Murrili meteorite’s fall and recovery from Kati Thanda

1Eleanor K. Sanson et al. (>10)
Meteoritics & Planetary Science (in Press) Link to Article []
1School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Curtin University, Bentley, Western Australia, 6102 Australia
Published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons

On November 27, 2015, at 10:43:45.526 UTC, a fireball was observed across South Australia by 10 Desert Fireball Network observatories lasting 6.1 s. An ~37 kg meteoroid entered the atmosphere with a speed of 13.68 ± 0.09 km s−1 and was observed ablating from a height of 85 km down to 18 km, having slowed to 3.28 ± 0.21 km s−1. Despite the relatively steep 68.5° trajectory, strong atmospheric winds significantly influenced the darkflight phase and the predicted fall line, but the analysis put the fall site in the center of Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre South. Kati Thanda has meters‐deep mud under its salt‐encrusted surface. Reconnaissance of the area where the meteorite landed from a low‐flying aircraft revealed a 60 cm circular feature in the muddy lake, less than 50 m from the predicted fall line. After a short search, which again employed light aircraft, the meteorite was recovered on December 31, 2015 from a depth of 42 cm. Murrili is the first recovered observed fall by the digital Desert Fireball Network (DFN). In addition to its scientific value, connecting composition to solar system context via orbital data, the recovery demonstrates and validates the capabilities of the DFN, with its next generation remote observatories and automated data reduction pipeline.


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