Santa Filomena (prov.)

Santa Filomena (prov.) meteorite fall ( >50 kg, OC) in and around Santa Filomena, Pernambuco in Brazil at ~10:18:17.32-39 a.m. BRT (13.18:17 UTC) on 19 August 2020

The 38.2-kilogram main mass of Santa Filomena (prov.)

The nearly fully fusion-crusted and regmaglypted 38.2-kilogram Santa Filomena (prov.) mass (~42 x ~31 cm) in the evening of 28 August 2020. Photo: M. Farmer

The regmaglypted 38.238-kilogram Santa Filomena (prov.) mass. Photo: M. Farmer

The 38.2-kilogram Santa Filomena (prov.) mass. Photo: R. Ward

The 38.2-kilogram Santa Filomena (prov.) mass. Photo: R. Ward

The main mass in early September 2020. Photo: Francisco Nunes

The main mass in early September 2020. Photo: Francisco Nunes

The main mass in early September 2020. Image: G1

The main mass in early September 2020. Image: G1

The meteorite on 29 August 2020. Image: Flávio Silva

The meteorite on 29 August 2020. Image: Flávio Silva

The impact pit of the 38.2-kilogram mass which fell west of Santa Filomena. Photo: Raymond Borges

The impact pit of the 38.2-kilogram mass which fell somewhere west of Santa Filomena. Photo: G1

The 2.821-kilogram mass of Santa Filomena (prov.)

The 2.821-kilogram Santa Filomena (prov.) mass. Photo: M. Farmer

The impact location of the 2.8-kilogram mass. Photo: Raymond Borges

Last update: 7 September 2020

In the evening of 28 August it became known that a regmaglypted 38.2-kilogram mass (~42 x ~31 cm) had been found in a field on 27 August. A representative of the owner presented the meteorite to Maria Elizabeth Zucolotto, curator of the Meteorite collection at the National Museum of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), at the city’s hotel and gas station. The name of the finder as well as the exact find location on his farm, west or southwest of Santa Filomena, have not been revealed yet. The owner of the meteorite had heard the bolide’s detonation boom but did not know what is was at the time. The 38.2-kilogram mass apparently fell about ten meters away from a resident who was cutting a tree. On 27 August the owner was informed of the fall on his property by a resident and was told where to look. At dawn the owner started to search his property to locate the meteorite. Then at around 8.30 a.m. he found the mass which had sunk into the ground on impact. The finder dug it out and carried it through the Caatinga to his motorcycle at a road about 2 kilometers away from the fall location. Then he took it to town. Because of the material value of the meteorite the owner’s family were afraid for some time. They feared that the meteorite could be stolen. Eventually, the meteorite was stored in a safe, away from their property. The finder intends to sell the meteorite for a fair price but is not in a hurry to negotiate the price. He apparently intends to sell the meteorite to the National Museum of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro or to the one who pays the highest price. Another beautiful cone-shaped, regmaglypted and flight-oriented 2.821-kg meteorite mass fell on the roof of a bar destroying some of its roof tiles. Apparently, the mass first hit the southern wall of the upper floor of a house (no. 226), then bounced off, hit the roof of Dona Socorro’s house (number 225) in the Rua Genesio Marinho Falcao and rolled off the roof. Apparently, it was found by Dona Socorro’s son Genilson. The fall site on the bar is at location 8°09’45.6″S 40°36’50.6″W in the Rua Genesio Marinho Falcao in the city centre of Santa Filomena, near Praça da Matriz. According to witnesses it was still hot when touched. The ordinary chondrite (H-chondrite ?) with an approximate diameter of ~15 to ~17 centimeters was acquired to be curated and presented in the rebuilt National Museum of Brazil in the future. Another mass of about a few hundred grams was found near the fall location on the bar. Several other smaller masses have been found east of Santa Filomena. One meteorite was found at location 8°09’45.0″S 40°36’09.0″W, 1.29 kilometers east of the fall location of the 2.8-kilogram mass. Two cousins, bricklayer assistant Emanuel Carvalho Cruz and IT technician Laurent Douglas de Lima Cruz, worked at a construction site of a house near location 8° 9’59.39″S, 40°35’59.16″W in the urban area Vila Caramari, about 1640 meters east to east-southeast of the fall location of the 2.8-kilogram mass near Praça da Matriz, when they heard an explosion in the sky and thought it was an airplane which had exploded. Then they looked at the sky and saw the dust trail. They didn’t care until about one minute later three meteorites (212, 171 and 120 grams) fell very close to them within a perimeter of about 50 meters. Laurent Douglas de Lima Cruz says one ~120-gram meteorite impacted the ground only about 30 cm from where he was working. He didn’t see it fall but only heard an impact noise, saw a little dust cloud and then saw the meteorite on the ground. Before the meteorites fell the cousins had heard a noise similar to the sound of a drone. Several meteorite specimens have apparently been found within a perimeter of about 100 meters around this location. Another ~ 498(670?)-gram meteorite fell through the roof of farmer Janete Kerliane Pereira’s house (no. 5) at location ~ 8°9’37.03″S, 40°36’13.25″W in the Cohab neighborhood. It broke into at least two bigger fragments on impact and landed on a bed Pereira had slept in not long before. Her son first thought classmates had thrown a stone and went to his uncle who told him that it wasn’t an ordinary stone. It was still hot when it was touched. Her brother Cleidivan Silva reported about the incident in social media. The meteorite fragments were sold on 26 August. A farmer called Sebastião found one bigger and two smaller fragments of a 1.4-kilogram specimen which according to him broke when impacting a tree. The 20-year old student and civil firefighter Edimar Da Costa Rodrigues was at his brother’s house when he heard the bolide’s detonation sound and thought it was a tire of a truck which had burst, then saw the spiral-shaped funnel of the dust trail in the sky. Then he went home and saw a photo of the meteorite in the local social media. He recognised the depicted location near the church at Praça da Matriz in the city centre, went there and picked up the 164.32-gram specimen about 10 to 15 minutes after the detonation boom. The meteorite was not hot when touched. Apparently, no other resident had had the courage to touch and take it. The meteorite has already been sold. It is estimated that about 200 meteorite specimens have already been found. On 3 September the ‘Sociedade Brasileira de Geoquímica’ published a statement (EN) concerning the Santa Filomena meteorite fall. On the same day and reportedly as a ‘reaction’ to the events around this meteorite fall, Alex Santana presented bill 4471/20 [EN (click ‘content’)] ‘Dispõe sobre a propriedade de meteorito que atingeo solo brasileiro’ to regulate future ownership and trade of meteorites fallen or found in Brazil. The Sociedade Brasileira de Geologia – SBG has published the letter (EN) ‘Carta em defesa do patrimônio científico e cultural, em especial sobre meteoritos’. On 4 September BRAMON published a Manifesto (EN) arguing against a strict regulation and pointing out the enormous importance of the longstanding fruitful cooperation between institutes and private collectors. Another bill ( 4529/2020 (EN Click ‘content’)) with the title ‘Estabelece mecanismos de proteção ao Patrimônio Científico Brasileiro de Origem Espacial’ was proposed by deputy Wolney Queiroz on 10 September 2020.

The bolide

BRAMON, the Brazilian Meteor Observation Network, has calculated the bolide’s trajectory based on the Clima ao Vivo video recordings from Belém do São Francisco, Floresta, Salgueiro and São José do Belmonte. The daytime bolide (10:18:17 a.m. BRT / 13.18:17 UTC) entered the atmosphere moving from east to west (264.9° W) with an inclination of 44 degrees (relative to the ground) and its luminous trail was visible from an altitude of 62.8 down to 20.9 kilometers. It’s initial velocity of 17.97 km/s went down to 12.92 km/s within 4 seconds. The BRAMON trajectory data were used by Jim Goodall to calculate a strewn field available at Strewnify.

The bolide’s luminous trail as modeled by BRAMON. Image: BRAMON

The bolide’s luminous trail as modeled by BRAMON. Image: BRAMON

The precise and approximate fall locations of some masses, based on our own research and data provided by Raymond Borges and Mike Farmer via Strewnify.

The daytime bolide was recorded by live weather cameras in Belém do São Francisco, Floresta, Salgueiro and São José do Belmonte.

Apparently, a video of the bolide’s dust cloud. Video: unknown, maybe Mateus Silvah

Sebastião’s 1.4-kilogram specimen

Sebastião holding the fragmented 1.4-kilogram specimen next to the apparent impact mark on the tree. Image: Flávio Silva

The apparent impact mark on the tree. Image: Flávio Silva

Sebastião holding the 1.4-kilogram specimen. Image: G1

Sebastião holding the three fragments of the 1.4-kilogram specimen. Image: G1

The 164.32-gram specimen of Santa Filomena (prov.)

The flat 164.32-gram specimen which has been picked up by Edimar Da Costa Rodrigues in the centre of Santa Filomena. Photo: Astro Agreste

The flat 164.32-gram specimen which has been picked up by Edimar Da Costa Rodrigues in the centre of Santa Filomena. Photo: Astro Agreste

The flat 164.32-gram specimen which has been picked up by Edimar Da Costa Rodrigues in the centre of Santa Filomena. Photo: Edimar Da Costa Rodrigues

The flat 164.32-gram specimen which has been picked up by Edimar Da Costa Rodrigues in the centre of Santa Filomena. Photo: Edimar Da Costa Rodrigues

The Cruz cousins’ specimens of Santa Filomena (prov.)

One of the meteorites which fell in the Vila Caramari area. Photo: Charles Araújo

One of the meteorites which fell in the Vila Caramari area. Photo: Charles Araújo

Laurent Douglas de Lima Cruz holding two meteorite specimens found in the urban area Vila Caramari. The specimen on the left weighs about 171 grams and has a broken face with patches of secondary fusion crust and flowlines. The specimen on the right is fully crusted. Both specimens have been sold. Image: GR2 TV

Laurent Douglas de Lima Cruz holding one of the three meteorite specimens found in the urban area Vila Caramari.

Emanuel Carvalho Cruz holding a third specimen found in the urban area Vila Caramari. Image: GR2

A specimen found in the urban area Vila Caramari. Photo: Douglas Oliveira

Two meteorite specimens found in the urban area Vila Caramari. Image: Douglas Oliveira

The 498(670?)-gram mass from Cohab

The approximate impact location of the meteorite on the roof. Photo: Raymond Borges

Cleidivan Silva reporting about the meteorite which fell through his sister’s roof. The video image is horizontally flipped thus giving a wrong impression.

Janete Kerliane Pereira holding one fragment of the meteorite next to the impact hole in the roof above a bedroom. Image: GR2

One fragment of the meteorite which fell through Janete Kerliane Pereira’s roof. Image: GR2

The meteorite which fell through Janete Kerliane Pereira’s roof. Image: GR2

Other meteorite specimens

A meteorite found at location 8°09’45.0″S 40°36’09.0″W. Photo: Amanda Tosi

A 38.76-gram fragment, found by members of the group Astro Agreste. Photo: Astro Agreste

The 38.76-gram fragment in situ next to a fence, found by members of the group Astro Agreste. Photo: Astro Agreste

A 19.83-gram fragment, found by members of the group Astro Agreste. Photo: Astro Agreste

The 19.83-gram fragment in situ, found by members of the group Astro Agreste. Photo: Astro Agreste

Media coverage

Meteorito de 40 quilos cai em sertão pernambucano e provoca caçada; veja a pedra valiosa

Fantástico, Globo TV (6 September 2020)

A representative selection of TV media coverage has been uploaded by the Meteoríticas team on 7 September 2020:

TV reports about the Santa Filomena fall

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