2012 the Year of Meteorite Falls!
The year 2012 saw a new record set for most meteorite falls in a
single year in the 21st century. I started keeping detailed records of
every new meteorite fall that is recovered or reported by reliable
sources. Some of these have not been officially approved by the
Meteoritical Society yet, but that is not unusual.
In 2012, eleven (11) new meteorite falls fit the above criteria to be
included on my list. Prior to 2012, the most falls in a single 21st
century year (since 2000), was ten falls in 2008.
On average, since the year 2000, we have averaged about 5 recovered
meteorite falls per year that are either officially accepted by the
Meteoritical Society or verified by reliable sources (such as the 2008
Zunhua meteorite fall, which has not been officially approved yet, but
is a meteorite nonetheless).
The first verified fall of 2012 was a few days before Valentine's Day
on February 11, 2012. This was the so-called "XINING-Huangzhong"meteorite,
which has not been officially approved yet, but was analyzed and is
likely an L6-chondrite.
About three weeks later, on March 01, 2012, the OSLO meteorite struck
a roof in Norway.
But, it was the April 22, 2012 spectacular SUTTER'S MILL meteorite
fall that took the meteorite world by storm. A rare sub-type of CM
carbonaceous chondrite, this celestial black gold showered over a
strewnfield that happened to be the birthing ground of the legendary
California Gold Rush. This one is arguably one of the most
scientifically-iimportant meteorites to fall since Tagish Lake.
Just a couple weeks later, an ordinary chondrite fell over the DIPLO
area of Pakistan. This event was overshadowed by the ongoing media
circus surrounding the recent Sutter's Mill fall.
People did pay attention on May 22nd, when a strange green achondrite
showered the KATOL area of India with fresh stones - at least of which
were reported to strike roofs and farmhouses. This weird meteorite is
unlike any seen before and preliminary testing points to an igneous
Again, roughly two weeks after the Katol fall, another meteorite fell
near COMAYAGUA Honduras on June 3, 2012. News of this fall was pushed
aside by the recent excitement and focus on the more
scientifically-significant Sutter's Mill and Katol falls.
Just five days later on June 8 2012, yet another meteorite fell over
JALANGI India. Like Comayagua, Jalangi is an ordinary chondrite.
On August 22, 2012, American meteorite hunters got excited when a fireball
showered meteorites over the remote area of BATTLE MOUNTAIN Nevada.
Strangely, Battle Mountain is one of only two meteorites from 2012 to
be officially approved by the Meteoritical Society (the other was
Sutter's Mill). Battle Mountain is an L6 chondrite.
The month of October was a very busy one in 2012 - the last three
verified meteorite falls of the year took place in October.
On October 12, 2012, a meteorite fell over a remote area of Morocco in
the High Atlas mountains. This meteorite has been called BENI YACOUB
and is likely to be an ordinary chondrite.
Five days later on October 17, 2012, a stony meteorite fragmented
above the NOVATO area of urban California - sending meteorite hunters
and local residents out into the streets to look for stones. One piece
reportedly hit a residential home.
Lastly, on the day before Halloween (October 30, 2012), the ADDISON
meteorite fell over the forests in south-central Alabama.
We averaged almost one recovered meteorite fall per month in 2012.
Part of that is due to new observation and tracking cooperation by
services like Galactic Analytics, doppler radar, internet
communication, and increased overall awareness of meteorites.
PS - we had another likely fall in Sri Lanka recently, but nothing has
been recovered yet as of this writing.
Let us hope that 2013 is a busy year as well. :)
Best regards and happy huntings,
Mike Gilmer, USA
2013 THE Year of Meteors and Comets!