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The Mbale meteorite showerOn 1992 August 14 at 12:40 UTC, an ordinary chondrite of type L5/6 entered the atmosphere over Mbale, Uganda, broke up, and caused a strewn field of size 3 x 7 km. Shortly after the fall, an expedition gathered eye witness accounts and located the position of 48 impacts of masses between 0.19 and 27.4 kg. Short-lived radionuclide data were measured for two specimens, one of which was only 12 days after the fall. Subsequent recoveries of fragements has resulted in a total of 863 mass estimates by 1993 October. The surfaces of all fragments contain fusion crust. The meteorite shower caused some minor inconveniences. Most remarkably, a young boy was hit on the head by a small specimen. The data interpreted as to indicate that the meteorite had an initial mass between 400-1000 kg (most likely approximately 1000 kg) and approached Mbale from AZ = 185 +/- 15, H = 55 +/- 15, and V(sub infinity) = 13.5 +/- 1.5/s. Orbital elements are given. Fragmentation of the initial mass started probably above 25 km altitude, but the final catastrophic breakup occurred at an altitude of 10-14 km. An estimated 190 +/- 40 kg reached the Earth's surface minutes after the final breakup of which 150 kg of material has been recovered.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Jenniskens, Peter (NASA Ames Research Center Moffet Field, CA, United States)
Betlem, Hans (Dutch Meteor Society Leiden, Netherlands)
Betlem, Jan (Dutch Meteor Society Leiden, Netherlands)
Barifaijo, Erasmus (Makere Univ. Kampala, Uganda)
Schluter, Thomas (Makere Univ. Kampala, Uganda)
Hampton, Craig (Makere Univ. Kampala, Uganda)
Laubenstien, Matthias (Max-Planck-Institut fuer Kernphysik Heidelberg, Germany)
Kunz, Joachim (Max-Planck-Institut fuer Kernphysik Heidelberg, Germany)
Heusser, Gerd (Max-Planck-Institut fuer Kernphysik Heidelberg, Germany)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
March 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: Meteoritics
Volume: 29
Issue: 2
ISSN: 0026-1114
Subject Category
Distribution Limits