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Meteorites in the United States

Finds & Falls

According to the data base of the Meteoritical Society, 1821 meteorites have been found and verified in the United States (finds + falls) from 1807 through April, 2019. 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 1821 meteorites have been found and verified in the U.S. in the past 212 years. That's 8.6 per year.

Falls

There have been 156 observed and recovered meteorite falls in the U.S. in the past 212 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 (56) is not much less than the number of falls in the last 100 years, between 1919 and 2018 (95).

Masses

The histogram below shows the distribution of meteorite masses for the 1813 U.S. meteorites for which the mass is known (April 16, 2019). 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 although 21% of the meteorites from the U.S. are irons, mesosiderites, and pallasites, only 4% of the U.S. falls (6 of the 163) are irons, mesosiderites, and pallasites (5 irons and 1 mesosiderite).


Back to Some Meteorite Information

 


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 revised:  16 April 2019