Official Name: Peekskill is the name of the city where the meteorite fell.

Location: In front of 201 Wells Street in Peekskill, New York, USA. Peekskill is located 40 kilometres north of New York City.

Fall or Find: Fall

Date: 9 October 1992, 7:50 p.m. local time.

Mass Recovered: 12.6 kilograms of meteoritic matter were collected.

Number of Fragments: A single stone of 12.4 kilograms was recovered. A few fragments, totaling 200 grams, broke off when it hit the ground.

Crater: Peekskill made a hole 15 centimetres deep in the pavement.

The red spot on Peekskill's fusion crust matches the paint on the car that it hit.

Photograph of Peekskill's spectacular fragmentation.

Circumstances: The greenish fireball, brighter than the full moon, was observed in the eastern United States. The fireball was traveling almost horizontally, heading northeast, and lasted some forty seconds. Spectators attending different football matches stopped watching the players to admire the spectacle in the sky. In the stands, some of the people with cameras filmed the luminous phenomenon. The fireball broke into more than 70 pieces, several of which were large enough and fast enough to produce their own glowing trails. Witnesses heard a series of sonic booms. After traveling 700 kilometres through the atmosphere and crossing four states, the rock hit the car of Michelle Knapp, which was parked in front of her house. Fireball meets sedan! The young woman hurried out of the house when she heard the crash. She discovered the trunk of her car twisted and battered, with a hole in it. A black rock weighing over 12 kilograms lay under the car, embedded in the asphalt.

Analysis of videos of the fireball suggests that Peekskill was a multiple fall. The videos show dozens of fragments falling, and two main masses are still clearly visible at the end of the trajectory. This means that other rocks may have landed in Peekskill or the surrounding area. So far, none of Peekskill's traveling companions have been found.

History: The meteorite was sold to collectors, but what happened to the old car? The 1980 Malibu Chevy was not worth more than $300 (US), but because the car was the only one in the world to have been hit by a meteorite, a man paid $10 000 to add it to his collection. The car then went on a world tour. It was exhibited in Paris, Munich, Tokyo, and other major cities of the world.

The car that the meteorite hit, on display outside the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, France.

Front page of the Peekskill Herald a few days after the fall. The spectacular fall of the Peekskill meteorite received a lot of media attention.

Type: Stony meteorite

Class: Ordinary chondrite

Group: H6

Composition: Peekskill has a unique texture: it is composed of fragments cemented in a fine-grained matrix. The heat emitted during the collision of two asteroids is responsible for this internal structure. The chondrules in this meteorite are impossible to see, due to alteration by the heat.

Scientific contribution: The sixteen videos of the fireball-taken in various cities in the northeastern United States-made it possible to determine the trajectory and the orbit of the meteoroid. The point of the orbit furthest from the Sun was situated near the inner edge of the asteroid belt, about twice the distance that the Earth is from the Sun.

Comments: Peekskill is one of the few meteorites whose orbit is precisely known.

Part of the Planétarium's collection: Yes


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Credits.  Last Modified: 2005-09-30