The Renchen L5-6 chondrite breccia – the first confirmed meteorite fall from Baden-Württemberg (Germany)OPEN ACCESS 

Addi Bischoff, Jean-Alix Barrat, Jasper Berndt, Jiri Borovicka, Christoph Burkhardt, Henner Busemann, Janina Hakenmüller, Dieter Heinlein, Jasmine Hertzog, Jozef Kaiser, Colin Maden, Matthias M.M. Meier, Précillia Morino, Andreas Pack, Markus Patzek, Maximilian P. Reitze, Miriam Rüfenacht, Philippe Schmitt-Kopplin, Maria Schönbächler, Pavel Spurný, Iris Weber, Karl Wimmer, Tomas Zikmund

Available online 27 July 2019


“On July 10, 2018 at 21:29 UT extended areas of South-Western Germany were illuminated by a very bright bolide. This fireball was recorded by instruments of the European Fireball Network (EN). The records enabled complex and precise description of this event including the prediction of the impact area. So far six meteorites totaling about 1.23 kg have been found in the predicted location for a given mass during dedicated searches. The first piece of about 12 g was recovered on July 24 close to the village of Renchen (Baden-Württemberg) followed by the largest fragment of 955 g on July 31 about five km north-west of Renchen.

Renchen is a moderately-shocked (S4) breccia consisting of abundant highly recrystallized rock fragments as well as impact melt rock clasts. The texture, the large grain size of plagioclase, and the homogeneous compositions of olivine (˜Fa26) and pyroxene (˜Fs22) clearly indicate that Renchen is composed of metamorphosed rock fragments (L5-6). An L-group (and ordinary chondrite) heritage is consistent with the data on the model abundance of metal, the density, the magnetic susceptibility as well as on O-, Ti-, and Cr-isotope characteristics. Renchen does not contain solar wind implanted noble gases and is a fragmental breccia. An unusually large mm-sized merrillite-apatite aggregate shows trace element characteristics like other phosphates from ordinary chondrites.

Data on the bulk chemistry, IR-spectroscopy, cosmogenic nuclides, and organic components also indicate similarities to other metamorphosed L chondrites. Noble gas studies reveal that the meteorite has a cosmic ray exposure (CRE) age of 42 Ma and that most of the cosmogenic gases were produced in a meteoroid with a radius of at max. 20 cm based on the radionuclide 26Al and 10-150 cm based on cosmogenic 22Ne/21Ne. K-Ar and U/Th-He gas retention ages are both in the range ˜3.0 to 3.2 Ga. Both systems do not show evidence for a complete reset 470 Ma ago, and may instead have recorded the same resetting event 3.0 Ga ago.”