Meteorites in the United States

Finds & Falls

According to the data base of the Meteoritical Society, 1671 verified meteorites have been found in the United States (finds + falls as of April, 2013). Below is a map depicting how many are from each state.

Many of the meteorites were found as multiple stones, sometimes years apart. The total number of individual stones is not known but is probably several times the number of meteorites. (By convention, if a meteoroid breaks apart in the atmosphere or when it hits the earth, all the fragments are considered a single meteorite with one name.)

The earliest find is Havana, an iron meteorite that was found by native Americans in prehistoric times and made into beads. The beads were later found in the Dickson Mounds archaeological site near Havana, Illinois, in the 1940's.

Bottom line: Only 1671 meteorites have been found and verified in the U.S. in the past 206 years. That's 7.6 per year.

Falls

There have been 154 observed and recovered meteorite falls in the U.S. in the past 206 years. The first was Weston (Connecticut) in 1807.

Note that although there were fewer people and the country was less settled during the first 100 years, the number of falls from 1807 through 1906 (52) is not much less than the number of falls in the last 100 years, between 1913 and 2012 (89).

Masses

The histogram below shows the distribution of meteorite masses for the 1663 U.S. meteorites for which the mass is known. Masses range from 0.5 grams (0.02 oz) for Cuddeback Dry Lake 006 (H6) to ~30 metric tons for the many pieces of the Canyon Diablo iron. At 15.5 metric tons (34,000 lbs.), Willamette (an iron) is the largest single "stone."

The most common mass range for U.S. meteorites is 4-8 kg (9-19 lbs). Iron meteorites tend to be more massive than stony meteorites. Note that altough 22% of the meteorites from the U.S. are irons, mesosiderites, and pallasites, only 4% of the U.S. falls (6 of the 154) are irons, mesosiderites, and pallasites (5 irons and 1 mesosiderite).


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www.catchafallingstar.com

Prepared by
: Randy L. Korotev
  
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Washington University in St. Louis

  
Please don’t contact me about the meteorite
you think you've found until you read this and this
.

e-mail
korotev@wustl.edu

Last revised16-Jul-2013