Peekskill Ordinary ChondriteFell 1992
The Peekskill meteorite was observed to fall in New York in 1992.
A train of fireballs was observed, but no other pieces of Peekskill have
ever been found (reported, anyway), but many suspect there must have been more.
The stone was cool to the touch when found, immediately after it landed.
Meteorites are named for the geographic location where they were found.
Peekskill is a stony meteorite, different from an iron meteorite such as
Ahnighito. Most meteorites are small, like Peekskill. Peekskill landed on a car.
No one has ever been killed by a meteorite, although Nakhla (in Egypt), is reputed
to have killed a dog when it fell in 1911. This slab of Peekskill has been cut
from the whole stone, a cast of which is in the AMNH collection.
The text in the Hall of Meteorites reads, in an early version:
On October 9, 1992, a brilliant fireball flashed over Peekskill, New York, startling fans at a high school football game. Nearby residents heard a terrific crash as a rock the size of a bowling ball dropped from the sky onto a parked Chevy Malibu, piercing the trunk and denting the pavement beneath it. Seconds after the crash, the stone was found near the car’s crumpled trunk, still hot and smelling of sulfur.
The Peekskill meteorite made headlines because of the unusual damage it caused, but of greater interest to scientists was its spectacular journey. Thousands spotted the greenish fireball as it streaked across the eastern United States, and more than a dozen witnesses captured it on video. The unusually detailed record of the speed, angle and direction of the falling meteorite enabled scientists to reconstruct its journey through space.
Before they strike Earth, all meteorites orbit the Sun, just as the planets do. The Peekskill meteorite was one of only a handful of meteorites observed closely enough to calculate its entire orbit. Its path has been traced back to the inner edge of the main asteroid belt, between Jupiter and Mars, indicating it came from a main-belt asteroid.
Eighteen-year-old Michelle Knapp of Peekskill, New York, a small city some 50 miles north of the American Museum of Natural History, was home watching television when she heard what sounded like an auto wreck. Stepping outside to investigate, she found a twisted hole in the trunk of her car and a smoking,12-kilogram (27-pound) rock beneath it. Scientists later concluded that the Peekskill meteorite was a fragment of a larger stone, perhaps one to two meters (three to six feet) wide, that broke up in Earth’s atmosphere.
Because of its peculiar fate, Knapp’s car became famous, displayed in Paris, Munich, Tokyo and here as "the car that was hit by a meteorite". Although meteorites fall to Earth every day, such accidents are uncommon. They sometimes hit buildings, and on rare occasion animals or even people, but there are no known cases of a person being struck and killed by a meteorite.