meteorite hunter Robert Ward used a strewn field map generated through Doppler radar data from NASA collaborator Marc Fries to search for meteorites. He found several pieces, and donated one to the Field. The connection to Robert Ward is thanks to long-time Field Museum supporter and private meteorite collector Terry Boudreaux. Robert A. Pritzker Associate Curator Philipp Heck and Resident graduate student Jennika Greer (Univ. of Chicago) classified it as a type of ordinary chondrite. The details of the classification are currently in review by the Meteoritical Society's Nomenclature Committee. More than 20 other pieces of the January 16 fall have been found so far, but this was the first, and will serve as the reference specimen for scientific classification. Philipp says it is one of the “freshest” meteorites ever seen at FMNH—it has never been exposed to liquid water on Earth. Jennika and Philipp conducted chemical analysis of the meteorite in the Scanning Electron Microscope Lab. The story got a great deal of local and national media coverage in the days after the fall (among the best: WLS-TV and the Chicago Tribune article).

FMNH piece of the fresh meteorite from Michigan.