Recovery and curation of the Winchcombe (CM2) meteorite

Russell, S. S. et al. (2023) Recovery and curation of the Winchcombe (CM2) meteorite. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, (doi: 10.1111/maps.13956) (Early Online Publication)

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The Winchcombe meteorite fell on February 28, 2021 and was the first recovered meteorite fall in the UK for 30 years, and the first UK carbonaceous chondrite. The meteorite was widely observed by meteor camera networks, doorbell cameras, and eyewitnesses, and 213.5 g (around 35% of the final recovered mass) was collected quickly—within 12 h—of its fall. It, therefore, represents an opportunity to study very pristine extra‐terrestrial material and requires appropriate careful curation. The meteorite fell in a narrow (600 m across) strewn field ~8.5 km long and oriented approximately east–west, with the largest single fragment at the farthest (east) end in the town of Winchcombe, Gloucestershire. Of the total known mass of 602 g, around 525 g is curated at the Natural History Museum, London. A sample analysis plan was devised within a month of the fall to enable scientists in the UK and beyond to quickly access and analyze fresh material. The sample is stored long term in a nitrogen atmosphere glove box. Preliminary macroscopic and electron microscopic examinations show it to be a CM2 chondrite, and despite an early search, no fragile minerals, such as halite, sulfur, etc., were observed.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:STFC funded the glovebox and initial analyses of this meteorite as part of the project “Curation and Preliminary Examination of the Winchcombe Carbonaceous Chondrite Fall” (ST/V000799/1). KHJ thanks STFC (ST/V000675/1) and the Royal Society (URF\R\201009) for support. LD thanks a University of Glasgow COVID-19-Research Support Scheme grant and LD and MRL thank STFC (ST/T002328/1) for support. AJK and HCB are supported by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) grant MR/T020261/1.
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Pickersgill, Dr Annemarie and Hallis, Dr Lydia and Lee, Professor Martin and Daly, Dr Luke and O'Brien, Ms Aine
Authors: Russell, S. S., King, A. J., Bates, H. C., Almeida, N. V., Greenwood, R. C., Daly, L., Joy, K. H., Rowe, J., Salge, T., Smith, C. L., Grindrod, P., Boazman, S., Bond, L., Bond, V., Casey, C., Dickeson, Z., Ensor, G., Farrelly, S., Godfrey, P., Hallis, L. J., Ihász, M. B., Kirk, D., Jackson, L., Lee, M. R., Mayne, B., McMullan, S., Mounsey, A., Mounsey, S. E., Mounsey, S., Motaghian, S., Naqvi, S., O'Brien, Á., Pickersgill, A., Skilton, D., Spencer, I., Stephen, N. R., Suttle, F., Suttle, M. D., Tartese, R., Weir, C., Wilcock, C., Wilcock, H., and Wilcock, R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Meteoritics and Planetary Science
ISSN (Online):1945-5100
Published Online:26 February 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Authors
First Published:First published in Meteoritics and Planetary Science 2023
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
308251UK leadership in extraterrestrial sample returnMartin LeeScience and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/T002328/1P&S - Physics & Astronomy