Meteorite (~ 5 kg) fall in Bimbe (Limbe ?) village, Chitanda chiefdom, Chibombo District, Central Province, Zambia at ~7:00 a.m. CAT (~5:00 UT) on 7 June 2020

Last update: 23 June 2020

A meteorite (~ 5 kg), apparently an ordinary chondrite, fell at around 7 a.m. on 7th June 2020 in Bimbe (Limbe ?) village, in Chitanda Lumamba’s chiefdom in the northwest of the Chibombo District of the Central Province in Zambia. It fell in a playground creating a pit in the ground and a cloud of dust on impact. The Bimbe (Limbe ?) village deputy headman witnessed the impact hearing a loud noise and smelling a strong and strange odor. Only minutes after the fall the headman went to the impact location. The meteorite was deliberately broken by local villagers to acquire smaller fragments which could be shared. The meteorite fall apparently caused panic among some villagers. Some apparently thought some kind of daylight witchcraft had happened, others believed a piece of a plane or a bomb had fallen. The villagers called Zambian Air Force (ZAF) officers to investigate the meteorite in front of Chief Chitanda Lumamba who then took it to his palace in Chibombo. Hopefully, it will be properly analyzed at a specialized research institute to be eventually added to the database of the Meteoritical Society. We thank Chalumba Simz very much for providing photos of the meteorite. If you have additional information (eyewitness reports, photos, videos etc.) on this meteorite fall which can help to improve this report, please let us know.

The largest fragment of the meteorite in its impact pit. Photo: The Speech Analyst / #SlyvesterMwale (12 June 2020)

Larger fragments of the meteorite. Photo: Chalumba Simz

Recomposed fragments of the meteorite inside the impact pit at its fall location. Photo: Chalumba Simz

Recomposed fragments of the meteorite inside the impact pit at its fall location. Photo: Chalumba Simz

Recomposed fragments of the meteorite inside the impact pit at its fall location. Photo: Chalumba Simz

The oval impact pit is about 18 x 12 cm wide. Photo: Mwape Somanje

The impact pit has been fenced off. Photo: Mwape Somanje

Measuring the depth (~ 12 cm) of the impact pit next to the trunk of a tree. Photo: Mwape Somanje

A fragment of the meteorite. Photo: Mwape Somanje

The largest meteorite fragment inside the impact pit at its fall site. Photo: Chambo Ng’uni / Zambia Daily Mail

Chief Chitanda Lumamba holding a fragment of the broken meteorite. Photo: Chambo Ng’uni / Zambia Daily Mail

The approximate area of the Chitanda chiefdom within Chibombo district according to Nyanga Janet (2017). The exact location of the reported Bimbe (Limbe?) village within the chiefdom is not known to us.

MEDIA

Zambia Daily Mail (17 June 2020, page 10)