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Hi Mark sounds very strong to me that 3 different towers see the same thing I am getting ready to go. How do you estimate a ground path? Also what is the direction East to West? Not sure if you can tell who you are talking with or not, My name is Mike Miller. Thanks
The bolide traveled east to west, leaving sonic booms in its wake to the east of the fall area. The fall area should be directly underneath the radar returns. I’ll try to refine that with winds-aloft data, but I’m pretty swamped at the moment.
fantastic work–anyone even thinking of going should have this printed off.Wish I was in U.S.
very best of luck to all hunters.
Hello Mike! Nice to meet you yesterday. Don’t forget to send me your story about your prison experience hunting for meteors in foreign countries…and watch out for those rattlesnakes in the Sierra Foothills. They are a real danger.
I think you mean Mike Farmer…? Different “MF” – I’m Marc Fries. heh
The link to the download the overlay is hacked and loads a Rouge AV on your computer. Remove the link!!!
Damn. Okay; I’ve removed the link and will fix it ASAP.
excellent feedback, When I find a few I will send you one!
Mike – I was serious about the link to download the overlay had a virus. You may not be intentionally putting out viruses, but some file sharing service you are using appears to be or some advertising is. I would host that overlay somewhere else. BTW – I’m going out hunting today. I live in Rocklin, CA about 35 mins from the First Appearance location. Hope we don’t run into any rattlesnakes!
The links have been removed, and I’ll sort out an alternate hosting source.
I’m still not “Mike”, though
My buddy found a Google Earth link. Is this yours? Or accurate?
Never mind the above question
Follow up to the above///
Is this your Google Earth Map?
Thanks – this is great data! The only location in the Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sutter%27s_Mill_meteorite) is the original estimate based on the infrasound data, and I suspect it is tens of miles off (being based on observing stations hundreds of miles away). Can you provide some coordinates for the big bursts you’ve identified, or a safe new location for your google earth file (a kml file?)?
Im here now, hunting for the next few days and two days ago I knew nothing about hunting these things, thanks alot, hopefully i find something. i’ll be back if I do.
” the media has completely ignored the fact that weather radar data was used to locate this meteorite fall in the first place. How annoying! … What annoys me is that I could potentially turn media attention into traction towards getting this work funded. That funding, in turn, would afford me the time to dramatically improve the quality and timeliness of the kinds of radar data analysis that you see on this page.”
You are absolutely right, Marc!
Thanks a lot on behalf of many of us who deeply appreciate the work you have done.
Your data were much appreciated in the German meteorite forum.
Keep up the great work!!
I have found an 11 gram meteorite and was asked to come to this site and report the location. How do I go about doing that?
try to find the exact GPS data of the find location,
use Google Maps or Google Earth to find them if necessary.
treatment and storage of found specimen:
- avoid hand contact to avoid contamination
- keep it in a dry place
- carefully store it double bagged in polyethylene bags
contact Peter Jenniskens immediately and report this find:
Sorry, this is the right email address:
Tel: 1 (650) 810 0216
This gives me an idea. If anyone wants to send me data on their finds, I will post it on a map here. That way it is available for everyone to plan their hunt with. I’ll update the post….
I have already contacted Peter. He was the one that met my son (6) and showed him the meteorite they found Sunday. With that inspiration we started hunting. I had no expectation of finding anything, I was just happy to spend time with my son wondering through the grass and having time together. To find something was a huge surprise. I think my son may become addicted to this. I showed the meteorite to his kindergarten class mates at, of all places, Sutter’s Mill Elementary school, and he was beaming with pride. His last words to me at school this morning were ” Daddy, are we going hunting again after school?”
Thanks for your website and all the selfless work you do towards furthering the cause.
EDIT by Marc Fries (because WordPress won’t let me reply to a reply!) – Thank you for sharing! I love hearing about kids getting involved. This cosmic Easter egg hunt is the sort of thing that will make a lasting, positive impression. Good luck to you both!
hey marc me and a friend are heading up there today and i have a question … are the meteorites picked up by metal detectors ? if so what is the main element that they hit on ?
These are carbonaceous chondrites without significant metal – I wouldn’t rely on a metal detector to find them. Use your eyes, and look for dark rocks. Luckily y’all aren’t on a lava field or anything like that!
Paul, Most standard detectors will fail at seeing the meteorites but I have serious reservations in saying it’s a no go. Reason being is that I have one that let out a weak discrimination based ‘iron grunt’ after multiple additive type passes upon the little 5g that Mike Farmer had bought. Changing from standard coil to a shooter coil and upping the size of the intended target is very likely going to offer up the goods to the detectorist with the right equipment. That said, a rock that big is going to be plain as day to the eye unless your in the taller hay like areas up on the slopes away from brush and tree. Most the finds thus far are coming from either side of road, mowed grass, or under shaded bush/tree groves where they blend right in with the dried out manzanita leaves.
My husband and I are novice metal detectors and thinking about looking for some of the meteorites. Where’s a good place to stay near the meteorite area?
The area around Disneyland has alot of very nice places to stay
Thanks Joe! Appreciate your speedy reply.
BTW….. Disneyland is about an 8hr drive from the meteorite area near Coloma
Thanks Eric, but we have a travel trailer and will probably stay at the KOA near Placerville. Do you think there will still be meteorites to find in a couple weeks?
your son will certainly become addicted, like the rest of us. ;-)
Please, if you can, do not sell this specimen,
but keep it for your son as a one-of-a-lifetime find.
You found something that money can’t buy: a very rare meteorite you found together with your son.
It’s his unique ‘childhood meteorite’ and he should keep it safe for the rest of his life.
He will appreciate it more and more in the years to come.
Hi Mr. Fries, Great work…It seems the trajectory has changed a little bit. It appears it’s higher over Folsom Lake….Does everyone agree the path seems more toward Rocklin? I have access to a private property not far from the BLM Greenwood creek access. Would you folks agree below the BLM land around Greenwood creek is good place to look? Einar
I hiked the Salmon falls trail partway to Lotus and down to a large gravel bar near weber creek, the lake is now covering the bar area. Unfortunately no rocks found, only a snake and lots of ticks !
Jim Ruppel, gold prospector
Would you consider the area at Greenwood creek and Highway 49 to far above the field?
Not sure – can’t seem to find Greenwood Creek on Google Maps. I wouldn’t discount anything too far away, though. Remember that all of my results are based on models, and while I do what I can to make them accurate you can never really take every possible factor into consideration.
Hi Marc…Greenwood creek is about 2 miles down hiway 49, almost exactly over the “first path” crossing of hwy 49. The river makes a horseshoe and starts heading away from hiway 49 right at greenwood creek.
On the “first path” the Fireball crossed hiway 49 right at Greenwood creek and was coming down the south fork american river…Greenwood creek is right along the top portion of the green box. I’m thinking now that the wind has been determined to be coming up the canyon..it’s probably pushed the field across hiway 49 just above Bachacci road
Greenwood creek is about 2 miles from Coloma, the area above the greenwood blm access might be good., just have to be careful about private property, had a friend 2 years ago get escorted off private property at Gunpoint, the property owner actually shot over his head on the first shot and then had the barrel pointed at his head after that, If it doesn’t say public land…It’s not worth get shot at! I was just wondering if Greenwood and Hiway 49 would be worth a look!
Hi, I live in Southern Nevada (Henderson/Las Vegas) and was wondering if someone could help me map the location of these meteorites or a specific location(s) so I can get directions? I might want to take a drive on Friday.
frank, its really easy … i think henderson is closer to highway 50 than 80 just take 50 west and into placerville then highway 49 north to coloma gold discovery site … if you come up 80 then its the same directions except south on 49 from auburn
I was hunting due west of where most rocks have been found. I found to be a meteorite near rocklin/roseville. Is there anyone in this area that can look at it. I have been out to coloma about 4x and lotus area as well . I’ve been following the updated shrewen field map.
I probably won’t get to the area for another 2 or 3 weeks. Do you think there will still be meteorites to be found?
Thanks Marc. Appreciate the info.
How magnetic are the specimens that have been found so far ? Is there anyone in the lotus/Coloma area this week that can identify specimens found ?
I am a Professor of Astronomy at the American River College. If you find any meteorite samples we can have a look at them in an optical microscope and give you some photo prints. You can contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org. Sending me a photo of your sample would help as well (keep your images not bigger than 2-3 Mb per email, please).
Since the Sutter’s Mill meteorite is a CM2 (Carbonaceous chondrite) there is not much iron in it. Finds might weakly stick to a rare Earth magnet. But a magnet will be of little help looking for this kind of meteorite.
Not quite true Kevin. I have had the pleasure to view and mess around next to no less than 7 samples/fragments in my 5 trips up there and they all but one moved very readily to even a weak fridge clip magnet. Rare earth versions of high power they will jump to.
With up to about 40 finds at SM (as of May 5th) and only 6 sticking to a frig magnet, there is not much iron in most sm finds.
Is the test results in for exact classification or iron percentages yet? Are you in the field or examined any for magnetics? Perhaps 7 of 40 is not a swell enough cross section for claiming anything for sure but being the odds are against the idea that I only had the luck or priviledge to be around only the more magentic ones I would guestimate something like maybe a 50/50 shot or better at them jumping to a rare earth magnet…. Do realize most my fridge magnet testing was via magnet on a string with rock effecting magnet. Some spun the magnet towards and caught the magnet or outright pulled it from an inch or so. Only two of them I actually held the magnet and moved the rock. Those were fragments of Plimpton and Utas. Half a dozen hunters and a NASA geologist were right there watching at Coloma as Jim let me try a fragment. Utas showed me how his three would jump to rare earth type and it was only one of the smaller maybe 3/4″ type many hunters put on end of the small extendables. This said, Farmers bought sample didn’t move the weak fridge magnet much and Bowkers I didn’t see any effect the short time I spent aroudn it but it was well bagged and again it a weak magnet. Basically what it comes down to is I’m not going to go sucking up and damaging someone elses find with my 30lb pull magnet but I’ll trust it’ll pull one right up from at least 1.5-2.5″.
The geologist Yin (UCDavis) would prefure magnets not be used though: http://yubanet.com/regional/UC-Davis-geologist-out-hunting-meteor-fragments-older-than-the-Earth.php
Sue and Dale here from the goldhounds. We can identify the meteorite for you. I just need to get me a 10x loop to look thru to see it up close. We hung out with the Meteorite men and their crew. They were extremely friendly and very knowlegable and were into educating all of us. I can’t thank them enough. I am going to find a meteorite or two.
Susan (Moo Moo Mama) 530-919-5878
I had a confirmed report of a stone being found at the David Moore Nature Area, also one across the hiway on Bacci Road.
Yes is the Jason Utas 7.3g..
NASA has a blimp!
I saw a fireball near my CA home in late 2009 around Dec. and I have never forgotten it. How would I go about trying to find where it landed (even after a few years)? Thanks!
My suggestion is to try to find out more about it in the meteor-reports here:
If you find it in there and can triangulate its position from other eyewitness reports (and I can assist with that if you’d like), contact me and I’ll see if I can locate it in radar data. email: mfries8 at hotmail
I have one too to pin down from a couple year back that flew about the same path as this Sutter Mill one. Viewed it from hwy 50 on way to Placerville but have no idea if it sounded off as I was driving. I can pin it to within maybe 45 minutes if I can get the day right based off a special work schedule I had at the time.
I also saw a green fireball around that time in the same location. I believe I have the date and approximate time of that event.
This might help…email@example.com…
You need to track sonic boom evidence, or the NVPA which represents the angle at which the meteorite enters the atmosphere. A very small window of 15 miles plus or minus. Too steep it will likely just flame out/burn up, not steep enough it will skip back out into space. If you did not hear a sonic boom it most likely skipped on the atmosphere down to an altitude of 220,000 feet and off into space. 400,000 is approximately the beginning of the atmosphere.
Does anyone want to join me this coming Sunday or Monday to go find some rocks? I live in the Sacramento area. I want to really pinpoint the area of hunting. thanks
Mark post here if you want to connect.
Hey everyone..my friend found a 6.8 gram stone this morning about 1/2 mile above rattlesnake bar, if you know where that is. He found it off a foot trail and it left the ground discolored were it came to rest. I heard there was was a bigger piece found yesterday by some guy named Mark.
Please provide coordinates and mass for the group. We were down there and only saw one person swinging a detector and magnet. All lands five miles out from the State Park are private.
That would be small for that far into the extended stream. Have your friend confirm this 6.8g stone please.
interesting..i found rattlesnake bar on google earth
that looks like it’s within range of the projected map here in the orange zone and could be the furthest find from town…that means it’s a pretty large area to look surrounding upper folsom lake, lots of trails and biking around there too. I’ve always wanted to bike up there and now i have a good reason. Hope to head up there next week some time
Watch out for snakes. I have come way to close to rattle snakes the last 2 days
Haven’t seen the news reports as I been deep in the bush but I am hearing from several people saying that the local morning news show is talking about a find somewhere around Folsom? There’s also plenty of talk and rumours right there in that Lotus park today of a few finds which sounds crazy being the thing has been beaten by close to a thousand people. Actually just before dark tonight I broke down and actually drug a magnet across the middle of the park and although no finds you wouldn’t believe the amount of magnetite I pulled up with a 30lb rare earth magnet. The bushes surrounding the park was no different and I pulled out about a half dozen bottle caps and a few pieces of wire and such. They ough tto pay us for cleaning the place..haha.
People trespassing would have to claim they found it “elsewhere”.
True true.. Not a bad idea for finds on public land neither this day and age in the land of lawyers and broke townships or goobermint entity… “I found it on my vehicle Tuesday but am planning to try and go hunt over there at these coordinates tomorrow Wednessday” :)
I am finding that the trajectory is completely inaccurate. Debri Field over Coloma is 90 degrees from what is posted. CLUE follow the sonic boom reports and eye witness sightings
then use these calculations to get a rough idea.
I for one am listening..point the way and I’ll check it out tomorrow on the ground :)
Several of us will be up this weekend working on several hot spots that came across my calculations. Maybe we will bump into each other as the Colma swath is not as big as it may appear. Draw a line from Murphys to Placerville to Coloma that is close due to the rotation of the object it had a curve coming into home plate.
Well if you find any fragments inline from Murphys through Placerville to Coloma please share here. Radar suggests different. strewn field and findings back that up.
from Murphys draw a line for the trajectory … because the trajectory image given above is inaccurate. Most of the debri field is around Coloma.
The trajectory used here is based on the long axis of the radar data, seismometer data calculated by Jake Schaefer and others, video evidence from three different sources, and eyewitness reports to include a “ground footprint” of sonic boom reports. Not to mention the fact that to date almost seventy meteorites have been found using the data presented here. The fireball approached from the east and traveled along a ground path of almost exactly east-west.
There is always room for alternate theories, but I’d say they would face an uphill battle. Eyewitness reports are always wrong to some extent, and basing a trajectory off of them will not carry the same weight of evidence as the above-mentioned techniques. And a “curveball” meteorite has no supporting evidence in previous falls. Consider that the fireball was over in a matter of seconds – the lateral force would have to be astronomical in order to put a curve on a body that started off with a mass of ~40,000 kg moving at greater than 28 km/s, probably to the point of utterly destroying the body. And it is doubtful you could generate that force in the very thin upper atmosphere.
The best advice I can offer is to test your theory with time spent searching on the ground, and let us know what you find.
a friend and i spent the whole day on clark mountain … we followed the trajectory line between where the 2 pieces were found at rattlesnake bar and the one just north of the river and the main finds in coloma and lotus …. its the first mountain south of the river …we scoured that mountain … especially near the top where we believe alot of the meteors would have hit before coloma …. and i can tell you that its like a needle in a haystack in that area … the ground is very soft with lots of leaves and brush ;.. we didnt find anything and got kicked off private property in the process … after that we traveled into lotus and got some coffee at a little bakery/coffee shop where one of the nice girls there kindly pull some of the burrs and stickers off of our backs (ha ha ha ) and told us that she had found one in the parking lot directly behind the coffee shop …… we called it a day at that point … sweaty, bleeding from scratches, sunburned, and tired as hell from the hike to the top of the mountain… we live only about 30 mins from the area down in sacramento … it was fun but i would not recommend anyone travel too far out of their way to search… its no wonder 99% of the finds were in coloma and lotus … they are the only flat areas with parking lots and parks … and those areas have been searched with a fine tooth comb …searching anywhere other than a developed clear area like that is next to impossible with all the grass, brush, leaves, soft soil and rugged terrian… but good luck if you go :)
p.s. stay off the private property up there … there was a serious “Deliverance” type of feel to those guys. i could swear i could hear dueling banjos right before they escorted us off the mountain (hahaha) and the place we went to had no signs or fences that would lead us to believe it was private property … they told us that the whole road was private but again there was no signs or gates that would have suggested that … we would have respected that had we seen them … its some rough country up there and i wouldnt be surprised if there were something up in that brush that those guys were trying to protect … (pot farm, moonshine still, etc) LOL so just be careful up there
I don’t know of an actaully confirmed find at rattlesnake bar. If there is it hasn’t made the list yet.
i should have stated that the rattlesnake bar find was unconfirmed … but in the same direction right across the river from clark mountain their is at least one confirmed in that brown area of the map … im not sure where i heard about the rattlesnake bar find … but i think the report said that 2 were found in that area … they said “above” rattlesnake bar … the only reason it was halfway believable is that rattlesnake bar does fall in line with the strewn field
Here are some well learned suggestions for anyone coming up to search,
Wear long pants, long sleeve shirts, and carry at least a 4 foot stick to move the grass in front of you aside to view the ground for stones. Do Not walk in front of the reach of the stick and into tall grass without using the stick to view the ground.
Rattlesnakes are out and you do not want to get bitten. It would cost you the amount of money you would have made on a nice stone.
Carry water and a trash bag. Please pick up and remove any trash you encounter. Thank you.
Purchase some tecnu Outdoor Skin Cleanser to remove the poison oak oils from your body when you get back. Use this AFTER you remove your clothes. Wash your clothes after the hunt.
If you get poison oak, use tecnu Extreme for the symptoms.
Wash your hands again after putting on your hunting shoes, otherwise you will be wondering where you got the poison oak between your fingers from. ;-(
Unless you KNOW you are on public ground, ASSUME it is private. You’ll have a better day.
Use this site to identify BLM land.
Does anyone have access to a Google Earth BLM overlay for the search area? Would really be beneficial for all.
Also if your are new to this area, along with rattle snakes and poison oak, be careful when handling anything you pick up off the ground as there are scorpions in this area as well. One sting and it will ruin your day. It’ll be hard to concentrate on looking for meteorites when all you can think of for three days is “when is this thing going to stop hurting”. I was out searching on the 8th and almost go stung.
ok, I finally made the trip from San Francisco to Coloma with a bicycle, on the train and bus to Sacramento then to Folsom and biked up Salmon falls road and then biked up the south Fork American River Trail—with about 50 pounds of gear-haha
it’s all true what they’re saying here…It’s quite hot now in the whole area, and if your from foggy refrigerated SF, you’re not used to that heat–the mosquitos are relentless, lots of chiggers and snakes, altho I didn’t run across rattlesnakes or scorpions and I had some pretty good DEET
but just so people know, if you’re coming from the coast, it’s getting warm, so bring lots of water because there’s no potable spigots out there on the Amerian River Trail and it’s a good idea to bring filter or iodine tablets if you have to drink the river water like I did…I must have drank about 2 gallons a day of that river water out there
Anyway, only half the reason was to look for meteorites, and the other reason was just to get out of the city for a day or two and finally see a real starry night – i actually saw two satellites zooming across before the moon came up, very cool and worth it just for that
so I biked the river trail which is awesome and saw maybe 5 people in two days, and 3 fellow mountain bikers…I even went to the same sand bar as the SM34 find-but not known to me 2 days ago of the find there as it was posted yesterday
then biked into Cronan Ranch and did the east Ridge trail and Up and Down – heck, it was up and down for 2 days–LOL, and where did all my energy go?…..
exhausted, i finally had enough and biked up to Placerville to take one of the commuter buses back to Sacramento and back to the city – this is one of those rare chances of taking public transit this far out from San Francisco with a bicycle, and I wanted to see how possible it was – with no car
but I did pick up a couple of rocks alongside the road hwy 49 north of between Cronan ranch and Coloma…the problem with the roadside is there is a lot of black asphalt pieces all over so it can look tricky. I don’t think I found any meteorites, but here’s the photos anyway, just in case (btw, I know the blueish one isn’t but what kind of rock is it?)
anyway, i still had a chance to go see the El Dorado Historical Museum in Placerville while waiting for the bus which was also worth it just to see that and here’s the rest of the photos, american river and coloma and placerville
It is true that San Francisco would not exist without Coloma, the American River, Sutters Mill, Placerville and the gold rush, so that’s part of our history, and that made it worth it all by itself…very cool stuff
the meteor just gave me a better reason to finally go see it
One last thing…the entire time, i biked or walked with the bike, i’m looking all around, and at the ground a lot. It occured to me that many of the roads surrounding Coloma would probably be better searched on a bicycle simply because you’re on the side of the road and you’re going slower than a car. Only thing slower than that is walking, and looking at the debris range, well, that’s a lot of walking, and it looks like you can walk for weeks and not cover all the public roads in the debris field area. And that’s the thing, as has been mentioned here before, many of the finds have been near the roads, of in the flats near town because the rest of the country is thick bush, trees, high grass, and it’s the trails and roads is about the only thing clear enough to see beyond a few inches/feet – unless you’re willing to go in with a super weed whacker or something like that, you’ll probably never find it in the bush
what I’m saying that if I had the time to do it again, I’d take my bike and cruise the roads, on the shoulders, nice and slow
Well we have started calling Fridays, Black Friday as it is the wife’s day off so we hit the trails. Did the Monroe Trail above Coloma from North to mid-way. Nothing but poison oak and one rattlesnake sleeping late. Getting really hot before 11:00 so the hunt will start to be restricted to all those that cannot take the heat.
A bunch have hit it hard up there heading both North and West since the very beginning. Got to get down and dirty underneith the manzanita for best chances now. Even though it’s like a maze up top with some open areas it’s been gridded with gps. Been all the way to Lotus actually and wished I had a machete in the process. :)
I live in the area, Thursday night there was an earthquake rattled the dishes and walls, maybe it was another meteorite ? Sunday morning there was three very loud booms a few seconds pause then two more booms. I thought it was a truckwreck on the highway in front of the house. Then found out it was a meteorite. Talked to the fire department, any fires ? No. But they were on a burn and showed me trajectory they saw over the horizon, south to north, should be 5 strewn fields. Geologist + Geogemer ebay.
Just another tip of the hat for Marc and his work. Tips are good karma (see tip jar at top of page).
Hello from Reno,
Spent my Saturday in and around the park area with a few buddies and we looked at literally thousands of rocks. So many of them looked like meteorites, but nothing that really convinced me. I actually wonder if I may have accidentally thrown some away or if anyone else has. Many of the hunters that I bumped in to didn’t seem to know what they were searching for either, just from pics already posted besides looking for the obvious. Anyhow, I was also using a magnet and picked up many little rocks the size of BBS. I am wondering if any of these may be small fragments of the meteor. I took many high quality pictures of my find and would like to know who I can send them to? Please advise. I think I am going to be making another trip out there soon as I saw many potential areas to search that I don’t think have been touched!
HEY, broke brush ( on my hands and knees ) from northern most point of Monroe trail above coloma all the way to lotus road and 49. and then back along the east ridge above 49, again on my hands and knees as i stayed of the trails and anything that looked like some one else was there. Almost slid off a 20ft cliff, poked in the eye looking down instead of at the sharp branches. Fed a zillion mosquito’s and ticks. And i am sitting at home with poison oak from my toes to my ears, DAMN I HAD FUN ;-).Found nothing though. I am looking to go again next week. 14th – 19th , going to try a few hours in Dave Moore. some areas i don’t think have been gone over, also a day hike from Magnolia Ranch trail head , down to the river and around to Cronan Ranch trail head.,,, I am in Dixon and would love to hitch a ride with some one. Or some one to share the gas and take my SUV.. Just be some one who don’t mind getting dirty , cut scraped. Have a hydration pack and at least a half dozen power bars. I may be old and over weight but i don’t know many 20 years olds who can keep up ;-), Email me at CaliJames@aol.com
Haha..been there done all that too. got the oak on my left arm at about the 6th day mark. Heading up today nice and deep..
Something else has been bugging me about the distribution of finds. Tim from NLSI on the other Radar Obs thread (http://radarmeteorites.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/coloma-ca-22-apr-2012-1452-utc/) has voiced a strong opinion that the path of the meteor was actually at 90 degrees to Marc’s path – i.e. about as different as you can get.
At first I thought Tim was wacko – you know how those Lunar guys can get :-) but then I plotted the approximate geographic locations of the eyewitness reports from Robert Lunsford’s Fireballs Logs page (http://www.amsmeteors.org/fireballs/fireball-report/) into Google Maps and got this:
Then I looked at the geographic distribution of finds and tried to fit a best line to the data. Sure enough, the best fit between the eyewitness reports matches the best fit with the strewn field data which matches Tim’s theory but not Marc’s:
Witnesses close to both Elko, NV and Hanford, CA both reported seeing the fireball, and witnesses in the Fresno area reported loud rumbles overhead. A witness driving west in the middle of Nevada reported seeing the meteor “streaking across the daylight sky from one side of our windshield to the other”. That is inconsistent with a fireball coming from the east or northeast. This one came from the southeast.
Yes, the sightings are highly correlated with populated areas – the I-80 corridor in Nevada and Hwy 99 in California – but these are at 90 degree angles to each other and the locations are equally distributed.
Sorry, but I just don’t buy the theoretical model given the multiple lines of empirical evidence. Something’s not right here.
Glad to see someone is thinking out there for them self. (Tony & Hans). My tip jar is looking pretty empty lol. Most of the evidence is a logic-trail, Tony is doing well to actually scientifically piece the puzzle together. I will not be giving out all of my own research, but when things are so far off on assumptions and wishful thinking. For every nugget of data from many different sources must be cataloged and cross referenced to back up one small idea. If it passes multiple data cross references then you “may” have solid link to the overall picture. Tony sorry to have bugged you so much but that was the idea. There is more than 10 ways to skin a cat… if you have 3 there are 7 more ways to get there. Let the solid data do all the work and your job is to just cross reference ALL the data out there and then some. I was unable to make it up last chance … but will be there soon :-) Sorry for all those who have gotten bit by the “oak” bug… I hate that stuff.
I don’t know about the trajectory being off (it quite possibly could be) but I have first hand knowledge that leads me to believe that the information that Marc had posted as to the direction of the wind in the higher altitudes that day is wrong as well. I was in Mt. Aukum that day and after the sonic boom (which shook the ground) I noticed a huge contrail moving in a direction inconsistant with the wind direction indicated on Marcs overlays. I am out of the state right now but when I get back to CA I plan on doing some more searching a little farther south than where I have been. That’s all I can say right now.
I think you folks have finally got the right direction on this meteor..here’s some more info that confirmes this. My elderly friend lives on 50 acres just to the right of where sm40 is on the map..if you actually look at the map his property is just above the “horseshoe bend” in the S.F river. He told me that he was in his living room which faces south toward Coloma when he heard the sonic boom and he caught just a glimpse of the light moving from right to left in his Coloma facing window.
Now after going to the Police audio from the Lake Tahoe area..i think this baby set down somewhere around the Ice House/Hell Hole area. This makes perfect sense because these lighter pieces found around the Coloma area drifted down in the usual SW prevailing wind.
But the big thing for me was when he said he seen the light moving in a right to left direction heading like in the Tahoe direction.
Joe, Likely have to dismiss that elderly persons reports fo sake of the multitudes of other reports and factual photos and videos. Maybe he seen a reflection/glimpse or shadow or…? I do believe that the balloon is likely wrong for the winds of the area as it was way over across the crest and perhaps doesn’t account for the wall that is the Sierra range. The high altitude winds may be somewhat muted or canceled by the lower stuff and the morning down drafts. The cold air poors down canyon in morn and up in the evening at lower altitudes far as I understand and experience it. That said am sure the ballon has the general direction of the prevailing trade winds.. Your just in a canyon there feeling air movement different times of day with it swirling varying directions both on the valley floor and up top. Never the same from one hour to the next really..
Bear in mind that the map of meteorite finds isn’t a map of where they landed, its a map of where they were picked up. It is easier to find them alongside maintained roads than grassy fields (note that many of the finds are close to roads), and you can’t pick them up at all from private property (so many of the finds are restricted to roads, parks, etc.). This results in a distorted meteorite collection field relative to the actual strewn field for =any= meteorite fall. And as for eyewitnesses, it has been my experience that they can be wildly inaccurate and it is difficult to build an accurate picture of the fireball direction from them. You can pretty much count on at least one witness reporting the fireball direction backwards (such as N to S rather than S to N), for example. And you can pretty much forget getting an accurate fireball path declination from eyewitnesses due to inaccuracy. I’d rather rely on Jake Schaefer’s flight path, which was calculated from seismograph data. Eyewitnesses are useful, but seismographs record data accurate to the second and know exactly where they are.
This might be a lame question but isn’t there a greater chance of fragments surviving all the way to the ground on the back side of the explosion as opposed to the front side of the explosion where the force of the explosion would just make the fragments gain speed as to opposed to slowing down?
Hi James I am not really an expert but it is not an explosion. It is a fragmentation event, it is violent because of the very fast speed of the meteor when it collides with our atmosphere. So there are no explosive forces like you would see in a bomb. The huge noise was a sonic boom, not an explosion.
Mike…..so I’m assuming that it’s the rapid heating on the outside (compared to the cold interior) that made it breakup. I know the speed and angle of intry would have a lot of bearing on altitude of the break up but are there any calculations out there on how fast and at what temperature a Carbonaceous Chondrite the size of a small minivan would have to heat up to to make it break up.
Hi James I am sure there are but I only have a basic understanding …..I don’t go into great detail. My interest is all about finding the pieces once they reach the ground.
I’m posting updates to this on Marc’s other “Strewn Field Map” thread here:
You asked somewhere on blog whether I had an altitude for end of fireball. Answer is yes but still based exactly upon your angle and latitude figures. Have a look if ya like at my pics and get back to me on how the result correlates: http://photobucket.com/KTMan-SM-Modeling
So you think the meteor traveled West to North East now? Any scientific data to back that up? Even though we have witnesses saying it was traveling west over Nevada. The famous picture even shows it traveling West. huh
Actually I still have it coming in from the East, but then it turned slightly west when it seen the Sonic burger in Roseville.
Well here’s an interesting graphic, showing the locations of all the witness reports:
Here’s some text from a different page on the AMS site, for a different sighting, but the technique seems the same.
“Here’s a map of the fireball witness reports. The icons of people represent where the witnesses saw the meteor from. The green icon indicates the witness reported movement from right to left, the red icon means movement from left to right. The green lines represent where the witness first saw the fireball, the yellow line is where the fireball was last sighted. Please keep in mind not all witnesses can report exactly what they saw and there are inconsistencies with data reported from witnesses. Click the map graphic below for an interactive google maps fireball report viewer.”
After trying for hours to make sense of all the contradictory witness reports, I’ve come to one conclusion: there are *a lot* of people who drink on Sunday mornings!
But seriously, is this typical? What accounts for such wildly diverging details? One fellow was even way up north in Oregon, facing NORTH, and saw it!
Also, there is discrepancy in many reports between what they describe as the motion and the actual direction of travel, based on the initial and final positions that they witnessed.
It must be frustrating trying to figure out which reports are reliable.
Now we all see how frustrating it must be for law enforcement people when they talk to “eyewitnesses”
And for juries, too.
I wish I knew how to edit this map, there are errors in it, and I would cut some of the lines short to all terminate in the Coloma vicinity so we could get a better idea of what the real picture is. I’d also weight the witness reports and omit some.
What gets me is how most people focus on reporting the color and their amazement, rather than the location and trajectory! I think the AMS reporting site might want to consider modifying their report form to encourage more details that would be helpful in learning about where the meteor actually was.
Yea that map is rediculous.. goes to show people don’t know which way is down/up,south, north, west, or east..or which order to say them..lol
Hi Marc….your last picture with different blue squares outside your strewn field is what…Is that your new area for searching? Can you put together a new strewn field w/ a picture of the fireball. It seems the last picture puts things in a mess…. thanks joe
Hey Marc, I know you must be crazy busy, but just want to say that, at least for me, the lack of posting comments here does not reflect any waning interest, just don’t want to bug you, but am still patiently awaiting any updates that include the new calculations. Seems things have gotten awfully quiet, not sure if that’s because the scientists are busy analyzing the samples they already have and have thus given up the hunt for new specimens, or are just not reporting new finds. I’m still very keen on searching for the big piece(s). Please let us know when your abstract is done and where it is published. Thanks for all you do and share.
Deejay, He may have mentioned it somewhere on the blog but I think altitudes were off to the tune of 2k km for at least first appearance. He may have already corrected here but not sure if before he submitted abstract . Thinking the abstracts go straight to the consortium or meteoric society for consideration to be published and they not available until unless offered by the writer.
Kevin, yes he did mention the error of 2.65km upthread, but was wondering if there would be a redrawn red zone or updated Google earth overlay, or whatever else.
Here are some interesting things to read in the meantime:
I will update the post with links to the Meteoritical Society abstracts…
Hope you are all hungry. I have some food for thought.
EDIT (Marc Fries): Embedded video removed, transferred to link in the comment below…
Ok, I know that video is not supposed to be on here with the bandwidth limitations. No delete button? I only listed a link to my video. Marc, if you delete my video can you post the link please?
EDIT (Marc Fries): No worries; here’s an external link instead of embedded video. LINK
Howdy, all. The new site is up and running – please post your Sutter’s Mill comments there since I may be closing down this site.
The forums at the new site will NOT require a subscription! Feel free to discuss any meteorite-related topic.
Here’s the link to the Sutter’s Mill forum:
Heya i am for the primary time here. I came across this board and I in finding It truly helpful & it helped me out a lot. I’m hoping to present one thing again and help others such as you helped me.
Today, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation.
My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views.
I know this is completely off topic but I had to share
it with someone!
It might be time to see how your cousin handles a 40 foot fall.
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