News & AnalysisMETEORITICS

Sutter's Mill Meteorite Produces Mother Lode of Research

Science  21 Dec 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6114, pp. 1521
DOI: 10.1126/science.338.6114.1521

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Summary

The Sutter's Mill meteorite—the fiery, minivan-sized boulder from space that streaked across the sky over California and Nevada on 22 April—led a consortium of scientists to try to find and analyze its fragments. Named for the nearby site of the 1848 gold strike that triggered the California gold rush, astronomers now believe the meteorite to be the most pristine sample yet collected of a rare type of carbonaceous chondrite, and possibly a sneak preview of a primitive asteroid to which NASA might one day send astronauts.