"Battle Mountain" Meteorite at Field Museum

Fri, 09/28/2012 - 16:03 -- pheck

A 30.767 gram piece of the meteorite, unofficially called "Battle Mountain", was donated to the Field Museum’s Robert A. Pritzker Center for Meteoritics and Polar Studies. Photographer: James L. Holstein.

On September 24, Collections & Research Committee Member and private meteorite collector Terry Boudreaux donated and loaned specimens of a freshly fallen meteorite to the Museum’s Robert A. Pritzker Center for Meteoritics and Polar Studies. The meteorite produced a fireball associated with a sonic boom before it hit the ground near Battle Mountain, NV on August 23. The meteorite is tentatively classified as an ordinary chondrite of type L6.
Robert A. Pritzker Assistant Curator of Meteoritics and Polar Studies Philipp R. Heck (Geology) is excited to have pieces of this freshly fallen meteorite, noting “It still contains live radioactive nuclides whose concentrations enable us to determine its size before it entered Earth’s atmosphere, and got ablated and broke apart. This information will also help up to determine more accurately the time between the rock got ejected from its parent asteroid and the impact on Earth.” The meteorite radioactivity level is very low and therefore harmless, despite this, it can only be measured in shielded underground laboratories with extremely sensitive detectors. Therefore, the Pritzker Center immediately sent a piece to collaborator Matthias Laubenstein who runs such a lab beneath a mountain range at Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy. Terry said, “it is always my pleasure to make sure the Field has the latest and greatest!”.

Collections & Research Committee Member and private meteorite collector Terry Boudreaux and Robert A. Pritzker Assistant Curator of Meteoritics and Polar Studies Philipp R. Heck at the donation of the “Battle Mountain” meteorite. Photographer: James L. Holstein.