The meteorite of Barcelona (1704): History, discovery, and classification

1,2Jordi Llorca,3,4Marc Campeny,5Neus Ibáñez,6David Allepuz,7Josep Maria Camarasa,8Josep Aurell‐Garrido
Meteoritics & Planetary Science (in Press) Link to Article []

1Institute of Energy Technologies, Department of Chemical Engineering, Barcelona, Research Center in Multiscale Science and Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, EEBE, Eduard Maristany 10‐14, E‐08019 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
2Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Carrer del Carme 47, E‐08001 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
3Departament de Mineralogia, Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona, Passeig Picasso s/n, E‐08003 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
4Departament de Mineralogia, Petrologia i Geologia Aplicada, Universitat de Barcelona, Martí i Franquès s/n, E‐08028 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
5Botanic Institute of Barcelona, IBB, CSIC‐Ajuntament de Barcelona, Passeig del Migdia s/n, E‐08038 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
6Sant Julià de Vilatorta Observatory, E‐08514 Sant Julià de Vilatorta, Catalonia, Spain
7Seminari d’Història de la Ciència Joan Francesc Bahí. Fundació Carl Faust. Passeig Carles Faust, 9. E‐17300 Blanes, Catalonia, Spain
8Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Columnes s/n, Campus de la UAB, E‐08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Catalonia, Spain
Published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons

On Christmas Day 1704, at 17 h (UT), a meteorite fell in Terrassa (about 25 km NW of Barcelona). The meteorite fall was seen and heard by many people over an area of several hundred kilometers and it was recorded in several historical sources. In fact, it was interpreted as a divine sign and used for propaganda purposes during the War of the Spanish Succession. Although it was believed that meteorite fragments were never preserved, here we discuss the recent discovery of two fragments (49.8 and 33.7 g) of the Barcelona meteorite in the Salvador Cabinet collection (Botanic Institute of Barcelona). They are very well preserved and partially covered by a fresh fusion crust, which suggests a prompt recovery, shortly after the fall. Analysis of the fragments has revealed that the Barcelona meteorite is an L6 ordinary chondrite. These fragments are among the oldest historical meteorites preserved in the world.


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