Quartzite, Arizona, USA – Thursday, December 28, 2023, 7:40 PM local time, A meteor fireball was observed heading southwest at 14 km/s, and ending at a height of 26 km above the ground. Meteorites have been recovered from this event! Also, Doppler data is availabl! See details below.
Early reports indicated that the meteorites may have fallen on the Colorado River Reservation land, which is off limits to meteorite hunters. However, later data analysis revealed that most of the meteorites should have fallen on Arizona BLM land, which is accessible to meteorite hunters without a permit. Use caution when hunting this fall, and as always, respect private property and local laws.
On January 5th, experienced meteorite hunter Sonny Clary reported on Facebook that he and Terry Scott found 3 stony meteorites from the December 29th fireball, weighing 25.5, 70.5, and a main mass of 350 grams! The find locations have not been shared.
Facebook Post by experienced meteorite hunter, Sonny Clary
Congratulations to Sonny and Terry on some beautiful fresh chondrites! (Strewnify takes no credit for these finds, as they were found before our maps were released.)
For more information on this and other falls, join the discussion on social media, by clicking the links below:
News and Video
StrewnLAB Maps & Doppler Data
I was contacted by one of our VIP members to review this event and found that it was captured by the NASA ASGARD camera network. I reviewed this data, along with AMS video data, to confirm the NASA trajectory and the trajectory solution was run through the StrewnLAB software to predict the search area shown below. Please download and review the Google Earth files below for detailed maps of the search area.
Doppler data has been found for this event! The Quartzsite area is on the edge of 3 different NEXRAD station ranges, so it is not ideal for Doppler detection of meteorites, and it would be reasonable to expect that the Doppler did not catch all of the falling meteorites.
Google Earth Files:
UPDATE 2024-01-06 05:06Z – V2 – same trajectory, but more precision from longer simulation and non-stony masses filtered out, based on Sonny’s find pictures.
UPDATE 2024-01-12 05:11Z – V4 – updated trajectory based on analysis of videos from Kingman and Phoenix. The search area shifted a few miles to the west and less precise (larger area), but the confidence is much higher. The NASA trajectory used earlier was low confidence data, based on far away cameras with little separation.
UPDATE 2024-01-12 17:50Z – V5 – Minor changes to the trajectory and increased precision, based on Doppler data.
Doppler Data & Mass Zones
Doppler data is available for this fall and they are very consistent with the Strewnify mapped search area. The Doppler hits are exported as a single polygon and the mass zones are exported as example masses, representing the center of that mass zone. Both are available as a KMZ file for Google Earth import.
The author and founder of Strewnify.com, an automotive controls engineer, with a passion for physics.
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