Peekskill, New York, United States

October 9, 1992: Peekskill meteorite

"The Peekskill meteorite is among the most historic meteorite events on record. Sixteen separate video recordings document the meteorite burning through the Earth's atmosphere, whereupon it struck a parked car in Peekskill, New York. Peekskill is an H6 monomict breccia; its filagreed texture is the result of the shocking and heating following the impact of two asteroids in outer space. The meteorite is of the stony variety and approximately 20% of its mass is tiny flakes of nickel-iron. When it struck Earth, the meteorite weighed 26-pounds (12 kg) and measured one foot in diameter. The Peekskill meteorite is estimated to be 4.4 billion years old.

Numerous residents of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. described the 'huge greenish fireball.' The meteorite broke up over Kentucky and passed over West Virginia and Pennsylvania on its north-northeast trajectory before striking a parked 1980 red Chevy Malibu at approximately 7:50 pm EDT. After traveling through space at a cosmic velocity of 8.8 miles per second, the speed of the meteorite at impact had slowed to 164 miles per hour.

After it smashed through the trunk of her Chevy Malibu, 18-year old Michelle Knapp retrieved the meteorite, after which it was sold to a consortium of three dealers for more than $69,000. Today, small specimens of Peekskill sell for approximately $125 per gram. The car, as well as the main mass of the meteorite (which weighs 890 grams), are currently in the Macovich Collection of Meteorites. Additional specimens of the meteorite can be found in Chicago's Field Museum, the American National History Museum, and the Smithsonian."

Photo by John Bortle, "Photo of Michelle Knapp in the driveway with her Malibu taken by John Bortle only days after the historic impact."

October 9, 1992: Peekskill meteorite