On October 23, 2015, at 0547 UTC, a large fireball lit up the rolling hills of wine country east of Paso Robles.
The bolide stunned onlookers with a multitude of colors as it broke up into many pieces. The magnitude of the fall was so great that the spectacle was even observed several states away. Dozens of witnesses close to the ground path heard sonic booms shortly after the fireball terminated.
By the next day, the American Meteor Society had received over 120 reports. At first I was confused by what I saw in the data in the various AMS reports. As I sorted through a number of eye witness descriptions, it was soon clear that there were two events near to one another, both in distance and in time. I began working through the reports from the larger event individually, narrowing down the area to San Luis Obispo County. And focusing on eye witness reports in this area, I found one report in particular that caught my attention. The eye witness reported what sounded “like bombs falling,” and that the meteor had passed directly overhead.
I contacted Marc Fries with the location and suggested the fall was probably within a few miles of the eye witnesses location. Within minutes, Marc found radar returns in the area that corresponded with the time of the event.
On October 27th, my wife Anne Marie and I arrived in the area under the returns Marc Fries had discovered. Within twenty minutes, we found a stone that had hit a metal fence post and shattered, showering the road embankment with fragments. We recovered 395.7 grams of material from the site and subsequently reassembled the majority of the stone.
IT WAS CLASSIFIED AS A L6 ORDINARY CHONDRITE.
|Location:||San Luis Obispo Co., California, USA|
|Fell:||October 23, 2015, 05:47 UTC|