‘Phlai Chumphon / พลายชุมพล’ (prov.) – meteorite fall at ~ 0:26 UTC on June 27, 2016 (2559 B.E.) in Phlai Chumphon, Amphoe Mueang Phitsanulok (พิษณุโลก), Thailand
Last update: 18 January, 2018
Elemental composition analysis of stony meteorites discovered in Phitsanulok, Thailand
T Loylip and S Wannawichian
Journal of Physics: Conference Series, Volume 901, conference 1
Siam Physics Congress 2017 (SPC2017), 24-26 May 2017
“A meteorite is a fragment of pure stone, iron or the mixture of stony–iron. The falling of meteorites into Earth’s surface is part of Earth’s accretion process from dust and rocks in our solar system. When these fragments come close enough to the Earth to be attracted by its gravity, they may fall into the Earth. Following the detection of objects that fall from the sky onto a home in Phitsanulok in June 27, the meteorites were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) instruments. The results from SEM/EDS analysis show that the meteorites are mainly composed of Fe-Ni and Fe-s. The meteorite is Achondrite, a class of meteorite which does not contain Chondrule. The meteorites in this work are thought to be part of a large asteroid.”
At 0:26 UTC (7:26 a.m. local) on June 27, 2016 (2559 B.E.) a meteorite crashed through a ceramic tile of the eastern half of the roof of 65-year-old Bualom Chalomprai’s (บัวล้อม ชโลมไพร) house (155 หมู่บ้าน 3) at location 16°51’12.8″N, 100°13’22.8″E in the subdistrict Phlai Chumphon (พลายชุมพล), about 6.3 km northwest of Phitsanulok (พิษณุโลก) in Thailand. Mrs Chalomprai was having breakfast when she heard a loud noise which reminded her of a gun shot. She looked around and found the meteorite including five smaller fragments on the floor of the living room. According to Mrs Chalomprai the main mass was still hot when she touched it. The meteorite is reported to have a diameter of about 4-5 cm and a weight of about 120 grams. After breaking through the roof tile it probably hit a rafter, bounced off it and hit the frame of a photo of the Thai monk Luang Pho Waen hanging on a wooden wall. The impact left a hole with a diameter of about 6 cm in the southern wall of the building. The meteorite’s matt fusion crust shows greenish traces of its impact on the roof tile which has been removed and replaced. The meteorite appears to be an ordinary chondrite, possibly an L(6) or LL type. Unfortunately an absolutely unnecessary ‘magnet test’ was performed on the main mass and the smaller fragments at the Chalomprai’s house on 29 June. The exposure to the artificial magnetic field probably caused a remagnetization within the meteorite and thus a corruption of paleomagnetic data. It’s likely that more meteorites fell in the area around the impact location and might be found in the near future. On July 1, 2016 it was officially confirmed that the found specimen is a meteorite. A Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) analysis of a small fragment’s morphology had been performed at the Microscope Lab of the National Metal and Materials Technology Center (MTEC). At a press conference on 1 July, 2016 Dr Sarun Posayachinda, Deputy Director of the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT) apparently claimed that based on preliminary analysis of a small fragment of the meteorite the specimen is an achondrite for ‘its lack of chondrules’ on the broken surface [???] A thin section has apparently not been made or studied so far. To us it rather looks like a thermally metamorphosed L or LL chondrite, maybe L6 or LL 5 or 6.
The main mass remains the property of Mrs Chalomprai and together with the perforated roof tile was presented to students of the local Ban Phlai Chumphon School in Mrs Chalomprai’s home on 11 July.