Andrade, M., Docobo, J. Á., García-Guinea, J., Campo, P. P., Tapia, M., Sánchez-Muñoz, L., Villasante-Marcos, V., Peña-Asensio, E., Trigo-Rodríguez, J. M., Ibáñez-Insa, J., Campeny, M., & Llorca, J. (2022). The Traspena meteorite: Heliocentric orbit, atmospheric trajectory, strewn field, and petrography of a new L5 ordinary chondrite. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, stac2911.


The Traspena meteorite fell on 18 January 2021, about 20 km southeast of the city of Lugo (Galiza, Spain), shortly after a huge and bright fireball crossed the sky for 4.84 seconds. Astrometric measurements obtained from the fireball cameras of the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (USC), as well as from many casual videos were used to determine the atmospheric trajectory of this meteoroid which penetrated the atmosphere and generated sound waves that were detected at three seismic stations. The original meteoroid had a diameter of about 1.15 m and a mass around 2620 kg. It impacted the Earth’s atmosphere with a steep entry angle of about 76.7 from a height of 75.10 km until fading away at 15.75 km with a velocity of 2.38 km s−1. Before the impact, this small asteroid was orbiting the Sun with a semimajor axis of 1.125 au, a moderate eccentricity of 0.386 and a low inclination of 4.55. A weak evidence of dynamic link with the PHA (Potential Hazardous Asteroid) Minos was investigated. During the atmospheric entry, two major fragmentation events occurred between heights of 35 and 29 km at aerodynamic pressures between 1 and 5 MPa. The strewn field was computed after calculating the individual dark flights of the main body along with two smaller fragments. Fortunately, two months after the fireball, a 527 g meteorite was found. It was examined using several geochemical and petrographic analyses which allowed us to classify it as a moderately shocked (S3) L5 ordinary chondrite with a bulk density of 3.25 g cm−3.

Original article

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