Karoonda Meteorite

Karoonda became a household word in scientific circles because of the meteorite which fell to earth 3.6 km away at 10.53 p.m. on 25th November, 1930. A rare event, and to have been observed was also uncommon.

It was observed falling from Eyre Peninsula to mid Victoria – witnesses described it as “turning light into day”.

Karoonda Meteorite articleAlso rare was the type it was – unlike any other found, as although of the ‘stony’ type, it was mainly iron silicates, eventually being classified a “chondritic asiderite”.

Because of its type it shattered on impact (shaking the township as it did so!) making a crater 46 cm deep with surrounding ridge a little over one metre across, scattering fragments over a two metre diameter area.

The largest piece weighed 7 lbs (3.2 kg) but the total of all fragments collected came to 92 lbs (41.73 kg).

The Karoonda Meteorite attracted world-wide attention and pieces have been exchanged with countries in Europe and America.

Karoonda MeteoriteThe plate on the front of the display case reads:

“On November 25th 1930 South Australians were started by the appearance of a brilliant “Fire Ball”.  As a result of astronomical observations and information received from various localities it seemed probably that a Meteorite had landed somewhere in the neighbourhood of Karoonda.

Under the leadership of Processor Kerr Grant and Mr GF Dodwell a University Party made a thorough search of this District and was rewarded on December 9th by the discovery of the Meteorite, the locality being Lat 35º6 South, Long 139º56 East about 2¼ Miles due East of Karoonda.

The Meteorite material consisted of two large pieces and a very great number of small fragments weighing in all about 92 lbs.  The Karoonda Meteorite is of the Stony Type and of very unusual composition.  It consists mainly of Silicates of Iron and Magnesium Iron Sulphites and a very small amount of Iron-nickel Alloy.”

The above piece of the Karoonda Meteorite is on display in the Council Offices, 11 Railway Terrace, Karoonda, there is also a monument in RSL Park, Railway Terrace, Karoonda.

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