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Avanhandava, Brazil: A No-Nonsense H4

Avanhandava is a stone not usually represented in private collections, and even more rarely in anything larger than a gram or two. The distribution of Avanhandava is very low even though there are over nine kilograms in circulation.

Avanhandava fell in San Paulo, Brazil in 1952. It is listed as an H4, S2, and despite it’s mundaneness, Avanhandava has found its way into a handful of research studies.

There are much better looking chondrites then Avanhandava. In fact, most stones, even those pulled from the hot sands are more enjoyable to gaze at. Avanhandava as represented in most collections is little more than a friable rust-tinted blob with occasional distinct chondrites.

Initial reports stated that the mass of Avanhandava that arrived on earth was 30cm in diameter. However, it broke up and 9.3kg were preserved. According to the Catalogue of Meteorites, of those few kilos, the largest pieces are 7.74kg in Colegio Estadual, 1.59kg in Avanhandava, 3.1kg in the USNM. Since that totals 12.42kg, but the first two weights exactly total the listed TKW, I assume that some subdividing has occurred within the limited sub 10kg initial report.

Avanhandava is certainly not a looker, but it does represent a half-century old witnessed fall. And any witnessed fall is a good fall in my book.

Until next time….

About the Author

Dr. Martin Horejsi is a Professor of Instructional Technology and Science Education at The University of Montana. A long-time meteorite collector and writer, before publishing his column The Accretion Desk in The Meteorite Times, he contributed often and wrote the column From The Strewnfields in Meteorite Magazine. Horejsi is currently a monthly columnist in The Science Teacher, a journal by the National Science Teachers Association.Horejsi specializes in the collection and study of historic witnessed fall meteorites with the older, smaller, and rarer the better. Although his meteorite collection once numbered over a thousand pieces with near that many different locations, several large trades and sales have streamlined the collection to about 250 locations with all but 10 being important witnessed falls.Many of the significant specimens in Horejsi's collection are historic witnessed falls that once occupied prominence in the meteorite collections of Robert A. Haag, James Schwade, and Michael Farmer. Other important specimens were acquired through institutional trades including those from The Smithsonian Institution, Arizona State University, and other universities.