The most massive meteorite recorded to have fallen in Kentucky

Anita Durairaj
Picture by М. Курушин; Wikimedia Commons; CC-SA-4.0 International

The Kenton County meteorite found in Kenton County, Kentucky is recorded to be the most massive meteorite to have fallen in the state.

Data from the International Society for Meteoritics and Planetary Science show that the Kenton County meteorite is one of 25 approved meteorites in Kentucky. It is also the most massive of Kentucky's 25 approved meteorites.

The meteorite was found in 1889 and weighs in at a mass of 194 kg. The meteorite was first discovered by G.W. Cornelius where it had fallen on his farm. The meteorite mass was reportedly stuck 1 m below the surface and was also interlocked with the roots of a tree.

Elemental analysis shows that the Kenton County meteorite is mostly composed of iron and nickel. It also has smaller amounts of cobalt, carbon, and trace amounts of copper, sulfur, and phosphorous.

The meteorite is special because it is an iron meteorite. Moreover, it is one of only 6 IIIAB iron meteorites from Kentucky.

According to Britannica, iron meteorites comprise only 5% of observed meteorite falls. They are called irons and are easy to distinguish from terrestrial rocks.

There are two minerals, kamacite, and taenite that make up the composition of irons. The Kenton County meteorite is also composed of these minerals.

In addition, the Kenton County meteorite is reported to contain the mineral carlsbergite. Carlsbergite is a nitride mineral that has only been reported in a few meteorites found all over the world.

After its discovery, the Kenton County meteorite was purchased by Wards Natural Science Establishment and has now been sold.

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