Mo Hawk Meteorite in Warren County?

Missouri Hawks Hang Gliding Club

Mo Hawk Meteorite in Warren County?

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:08 am

I just heard about this on a local San Diego station. It looks like there's a history of meteorites landing in or near the town of Warrenton in Warren County, Mo.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Scientists think there may be meteorites in this Missouri pasture.
The hunt is on

By Erin Heffernan St. Louis Post-Dispatch
November 14, 2019

WARREN COUNTY — Dozens of cattle lifted their heads to stare when a Jeep full of cosmochemists pulled into a far-flung Missouri pasture just after 8 a.m. Wednesday.

The Washington University space researchers piled out of the car and surveyed the sprawling field in front of them. It was covered in a thin layer of snow and dotted by cow pies. But it also had, just maybe, a few meteorites hidden in its acres.

The scientists used NASA weather radar data to find this spot about 70 miles west of St. Louis and were almost certain that chunks of a fireball that blazed bright across the region’s sky on Monday fell somewhere within a few miles of this pasture.

The pieces — likely the size of a ping pong ball, the shape and color of black rocks — could be anywhere in the area, the scientists knew.

Nan Liu, a physics professor originally from China who studies stardust, squinted and looked into the distance.

“This is going to take a long time,” she said.

Though the odds were against them, the scientific value could be great, said Ryan Ogliore, whose research at Washington University in part takes information gleaned from meteorites to study some fundamental questions about the history of the solar system — like what causes the spread of water between celestial bodies in order to make them fit for life.

The group also included French postdoctoral researcher Lionel Vacher, his wife, Julie, and their spotted dog, Irko.

“Maybe he will smell it out,” Vacher said, nodding toward the eager dog. After studying meteorites for months, Vacher saw the bright flash of the meteor Monday while walking Irko.

Without much fanfare, the four scientists headed into the field. Ogliore jogged ahead to look for signs of anything big, while the other three tromped through the field scanning the ground.

Chances are the meteorite would be the most common type, known as chondrite, but the orbit of the meteor meant there was a small possibility it could even be a piece of Mars fallen to earth.

“We’re spending billions on missions to get samples from Mars and it’s possible a piece of the planet could have fallen here in this cow pasture,” Ogliore said.

Here's an article from a search:

Warrenton meteorite, Warren Co., Missouri, USA

Carbonaceous Chondrite [CO3.7; S1; W0]
Fall, 3 January 1877

With an accompanying loud whistling sound, a large stone (~45 kg) struck a tree and broke into pieces. Unfortunately most of the material has since been lost. Warrenton is one of only 6 observed CO (Ornans-like) chondrites falls. Moreover, only two petrologic type CO3.7 meteorites (moderately metamorphosed) are known.

The CO chemical group of carbonaceous chondrites are defined by elemental and isotopic ratios and the COs are further distinguished by their small chondrules (usually Olivine-rich) and abundant refractory inclusions. Warrenton’s original complement of such inclusions has been altered. For example, original high temperature Hibonite and Perovskite were largely - if not entirely - replaced on some original homeworld. Nevertheless, Warren’s remaining 1.6 kg contains sufficient ancient refractory inclusions to continue as an occasional object of current scientific research.
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Bob Kuczewski
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