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Cornell Department of Astronomy & Space Sciences Spring 2021 Colloquium Series

Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Virtual Event

"Meteorite recovery from observed fireballs: Whence come they?"

Abstract: The first recovered meteorites from observed fireballs, at Pribram (1959), Lost City (1970), and Innisfree (1977), confirmed that most meteorites that fall on Earth originate from the main asteroid belt. With enough of such observations, we hope to tell from where in the belt come our different meteorite types. Camera technology has greatly improved and video and digital still cameras are ever more widespread. The number of recovered meteorites from observed fireballs has risen now to over 40. Each recovery is studied by a meteorite consortium to determine its type and collision history. Each case study adds a dab of paint to the geologic picture of the asteroid belt. Among the most recent studies is our successful recovery of meteorites in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana, frequented by big animals, from an asteroid that was seen in space before impacting Earth. This is only the second such recovery, after the impact of asteroid 2008 TC3 over Sudan ten years earlier.

Dial-In Information

The colloquia are held every Thursday afternoon 4-5 pm. The public is welcome. To view via Zoom, please contact Monica Carpenter ( or Jason Jennings ( for the link.

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Contact Name

Monica Carpenter

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Peter Jenniskens

Speaker Affiliation

SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center

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