The Fireball of November 24, 1970, as the Most Probable Source of the Ischgl MeteoriteOPEN ACCESS 

Maria Gritsevich, Jarmo Moilanen, Jaakko Visuri, Matthias M. M. Meier, Colin Maden, Jürgen Oberst, Dieter Heinlein, Joachim Flohrer, Alberto J. Castro-Tirado, Jorge Delgado-García, Christian Koeberl, Ludovic Ferrière, Franz Brandstätter, Pavel P. Povinec, Ivan Sýkora, Florian Schweidler

Accepted for publication in Meteoritics & Planetary Science


Update (25 May 2024): MAPS

“The discovery of the Ischgl meteorite unfolded in a captivating manner. In June 1976, a pristine meteorite stone weighing approximately 1 kg, fully covered with a fresh black fusion crust, was collected on a mountain road in the high-altitude Alpine environment. The recovery took place while clearing the remnants of a snow avalanche, 2 km northwest of the town of Ischgl in Austria. Subsequent to its retrieval, the specimen remained tucked away in the finder’s private residence without undergoing any scientific examination or identification until 2008, when it was brought to the University of Innsbruck. Upon evaluation, the sample was classified as a well-preserved LL6 chondrite, with a W0 weathering grade, implying a relatively short time between the meteorite fall and its retrieval. To investigate the potential connection between the Ischgl meteorite and a recorded fireball event, we have reviewed all documented fireballs ever photographed by German fireball camera stations. This examination led us to identify the fireball EN241170 observed in Germany by 10 different European Network stations on the night of November 23/24, 1970, as the most likely candidate. We employed state-of-the-art techniques to reconstruct the fireball’s trajectory and to reproduce both its luminous and dark flight phases in detail. We find that the determined strewn field and the generated heat map closely align with the recovery location of the Ischgl meteorite. Furthermore, the measured radionuclide data reported here indicate that the pre-atmospheric size of the Ischgl meteoroid is consistent with the mass estimate inferred from our deceleration analysis along the trajectory. Our findings strongly support the conclusion that the Ischgl meteorite originated from the EN241170 fireball, effectively establishing it as a confirmed meteorite fall. This discovery enables to determine, along with the physical properties, also the heliocentric orbit and cosmic history of the Ischgl meteorite.”