On this day June 24, 1938
PIeces of a meteor, estimated to have weighed 450 metric tons when it hit the Earth’s atmosphere and exploded, land near Chicora, Pennsylvania.
Named the “Chicora Meteor”, the 450+ tonne meteorite exploded approximately twelve miles above the Earth’s surface. Only two fragments of the meteorite were found following initial investigations. They had masses 242g and 61g, and were discovered some miles short of the calculated point of impact of the main mass – which is yet to be found. Two more small fragments were found nearby in 1940.
Numerous reports of the Chicora Meteor mention that a cow was struck and injured by a falling stone; other accounts say that the cow was in fact killed by the stone.
The meteor was an olivine-hypersthene chondrite. Its remains were split between the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institution.
The sound and light of the exploding meteor were initially mistaken for an explosion in the powder magazine at West Winfield, and was compared by investigators FW Preston, EP Henderson and James R Randolph as comparable to with the Halifax explosion of 1917 in destructive power. “If it had landed on Pittsburgh there would have been few survivors”, they stated.