Meteora di San Valentino, is the second recovered in 6 years in Italy

The meteorite that fell in Basilicata is the second whose fragments have been found in Italy in the last six years, i.e. since Prisma, the network of the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) specialized in meteor surveillance, began to operate. “The recovery of a meteorite” is a fairly rare event,” Daniele Gardiol, national coordinator of Prisma (the first Italian network for the systematic surveillance of meteors and the atmosphere), told ANSA.

“In Prisma’s six years of activity we have detected about one event a year with fragments falling to the ground, but not all cases are so favorable for recovery: sometimes the fragments can fall into the sea or into rough terrain, such as those mountains or in the woods. That of Matera – he added – is the second case in which we are able to recover the fragments” and it is “a significant event also at a global level”. In fact, it has happened 40 times in the world in the last 64 years. “Since 1959, there have been a total of 40 events in which meteorites have been recovered. The first case occurred in Czechoslovakia and subsequently the surveillance network was intensified”.

The origin from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter
Preliminary trajectory calculations, processed by the Prisma network indicate that the meteor arrived from the asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter. “By extending the meteor’s trajectory backwards, it is possible to understand where it comes from and, in this case, the preliminary calculations indicate that the area of ​​origin is the main asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter,” Gardiol said. . Mathematical calculations also make it possible to identify the arrival area of ​​the meteorite. “This is how the fragments were found in Matera,” he said. “So far 70,000 meteorites have been recovered, but only a thousand have been seen to fall by eyewitnesses.”

Proposed name ‘Matera’
In the meantime, the name to be proposed to the Meteoritical Society, the international scientific society that certifies data on meteorites processed all over the world, has also been identified. “Since the meteorites take their name from the place where they fell, we will propose the name ‘Matera’ – said Gardiol – but this can only happen after the analyzes have been completed, in months”.

Source: Ansa

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