Sulagiri                   12°41′N, 77°56′E

Sulagiri, Krishnagiri District, Tamil Nadu, India

Fall: 12 September 12, 2008; 08:30 h (Indian Standard Time) (UT+5.5)

Ordinary chondrite (LL6)

History: On September 12, 2008, around 08.30 h, a meteorite fell from the NW sky and was observed by several people of villages closely located around the town of Sulagiri. A screeching noise was heard coming from the north and a bang was heard subsequently by some eye witnesses. The meteorite fragmented at least once in transit, which led to multiple falls around a cluster of villages, defining an elliptical strewn field measuring 3 km along the NW-SE direction and 1 km across. The sizes of the meteorites increase from W to E.

Physical characteristics: Seven pieces were retrieved and field data were collected (V. Krishnan and K. Nagarajan, GSI). Three pieces from Adda Gurikki village (12°41′00′′N, 77°57′10′′E), weighing a total of 50 kg (13 kg, 11 kg, and 26 kg), two pieces from Rautapalli village (12°41.53′N, 77°56.67′E), weighing 45 kg (29 kg and 16 kg) and one piece each from Gangapuram (12°41.32′N, 77°55.53′′E) and Addagurikki Kottur (12°41.46′′N, 77°56.88′E), 6 kg each, were recovered. The total mass of the fall is more than 110 kg, the largest reported fall in the Indian subcontinent. The meteorite samples are fresh, light gray colored on broken surfaces and covered by thin, light brownish to dark colored fusion crust on partly broken to complete faces.

Petrography (Basab Chattopadhyay, GSI): Sulagiri is composed dominantly of olivine and pyroxene. Capyroxene is rare and mostly occurs within low-Ca pyroxene. Troilite is more abundant than Fe-Ni metal. Feldspar grains are common. Chondrules are rare, range from about 200 to 500 μm in diameter and are mostly poorly defined and integrated with the recrystallized matrix.

Mineral compositions and geochemistry (Basab Chattopadhyay, GSI): Average low-Ca pyroxene is Fs21.9 (N = 86) and olivine is Fa25.4 (N = 54). Feldspar averages Ab83.5An10.6Or5.9. Percent mean deviations (PMD) of Fs in low-Ca pyroxene and Fa in olivine are 2.9 and 2.2, respectively. Shock stage is S2. Bulk chemical composition by XRF and ICP-MS (P. N. Shukla, K. Durga Prasad and S. V. S. Murty, PRL) gives Fe = 18.3%, Ni = 1.03% and Co = 480 ppm.

Classification: Ordinary chondrite (LL6).

Type specimens: Total mass of 110 kg and three thin sections are with GSI.






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