On the evening of April 24, 2020, a bright fireball exploded loudly over the countryside around the village of Gatuto Kenya. The next morning, local residents discovered numerous fresh meteorites that had fallen across the surrounding area. One meteorite damaged the roof of a house, others fell in a corn field, and others were found on the surface of a road. Pieces of the meteorite were sent for analysis and the Gatuto fall was classified as a L6 chondrite with thin shock veins and fresh metal inclusions.
Gatuto 0° 34' 12"S, 37° 17' 24"E
Confirmed fall: 2020
Classification: Ordinary chondrite (L6)
History: ...At about 8:27 pm on the evening of April 24, 2020, several witnesses near the village of Gatuto, Kenya, saw a bright trail in the sky, and about 5 minutes later heard three detonations followed by another longer sound ending with a bang. One of the witnesses to these phenomena, Mr. Josphat Gakere, was outside his house near Gatuto road when he and his family saw the fireball and heard detonations. Moments later he witnessed the impact of an object 15 m away, and discovered a 1 m deep hole in his maize garden. The following morning, an intact 6140 g fusion-crusted stone was excavated from the hole. Mrs. Mary Wamburu was preparing supper in her house near the village of Kombuini (between Kagio and Kutus) when she heard a noise on the corrugated metal roof. She looked into the next room and saw a hole in the roof and shattered rock on the concrete floor. Further investigations led by Mr. Mahamed Nur Ogle resulted in the recovery of a 2290 g stone, excavated next to a tree with bark shredded at a high angle to the ground on the farm adjacent to Mr. Gakere’s farm, as well as a 1 kg stone next to the Kerugoya-Kaguma road near the nearby village of Kimicha, an additional 494.4 g of fragments from other farms, and 117.7 g of fragments which had impacted and made white marks on the Kagio-Kutus road near Kimicha. Another >8 kg stone was excavated from its impact hole behind a man’s home located 2.2 km NNW of Gatuto; although people struck the stone with a hammer and removed some fragments, a ~7.4 kg intact piece remained.
Physical characteristics: The total weight of recovered material is estimated to be ~25 kg. The most complete stones are largely coated by black fusion crust. Their interiors and the broken fragments are light gray in color with a crystalline ("sugary") appearance and visible fresh metal grains. Some stones exhibit rare very thin, black shock veinlets.
Petrography: (A. Irving, UWS and P. Carpenter, WUSL) Very sparse chondrules and partial chondrules occur within a recrystallized, locally poikiloblastic matrix containing unaltered kamacite, taenite, chromite, troilite and chlorapatite. A single 5 mm fine-grained type 7 clast exhibiting complete recrystallization and triple grain junction texture is present in the studied thin section.
Classification: Ordinary chondrite (L6).