The meteorite of Barcelona (1704): History, discovery, and classification

Jordi Llorca, Marc Campeny, Neus Ibáñez, David Allepuz, Josep Maria Camarasa, Josep Aurell‐Garrido

Meteoritics & Planetary Science
First Published: 9 March 2020

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“On Christmas Day 1704, at 17 h (UT), a meteorite fell in Terrassa (about 25 km NW of Barcelona). The meteorite fall was seen and heard by many people over an area of several hundred kilometers and it was recorded in several historical sources. In fact, it was interpreted as a divine sign and used for propaganda purposes during the War of the Spanish Succession. Although it was believed that meteorite fragments were never preserved, here we discuss the recent discovery of two fragments (49.8 and 33.7 g) of the Barcelona meteorite in the Salvador Cabinet collection (Botanic Institute of Barcelona). They are very well preserved and partially covered by a fresh fusion crust, which suggests a prompt recovery, shortly after the fall. Analysis of the fragments has revealed that the Barcelona meteorite is an L6 ordinary chondrite. These fragments are among the oldest historical meteorites preserved in the world.”