Sylacauga (meteorite)

Sylacauga (meteorite)

Name= Sylacauga

Type= Chondrite
Class= Ordinary chondrite
Group= H4
Country= United States
Region= Alabama
Lat_Long= coord|33|11|18.1|N|86|17|40.2|W|display=inline,title
Observed_fall= Yes
Fall_date= 18:46 U.T. on November 30, 1954
TKW= 5.56 kg

The Sylacauga meteorite, often improperly [
] ] called "Hodges Meteorite", fell on November 30 1954 at 2:46pm (18:46 U.T.) [ H. Povenmire. "The Sylacauga, Alabama Meteorite: The Impact Locations, Atmosphere Trajectory, Strewn Field and Radiant"] . H.Povenmire. Abstracts of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, volume 26, page 1133, (1995)] on the town of Sylacauga, Alabama. The event received worldwide publicity due the exceptional circumstances of fall: a fragment of Sylacauga, later called the Hodges meteorite, hit a woman.


The meteor made a fireball visible from three states as it streaked through the atmosphere, even though it fell early in the afternoon.


Upon the entry within the atmosphere it fragmented in at least 3 pieces:
# Hodges fragment (3.86 kg - 33°11'18.1" N, 86°17'40.2" W) that crashed through the roof of a frame house in Oak Grove and injuried Ann Elizabeth Hodges (1923-1972) on the left hip. It is the only documented extraterrestrial object to have struck a human being.
# McKinney fragment (1.68 kg - 33°13'08.4" N, 86°17'20.7" W) found on the next day
# a third fragment is believed to have impact somewhere near Childersburg (few km northwest from Oak Grove)


The Sylacauga meteorite is classified as an ordinary chondrite of H4 group.


The meteoroid came in on the sunward side of the Earth, so when hit our planet it had passed the perihelion and was travelling outward from the Sun. Considering the orbit estimations, the best candidate as parent body is 1685 Toro.


External links and references

* [ "The Sylacauga, Talladega County, Alabama, Aerolite".] Swindel, G.W. & Jones, W.B. - Journal: Meteoritics, volume 1, number 2, page 125.
* [ University of Alabama News: 50th Anniversary of Hodges Meteorite]
* [ Alabama Museum of Natural History: Hodges Meteorite]
* [ The Birmingham News: A star really did fall on Alabama]
* [ The Decatur Daily (online edition): A star fell on Sylacauga] November 30, 2006.

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