An Article In Meteorite-Times Magazine
by Martin Horejsi of  Martin Horejsi's Meteorite and Tektite Books
 


 
Kendrapara, India:

A Tale of Modern Day Folklore

 


 
While I usually prefer to collect more historical stones, the 2003 fall of the Indian meteorite named Kendrapara was just too amazing to pass up. This 9.8g crusted thick slice is the piece from which the thin section for classification was taken, and a portion of the piece that was pictured in Meteorite Magazine.

According to the Meteoritical Bulletin, Kendrapara is an H4-5 S2 chondrite that fell on September 23, 2003 at 1830 IST. With a total recovered weight of less than 7kg, and tales about its fall reaching biblical proportions, I thought it would be a worthy addition to my collection. Especially when accompanied with a notebook full of new stories including the following:
 

Those with Great Headlines:
Meteorite in India injures 20

Meteorite injures eight in Orissa

Five said hurt as meteorite crashes

Three people hospitalized after meteor hits homes

Meteorite injures two in Indian village

Meteorite that led to one man's death and injured 11

Meteorite wrecks houses in India

Meteorite strikes Indian village

Meteorite Hits Village In India

Meteorite Crushes to Earth

Meteor dazzles Indians

Meteors Raining From the Sky

 

Science Articles:

Meteorite Shower in Orissa

Meteorite falls over India during 2003

Spectacular fall of the Kendrapara H5 chondrite

Hunt on for meteorite remains

The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 88, 2004 July

 

Other Odds and Ends:

Orissa villagers stumble upon meteorite debris

Meteorite-like object found in village

Falling meteorite piece lights up skies

Meteor debris rush continues

Meteorites on display in Orissa

Meteorite shoots across Orissa sky

Extra-Terrestrial Impacts in the Geological Past: Some Reflections

Best UFO Photo Ever

The Pope, Earthquakes, Meteors, Solar Flares and Blackouts



 
The hard rains of the monsoon assisted in the oxidation of most pieces of Kendrapara including this one.

 

Indian meteorites are not really in short supply with the online Catalogue of Meteorites listing 132 of them with an astounding 94% of them witnessed to fall. India has 121 stone meteorites of which 14 are achondrites, and 99 are chondrites. There are eight irons (of which 6 are witnessed falls), and one pallasite (a fall of course).

India is home to many meteorites that populate collections worldwide including Parnallee and Shalka, and there are many that have likely never left the borders of India.

India is home to the best of the best when it comes to meteorites including classics like Shergotty, and Semarkona (LL3.0) of which a nice piece of either would top out any collection.

While Kendrapara is my latest stone from India, it is not my only one. Below are some of my other meteorites from India.

 



 
Here are two views of Haraiya, a eucrite witnessed to fall in 1878, that has a TKW of only 1kg. The above pictures provides an exterior view filled with beautiful flowlines. Below is the contrasting interior classic to eucrites.

Here are three articles to put more of a face on this achondrite and where it was landed are linked to below.


 



 
The Supuhee chondrite arrived at noon on January 19, 1865, and three of the stones that fell landed on the Bubuowly Indigo Factory.

The specimen number written on paper and glued to the stone is from the Museum of Natural History in London. The number (41050) is referenced in the Catalogue of Meteorites as a nearly complete stone of 55g that fell on the Bubuowly Factory.

The piece as it resides in my collection is 42g and thus 76% of the entire stone so I guess I can think of this as an almost-individual since more than 3/4ths of it is in one piece.

Here is a link to a painting of an indigo factory painted around the same time of the fall of Supuhee.

The cut and polished face of this stone of Supuhee shows that the uniformly black crusted exterior gives no clues as to what excitement is hidden inside.

This is an especially exciting addition to my collection since I am enthralled by wild breccias and shocked stones. Add to that the fact that Supuhee is a famous and historic fall from the mid 1800s, and just happened to hit a factory. Furthermore, this piece is most of one of only three small hammer stones, and with the direct connection to the British Museum collection, this specimen of Supuhee easily moved to the top of my favorites list.

 

 


 

This crusted stone is Goalpara, India, a ureilite that was once part of the Jewel Collection of the Rajah of Goalpara. I have highlighted this piece in other Accretion Desk articles, but I just cannot get enough of it.

 

There might be quite a bit of Dhurmsala, India, but still any witnessed fall of an LL6 in 1860 is welcome in my collection.

This polished partial slice contains a typed specimen label. I do not know the origin of the label and would like any additional information readers could provide. The only typed specimen number similar to this one that I have seen was on a meteorite from the Russian Academy of Sciences. Given the age of this fall (over 145 years ago) I imagine that it could have spent time in any meteorite collection anywhere.

 

 

Bishunpur, India (pictured above) is a coveted LL3.1 chondrite that fell on April 26, 1895. Although four stones fell, two were promptly lost leaving just slightly more than one kilogram of Bishunpur for the the world to share.

Bishunpur is rarely seen, but its cousin Parnallee (pictured below) is well distributed even though it fell almost 40 years earlier. The presence of Parnallee in so many collections is likely due to the fact that there is about 77 times more Parnallee than there is of Bishunpur.

Note the armored chondrule among other treats long buried in this early childhood picture of our solar system.


 

Of course no tour through India would be complete without visiting Shergotty. The rich crust on this fragment is impressive. The thick tar-like crust looks like licorice frosting on a Key lime cake. I bet nobody has described Mars like that before.

As another year and another installment of The Accretion Desk comes to an end, I cannot help but be thankful for the time I have been able to spend with all these wonderful meteorites. Tomorrow is the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US, and while there are many more important things in life than meteorites, it is the elegant distraction these stones provide that helps smooth the rough spots in life.

As most of you all know by now, the helm of Meteorite Magazine has been passed to a group here in the US. I am thankful that Joel, the former editor of Meteorite Magazine is doing better and his health is improving. I am thankful that the journal will continue since it has been a part of my life since I began writing for Meteorite! in 1997.

And I am thankful that great hosts of this website, Paul and Jim, have chosen to share with the rest of the world their web talents and appreciation for meteorites.

However, as the crazy turmoil in our world continues, I will end this year with a sentiment that Joel left with me several years ago:

"Let's hope the next year is better than this one."
Until 2006...Cheers!
 

 

The Accretion Desk welcomes all comments and feedback.

accretiondesk@gmail.com