February 24, 2024


Meteorite Strewn Field Maps, News, and Reports

Quartzsite, Arizona, USA

1 min read

Photo Credit: Sonny Clary, Facebook

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.

Rating:Class A
Entry Date/Time:2023-12-29 02:40 UTC
End Location:20km North of Quartzsite, AZ
Endpoint Coordinates:33.882945°N, 114.2671855°W
Energy / Mass Estimate:~2 tonne TNT / ~100kg
Entry Speed:13.5 km/s
End Height:26.2 km
Bearing Angle:237.5 °SW
Incidence Angle:36.8° from vertical
Estimated Strewn Mass:<33 kg
TKW:446 grams
Main Mass350 grams
Event Links:AMS Event 8283-2023

Meteorites Found!

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.)

Please be aware that parts of this fall zone may cross into Colorado River Reservation land, which is OFF LIMITS to meteorite hunters. Use caution when hunting, and as always, respect private property and local laws.

For Arizona Land Use Maps, visit the Arizona State Trust Land Parcel Viewer

For more information on this and other falls, join the discussion on social media, by clicking the links below:

Join the discussion on Discord!

Join the Strewnify Europe Facebook group

News and Video

A few videos were submitted to the American Meteor Society site.

Video from Arizona City, posted to AMS by © DMO

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.

Quartzsite is on the edge of 3 NEXRAD station ranges

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.

Most of the strewn field is located just east of the Colorado River Reservation
StrewnLAB V5 – the center of the search area runs just south of Cyprus Mine Road, west of Arizona State Route 95, 13 miles north of Quartzite

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.

Critical Search Area V5 – Two Doppler polygons were located for this event, the 1.36 sweep hit (left) would be at 5790m and the 0.53 sweep hit (right) would be at 3490m. There was very little wind below 5000 meters, so no wind drift correction is needed.
Mass Zones are available as individual layers in the KMZ file above

Weather Data

The weather data below is sourced from weather balloons, and publicly available via NOAA’s Integrated Global Radiosonde Archive (IGRA). This data is downloaded and post-processed by the StrewnLAB algorithm, to account for changing weather patterns and weather balloon drift. The plots have altitude on the y-axis, in kilometers above sea level. The wind speed below 10km has large effect onthe drift of meteorites.

Moderate winds from the northwest pushed the meteorites south of the path
Like our content? Take a second to Join Team Strewnify on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *