On the evening of January 1st 2020 a bright fireball lit up the early evening sky over northern Italy. It was captured by the new Italian PRISMA video fireball-tracking network and a trajectory and drop zone for the meteoroid calculated. It was likely to have fallen close to the village of Disvetro in the Cavezzo region. A call went out to local residents to actively hunt for samples and on July 4th Davide Gaddi found two small pieces weighing 55 g. Based on the PRISMA data researchers have calculated an orbit for the meteoroid which indicates that it originated in the asteroid belt. This was not unexpected as previous fireball trajectories for meteoroids invariably indicate an asteroid belt origin.
So, last Wednesday I got an excited call from a friend in Italy, could we run an oxygen isotope analysis of the sample? Of course I gave a very emphatic YES to that question. A super start to 2020.
Blog image: Village of Disvetro, Cavezzo region, Italy (image: Wikipedia)
Top image: New Italian meteorite.