AIQUILE – meteorite fall (H5, S3, W0) in Tabla Mayu (Chago K’asa), Panamá, Ch’awar Mayu, Barbechos and Cruz Loma, near AIQUILE, Cochabamba, Bolivia on 20 November 2016, ~9:45-57 p.m. UTC (~5.45-57 p.m. BOT) (UPDT: 21 Apr 2017)

Last update: 21 April 2017

Official Aiquile fall coordinates (18°17’4″S, 65°8’39″W)

In the evening of November 20, 2016, at ~5.45-57 p.m. local time, three to four detonation sounds were heard by the Quechua villagers in the area around Aiquile in Bolivia’s departamento Cochabamba. A daytime bolide leaving a white ionization trail was seen in the sky by dozens of people. Its main fragmentation event occured above the Tabla Mayu community. Initially it was believed that there had been a plane crash or an earthquake. The fall of a large meteorite, weighing 36.3 kg (47 × 17 × 26 cm), was witnessed by Calledonio Vizaga about 500 m from his own location in the Cruz Loma community. Vizaga recovered the meteorite and on 21 November members of the Aiquile government (Luiz L. Arnez, Marco Cardona, Franz Navia, William Rodriguez,and Jesus Yave) brought the mass to the Museu Municipal del Charango in Aiquile. On the same day the Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Aiquile informed the public about the meteorite falls and published the first photos of found masses. Roberto Soto found two masses of 2.26 kg and 0.565 kg which were brought to the Museu Municipal del Charango (Aiquile) as well. Two other found masses weigh 5785 g and 1285 g and are in private hands. A child is reported to have found fragments of a meteorite which had fragmented on impact on a terrestrial rock in the community of Tabla Mayu (Chago K’asa). On 22 November the mayor of Aiquile, Luis López, reported that many meteorites had fallen the communities of Tabla Mayu (Chago K’asa), Panamá, Ch’awar Mayu (Panama), Barbechos and Cruz Loma in Cochabamba. The local government had sent communal staff members, including Marco Cardona, to the fall locations to register GPS coordinates and asked the local population to go to the Museo Del Charango in Aiquile to have their meteorite finds registered. Eyewitnesses as Fidel Torres, who was working outside fixing the roof of his house, report that they heard three to four detonation booms which sounded like dynamite explosions with the last sounds reminding them of machine gun fire. On 29 November 2016, in its LEY MUNICIPAL N° 069, the municipal government of Aiquile declared the Aiquile meteorites a ‘patrimonio municipal’, a natural municipal heritage, because of the meteorites’ ‘invaluable valor histórico – científico’, their historical and scientific value, as well as their ‘atractivo turístico’, their potential as future tourist attractions. Act N° 69 de-legalized any commercialisation and trafficking of Aiquile meteorites or their fragments and called for an organized systematic search for meteorites as well as a control and safeguard of the strewn field area. The municipal executive of Aiquile is asked to take all the necessary actions for the meteorites’ recovery, preservation and protection, in an appropriate place that guarantees an adequate conservation. A commission of the Ministerio de Minería travelled to Aiquile to analyse the meteorite fragments. A search team of SERGEOMIN (Servicio Geolgico da Bolivia / Miguel Angel Muriel, Coria Guillermo), the local Aiquile government (Marco Cardona), André Moutinho, Jose Maria Monzon, and Sergio Medina was formed and a systematic search was performed during which some smaller masses including a 98-g-specimen (18°17’09.8″S, 65°08’34.1″W) were found. By 16 December 2016 the type specimen (40 g), cut from the 98-g-mass found by André Moutinho, had been classified as an H5-chondrite by Prof Maria Elizabeth Zucolotto (Museu Nacional/UFRJ, Brazil) and analysis data were sent to NomCom by Moutinho on that day. On 21 April 2017 AIQUILE was officially registered in the Meteoritical Bulletin Database.

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A large 36.3-kg mass which fell in the Cruz Loma community. / Photo: Vladimir Terceros

A large 36.3-kg mass which fell in the Cruz Loma community. / Photo: Vladimir Terceros

36.3-kg Aiquile mass in the Museo Del Charango in Aiquile / Photo: J. M. Monzon

36.3-kg Aiquile mass in the Museo Del Charango in Aiquile / Photo: J. M. Monzon

The 36.3-kg mass in the Museo Del Charango in Aiquile. Photo: J.M. Monzon

The 36.3-kg mass. Photo published by Percy Cardona Olmos (25 Nov 2016)

The 36.3-kg mass being removed from its fall location. Photo: Franz Navia

36.3-kg Aiquile main mass, found by Celedonio Veizaga in Cruz Loma, next to two other masses (2.26 kg and 0.565 kg ), found by Roberto Soto in Panamá, being prepared for an exhibition in the Museo Del Charango in Aiquile / Photo: Marco Cardona

Most likely the impact pit of the 36.3-kg mass. Photo: Marco Cardona

Aiquile meteorite (2.26 kg) / Photo: Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Aiquile

Specimen and fragment of an Aiquile meteorite / Photo: Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Aiquile

Aiquile meteorite (2.26 kg). Photo: Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Aiquile

A meteorite found in the comunidad Tabla Mayu (Chago K’asa). Photo: Gualberto Olivera

A meteorite found in the comunidad Tabla Mayu (Chago K’asa). Photo: Gualberto Olivera

Terrestrial rock in Tabla Mayu (Chago K’asa) which was hit by a meteorite which fragmented on impact. Photo: Unitel

Most likely one of the impact pits on a dirt road. Photo: Unitel

The 5.783-5 kg mass. / Photo: G. Hupe

1.285 kg specimen found under a small willow tree on 6 December / Photo: R. Ward

Meteorite found on a field in Barbechos (Chago K’asa) / Photo: Mario Claros Herbas

Aiquile meteorite (2.26 kg) found in Ch’awar Mayu (Panama). / Photo: Rodrigo Camacho

Meteorite found on a field in Barbechos (Chago K’asa) / Photo: Mario Claros Herbas

Meteorite (2.26 kg) found in Ch’awar Mayu (Panama) in situ. / Photo: Rodrigo Camacho

98-g-specimen, found by A. Moutinho in the community of Panamá (18°17’09.8″S, 65°08’34.1″W), which was used for classification by Prof Maria Elizabeth Zucolotto (Departamento de Geologia e Paleontologia of Museu Nacional/UFRJ, Brazil). Photo: André Moutinho

Two views of the 98-g type specimen. Photos by Andre R. Moutinho:
View A / View B

According to unconfirmed information this photo taken by Hugo Cardona and published by Percy Cardona Olmos shows the bolide’s ionization trail minutes after the detonation booms were heard.

LEY MUNICIPAL N° 069

Computer-generated English translation of
LEY MUNICIPAL N° 69:

PDF         DOC          ODT

LEY MUNICIPAL N° 069 / Photo: Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Aiquile

LEY MUNICIPAL N° 069 / Photo: Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Aiquile

LINKS
Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Aiquile
Robert Ward Meteorites

VIDEO

ATB Digital, 23 November 2016


ATB Digital, 23 November 2016

Bolivision TV, 23 November 2016


Bolivisión al día, 23 November 2016


Unitel – La Revista (23 November 2016)


Unitel – La Revista (23 November 2016)


Searching for meteorites. / Video: Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Aiquile


ATB Digital, 22 November 2016


ATB Digital, 22 November 2016


22 November 2016

Eyewitness report of a Ch’awar Mayu (Panama) citizen. / Video: Rodrigo Camacho