Novato meteorite


Novato meteorite
Peter Jenniskens meteor trajectory. Six fragments have been found in Novato, California. More massive 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) fragments may have fallen near Sonoma with any 10 kilograms (22 lb) fragments possibly falling near Yountville / St. Helena. This trajectory estimate may be inaccurate.
ClassOrdinary chondrite
Shock stageS4
Weathering gradeW0/1
Coordinates38°06′N 122°36′W / 38.1°N 122.6°W / 38.1; -122.6Coordinates: 38°06′N 122°36′W / 38.1°N 122.6°W / 38.1; -122.6[1]
Observed fallYes
Fall date17 October 2012
Found date20 October 2012
TKW~363 grams (6 recovered)[1]
Strewn fieldYes
Alternative namesMill Valley
Commons page Related media on Wikimedia Commons

The Novato meteorite is an ordinary chondrite which entered the earth's atmosphere and broke up over Northern California at 19:44 Pacific Time on 17 October 2012. The falling bolide created a bright fireball and sonic booms and fragmented into smaller pieces as the intense friction of passing through the atmosphere heated it and absorbed its kinetic energy.[2] The meteoroid was about 35 centimeters (14 in) across.[3]


The first fragment of the meteorite (N01) was recovered by Lisa Webber on 20 October after reading a story in the San Francisco Chronicle that described the NASA/CAMS meteor trajectory predicting a fall area in the North Bay.[4] Lisa recalled hearing a sound on her roof the night of the meteor and went outside and located a 62 gram stone. Analysis of fragment N01 by Dr. Alan Rubin came back as a L6 breccia.[5]

The second fragment was found by Brien Cook on 22 October (66 grams) and the third fragment was found by Jason Utas on 27 October (79 grams).[1][6] The largest fragment recovered as of 5 November 2012 is N04 at 96 grams found by Robert Verish on 27 October.[7] A fifth stone (N05) weighing 24 grams was found by Jason Utas on November 2.[6] A sixth stone (N06) weighing 23.7 grams was found by the Kane family on November 11.[7] More massive 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) fragments may have fallen near Sonoma with any 10 kilograms (22 lb) fragments possibly falling near Yountville.[8]

This was the second significant meteorite in California in 2012, the first being the Sutter's Mill meteorite.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Peter Jenniskens. "The Impact and Recovery of the Novato Meteorite". SETI Institute. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  2. ^ Mike Hankey. "Massive Fireball Over California Coast – October 17th, 2012". American Meteor Society. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  3. ^ Elizabeth Howell (2014-08-19). "Roof-Crashing Meteorite Linked to Giant Impact that Made the Moon". Retrieved 2014-08-21.
  4. ^ Clara Moskowitz (2012-10-22). "Meteorite from Recent Fireball Hit Roof of N. California Home". Scientific American. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  5. ^ [1] Buseman, H.; Clay, P.L.; Jenniskens, P.; Meier, M.M.M.; Wieler, R. "Noble Gases in the Light and Dark Phase of a Meteorite Found in Novato, California". MAPS. 76th Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting (2013). Retrieved on 2013-12-01.
  6. ^ a b Jason Utas. "Expedition: Novato, California". Retrieved 2013-12-01.
  7. ^ a b Bob Verish. "Findings from the Strewn-field". Retrieved 2013-01-05.
  8. ^ Peter Jenniskens. "CAMS". SETI Institute. Retrieved 2012-11-02.

External links

  • Bay Area Fireball, Oct. 17, 2012 (Animation of Robert P. Moreno Jr images)
  • Bob Moreno images of meteor just outside Santa Rosa (ABC 17 Oct 2012)
  • CAMS News blog (CAMS is an automated video surveillance of the night sky in search of meteors to validate minor showers in the IAU Working List of Meteor Showers)
  • Meteorite Hunt (Jason Utas)
  • Findings from the Strewn-field (Bob Verish)