The Impactful History of Novato's Asteroid Fragments

Aug 19, 2014

The rock found by Lisa Webber: the Novato meteorite numbered N1. Scale is in inches.
Credit CAMS

  The small meteor fragments that burned across the North Bay night sky 22 months ago apparently originated in the huge planetary collision in which our moon was formed, some four and a half billion years ago.

This map, prepared by Dr. Peter Jenniskens and the SETI research staff, traced the path of the falling fireball, giving meteorite hunters direction and focus for their search. Jenniskens thinks there may be more surviving fragments, but as they probably fell in rural area, he doubts they are likely to be found.
Credit CAMS

Because the falling meteorite happened to pass through the range where his cameras were focused and recording, SET's Dr. Peter Jenniskens was able to predict its path as it dispersed and came to Earth, and calculate it's far longer trajectory on the way into our atmosphere.

The meteorite fell in early evening, through clear skies, which made it highly visible, Dr. Jenniskens notes. And a quick-acting Santa Rosa man was able to capture unprecedented images of its disintegration, one of which can be seen below.

The October 17, 2012, Novato meteorite fall in images taken from Santa Rosa by Robert P. Moreno, Jr., compliation by J. Albers and P. Jenniskens
Credit CAMS