Peekskill meteorite

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Peekskill meteorite
Peekskill meteorite in Museum of Natural History.jpg
Portion of the meteorite in the National Museum of Natural History
Type Stony-iron
Class H6
Group Monomict breccia
Composition 20% nickel-iron
Country United States
Region Peekskill, New York
Coordinates 41°17′11″N 73°54′59″W / 41.28639°N 73.91639°W / 41.28639; -73.91639Coordinates: 41°17′11″N 73°54′59″W / 41.28639°N 73.91639°W / 41.28639; -73.91639
Observed fall Yes
Fall date 1992-10-09
TKW 12 kilograms (26 lb)

The Peekskill meteorite is among the most historic meteorite events on record.[1] Sixteen separate video recordings document the meteorite burning through the Earth's atmosphere, whereupon it struck a parked car in Peekskill, New York.[2] Peekskill is an H6 monomict breccia;[3] its filigreed texture is the result of the shocking and heating following the impact of two asteroids in outer space.[4] The meteorite is of the stony variety and approximately 20% of its mass is tiny flakes of nickel-iron.[5] When it struck Earth, the meteorite weighed 26 pounds (12 kg) and measured one foot (0.30 m) in diameter. The Peekskill meteorite is estimated to be 4.4 billion years old.[6]


The meteorite fell on October 9, 1992 – an event witnessed by thousands across the East Coast. Numerous residents of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. described the "huge greenish fireball."[7] The meteorite broke up over Kentucky and passed over West Virginia and Pennsylvania on its north-northeast trajectory before striking a parked 1980 red Chevy Malibu at approximately 7:50 pm EDT. After traveling through space at a cosmic velocity of 8.8 miles per second (14 km/s), the speed of the meteorite at impact had slowed to 164 miles per hour (264 km/h).[8]


As the meteorite fell on a Friday evening, its descent was captured on video by many high school football fans taping local games. The descent was captured by 16 different cameras. Only a handful of meteorite falls have been caught on film —and only the 2013 Russian meteor event has been captured from more angles and localities. The multiple perspectives provided scientists with the ability to calculate the meteorite's flight path to Earth.[9]


After it smashed through the trunk of her Chevy Malibu, 17-year old Michelle Knapp retrieved the meteorite, after which it was sold to a consortium of three dealers for more than $69,000.[10] Today, small specimens of Peekskill sell for approximately $125 per gram. The car, as well as the main mass of the meteorite (which weighs 890 grams), are currently in the Macovich Collection of Meteorites.[11] Additional specimens of the meteorite can be found in Chicago's Field Museum, the American National History Museum, and the Smithsonian.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Norton, Richard (1998). Rocks from Space. Missoula, Montana: Mountain Press Publishing Company. pp. 85–87. 
  2. ^ Beech, Martin. "The Peekskill Meteorite and Fireball". University of Regina, Canada. Retrieved 2012-06-20. 
  3. ^ "The Meteoritical Bulletin - MB75". The Meteoritical Society. 
  4. ^ "Peekskill". Montreal Planetarium. 
  6. ^ "Historic Meteorites and Related Americana - October 2007". Bonhams Auction House. 
  7. ^ "Peekskill". The Montreal Planetarium. 
  8. ^ Norton, Richard. Rocks from Space. 
  9. ^ Beech, Martin. "The Peekskill Meteorite and Fireball". University of Regina, Canada. 
  10. ^ Norton, Richard. Rocks from Space. 
  11. ^ "The Macovich Collection of Meteorites". 

External links[edit]

All in French.