In the absence of a firm link between individual meteorites and their asteroidal parent bodies, asteroids are typically characterized only by their light reflection properties, and grouped accordingly into classes. On 6 October 2008, a small asteroid was discovered with a flat reflectance spectrum in the 554-995nm wavelength range, and designated 2008 TC3 (refs 4-6). It subsequently hit the Earth. Because it exploded at 37km altitude, no macroscopic fragments were expected to survive. Here we report that a dedicated search along the approach trajectory recovered 47 meteorites, fragments of a single body named Almahata Sitta, with a total mass of 3.95kg. Analysis of one of these meteorites shows it to be an achondrite, a polymict ureilite, anomalous in its class: ultra-fine-grained and porous, with large carbonaceous grains. The combined asteroid and meteorite reflectance spectra identify the asteroid as F class, now firmly linked to dark carbon-rich anomalous ureilites, a material so fragile it was not previously represented in meteorite collections.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 26 Mar 2009|
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