On October 9, 1992, thousands of people in the Eastern United States witnessed a bright fireball and heard sonic booms as the fireball passed through the Earth's atmosphere. A 12.4-kg mass crashed the Chevrolet Malibou of Mrs. Michelle Knapp at 207 Wells Street in Peekskill, NY. The meteorite penetrated all the way through the trunk of the car, barely missing the gas tank.
The events surrounding the fall of the Peekskill meteorite are quite remarkable. Not only did the meteorite announce its arrival by hitting a parked car in suburban Peekskill, New York, but also the fireball that proceeded the fall of the meteorite was videographed by at least 16 independent videographers. This gave scientists a rare opportunity to study the physics of meteorite falls.
Eyewitness accounts indicate that the fireball associated with the Peekskill meteorite first appeared over West Virginia at 23:48. The fireball, which traveled in an approximately northeasterly direction had a pronounced greenish color, and attained an estimated peak visual magnitude of - 13 (comparable to the Full Moon). During a luminous flight time that exceeded 40 seconds the fireball covered a ground path of some 700 to 800 km.
The meteorite recovered was subsequently identified as an H6 monomict breccia meteorite. The video record suggests that the Peekskill meteorite probably had several companions, however, given the fireball's shallow angle of trajectory the fall ellipse is large. This fact coupled with the harsh terrain that surrounds the Peekskill area would suggest that the recovery of related fragments is unlikely.
Both the Chevy Malibu and the Peekskill meteorite were held at auction and Michelle Knapp was awarded $25,000 and $75,000 respectively.
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