Last week on April 27, posts about a fireball seen over parts of the southern U.S. began taking over social media. People reported loud booms and bright lights, and they submitted their reports to the American Meteor Society’s fireball tracking website. Then, just three days later, meteorite hunters began finding the fragments of the fireball on the ground.
Fireball researcher Eric Rasmussen looked over weather radar data recorded at the time of the explosion and discovered a cloud that appeared and disappeared at the end of the fireball’s path. Meteorite expert Marc Fries was brought in, and they determined that the cloud was evidence of the meteorites actually landing.
On April 30, Marc and his wife Linda set out on a short road trip to the possible site, and during the afternoon, she found the first fragment. Marc found another, and they were only two of the meteorites recovered prior to rainstorms over the weekend.
Now that more meteorite hunters have joined the search, at least three more fragments have been found. Unfortunately, much of the fall seems to have occurred over a densely wooded area, so the meteorites located have been near the roads. And from the looks of the meteorites, they are ordinary chondrites.
Congratulations to all those lucky meteorite hounds. Enjoy your space rocks!
AMS press release