Saint-Pierre-le-Viger (L5-6) from asteroid 2023 CX1 recovered in the Normandy, France — 220 years after the historic fall of L’Aigle (L6 breccia) in the neighborhoodOPEN ACCESS 

Addi Bischoff, Markus Patzek, Tommaso Di Rocco, Andreas Pack, Aleksandra Stojic, Jasper Berndt, Stefan Peters

Version of Record online: 15 September 2023


“On February 13, 2023, a huge fireball was visible over Western Europe (fireball event 2023 CX1). After the possible strewn field was calculated, the first of several recovered samples, with a mass of about 100 g, was discovered just 2 days after the fireball event on the ground of the village of Saint-Pierre-le-Viger. Meanwhile, more than 60 samples with a total mass of more than 1 kg were recovered and a piece of one of these is studied here. The fall occurred 220 years after the historic meteorite fall of L’Aigle on April 26, 1803, <120 km south. L’Aigle is the closest meteorite fall to Saint-Pierre-le-Viger and belongs to the same chondrite group. Both meteorites are breccias containing only clasts of high metamorphic degree (type 5 and type 6). Since only 20% of the L chondrites are breccias this coincidence is remarkable. As just mentioned, both samples studied from these rocks in this work are ordinary chondrite breccias and consist of equilibrated and recrystallized lithologies of petrologic type 6. The brecciated texture in L’Aigle, resulting in a remarkable light–dark structure, is more pronounced than the brecciated features in Saint-Pierre-le-Viger, from which also type 5 fragments have been reported. The compositions of low-Ca pyroxene and olivine grains in Saint-Pierre-le-Viger (Fs21.2 and Fa23.4, respectively) clearly require an L-group classification. L’Aigle was classified as an L6 breccia in the past, and this has now been confirmed by new data on low-Ca pyroxene and olivine (Fs20.7 and Fa23.8, respectively). Saint-Pierre-le-Viger contains local thin shock veins, and both meteorites are moderately shocked. Most olivines in the studied samples have planar fractures, but the estimated abundance of mosaicized olivines of 30%–40% among the large grains require a S4 shock classification. Oxygen isotope and bulk chemical data of Saint-Pierre-le-Viger certainly support the L chondrite classification. Bulk spectral data of Saint-Pierre-le-Viger are dominated by silicate minerals, that is, Fe-bearing low-Ca pyroxene, olivine, and plagioclase. Isotopic, chemical, and spectral data of the L’Aigle meteorite are shown for comparison and are very similar, providing additional circumstantial evidence of Saint-Pierre-le-Viger’s L chondritic nature.”