Novato meteorite

The Novato meteorite is an ordinary chondrite which entered the earth's atmosphere and broke up over Northern California at 19:44 Pacific Time on 17 October 2012. The falling bolide created a bright fireball and sonic booms and fragmented into smaller pieces as the intense friction of passing through the atmosphere heated it and absorbed its kinetic energy.[2] The meteoroid was about 35 centimeters (14 in) across.[3]

Novato meteorite
Peter Jenniskens meteor trajectory. Six fragments have been found in Novato, California. More massive 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) fragments may have fallen near Sonoma with any 10 kilograms (22 lb) fragments possibly falling near Yountville / St. Helena. This trajectory estimate may be inaccurate.
ClassOrdinary chondrite
Shock stageS4
Weathering gradeW0/1
Coordinates38°06′N 122°36′W / 38.1°N 122.6°W / 38.1; -122.6Coordinates: 38°06′N 122°36′W / 38.1°N 122.6°W / 38.1; -122.6[1]
Observed fallYes
Fall date17 October 2012
Found date20 October 2012
TKW~363 grams (6 recovered)[1]
Strewn fieldYes
Alternative namesMill Valley
Commons page Related media on Wikimedia Commons


The first fragment of the meteorite (N01) was recovered by Lisa Webber on 20 October after reading a story in the San Francisco Chronicle that described the NASA/CAMS meteor trajectory predicting a fall area in the North Bay.[4] Lisa recalled hearing a sound on her roof the night of the meteor and went outside and located a 62 gram stone. Analysis of fragment N01 by Dr. Alan Rubin came back as a L6 breccia.[5]

The second fragment was found by Brien Cook on 22 October (66 grams) and the third fragment was found by Jason Utas on 27 October (79 grams).[1][6] The largest fragment recovered as of 5 November 2012 is N04 at 96 grams found by Robert Verish on 27 October.[7] A fifth stone (N05) weighing 24 grams was found by Jason Utas on November 2.[6] A sixth stone (N06) weighing 23.7 grams was found by the Kane family on November 11.[7] More massive 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) fragments may have fallen near Sonoma with any 10 kilograms (22 lb) fragments possibly falling near Yountville.[8]

This was the second significant meteorite in California in 2012, the first being the Sutter's Mill meteorite.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Peter Jenniskens. "The Impact and Recovery of the Novato Meteorite". SETI Institute. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  2. ^ Mike Hankey. "Massive Fireball Over California Coast – October 17th, 2012". American Meteor Society. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  3. ^ Elizabeth Howell (2014-08-19). "Roof-Crashing Meteorite Linked to Giant Impact that Made the Moon". Retrieved 2014-08-21.
  4. ^ Clara Moskowitz (2012-10-22). "Meteorite from Recent Fireball Hit Roof of N. California Home". Scientific American. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  5. ^ [1] Buseman, H.; Clay, P.L.; Jenniskens, P.; Meier, M.M.M.; Wieler, R. "Noble Gases in the Light and Dark Phase of a Meteorite Found in Novato, California". MAPS. 76th Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting (2013). Retrieved on 2013-12-01.
  6. ^ a b Jason Utas. "Expedition: Novato, California". Retrieved 2013-12-01.
  7. ^ a b Bob Verish. "Findings from the Strewn-field". Retrieved 2013-01-05.
  8. ^ Peter Jenniskens. "CAMS". SETI Institute. Retrieved 2012-11-02.

External linksEdit