New meteorite fall in Água Branca, Palmas de Monte Alto, Bahia, Brazil at ~11:20 a.m. (14:20 UTC) on 26 May 2017

Last update: 18 June 2017

Potential fall location of the Água Branca (prov.) meteorite (up is east, image from Nov 2013). Location not officially confirmed

The meteorite (9 cm (length), 5 cm (height), 6 cm (width), an ordinary chondrite (L5 or L6?) weighing about 950 grams was found by Sirlene da Silva Paes (33) and the 12-year-old girl Márcia Eduarda Paes. Together with Sirlene’s mother Euzane Silva Paes they had heard a loud noise which reminded Euzane of a bursting tyre of a bike. Sirlene went out of the house, stood at the front door and at 11:30 a.m. local (14:30 UTC), minutes after they heard the rumbling thunder, saw the dust cloud caused by the impact. She went to the place and found the meteorite near the farm’s sandy dirt road on which it had impacted. It was found about six meters west of the shallow impact pit. According to Sirlene’s statements the meteorite was still hot when she touched it first. She immediately dropped it again and when she picked it up again moments later it was still lukewarm. The exact fall location in the rural Água Branca area has not been disclosed and is hard to determine. One possible fall location could be here 14°8’1.56″S, 43°7’45.61″W. If you can confirm or refute this assumption, please let us know.

Talvez eu pegasse a pedra e jogasse nas vacas, como faço com as outras, se não tivesse visto a queda
(Sirlene da Silva Paes)

Sirlene’s 9-year-old son João Kevin apparently was the first to comprehend that the find was a meteorite. The meteorite was found about 70 meters away from the house of Sirlene’s father José Otílio Francisco (‘Bieba’) Paes (71) who owns the Fazenda Água Branca. After her find Sirlene took a photo of the meteorite and together with the help of neighbours and friends informed the history teacher Nilton Flávio Azevedo who went to the fall location and confirmed that the found specimen was a meteorite indeed. He took photos and made films of the fall location and contacted André Moutinho who then contacted Maria Elizabeth Zucolotto. On 2 June 2017 Sirlene de Silva Paes sold the meteorite to the Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA), the Museu Nacional da Universidade Federal in Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and the local city hall. All three institutions will receive a part of the meteorite for research and exhibition. According to Azevedo a sample of the meteorite will be sent or given to Maria Elizabeth Zucolotto at the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro for classification. Apparently no visual recordings of the daylight bolide have been reported yet. The meteorite will probably be named Água-Branca .

Pedaço de meteorito é encontrado na zona rural de Palmas de Monte Alto by Vilson da Silva Nunes

The meteorite (9 x 5 x 6 cm) weighing about 900 grams. Photo: Vilson da Silva Nunes

The meteorite next to its impact location on a dirt road on the Água Branca farm. Photo: Vilson da Silva Nunes

Finders Sirlene da Silva Paes and Márcia Eduarda Paes next to their find at its fall location. Photo: Vilson da Silva Nunes

Vilson da Silva Nunes and Nilton Flávio Azevedo with the meteorite. Photo: Vilson da Silva Nunes

O Meteorito de Plamas de Monte Alto
short documentary
TV UFBA (16 June 2017)

Video by Vilson da Silva Nunes (28 May 2017)