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Earth, Moon, and Planets

, Volume 111, Issue 1–2, pp 15–30 | Cite as

Towards an Understanding of the Fall Circumstances of the Hoba Meteorite

  • Martin Beech
Article

Abstract

Using the observed attributes of the Hoba meteorite, that it is a single mass which survived impact intact, we investigate the possible conditions leading to its fall. Specifically, we asses the scenario in which the Hoba progenitor is envisioned as encountering Earth’s atmosphere at a shallow angle of entry, with a low velocity and stabilized profile to the oncoming airflow. In order to physically survive impact we find, via the planar impact approximation, that the Hoba meteorite must have landed with a speed smaller than a few hundred meters per second. We find that the envisioned model can satisfy, in its extreme limit of low entry speed, maximum area profile and near horizontal entry angle the required landing conditions. We deduce that the progenitor mass for the Hoba meteorite was likely of order 5 × 105 kg, and that a simple impact crater, now eroded, having a diameter of some 20 m and a depth of about 5 m was produced upon impact. We estimate that the typical arrival time interval for such massive, Hoba-like meteorite falls is of order 5 × 106 years.

Keywords

Meteorites Hoba Earth impacts Planets and satellite Surfaces 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Campion CollegeThe University of ReginaReginaCanada

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