Radar-enabled recovery of the Sutter's Mill meteorite, a carbonaceous chondrite regolith breccia

Peter Jenniskens, Marc D. Fries, Qing Zhu Yin, Michael Zolensky, Alexander N. Krot, Scott A. Sandford, Derek Sears, Robert Beauford, Denton S. Ebel, Jon M. Friedrich, Kazuhide Nagashima, Josh Wimpenny, Akane Yamakawa, Kunihiko Nishiizumi, Yasunori Hamajima, Marc W. Caffee, Kees C. Welten, Matthias Laubenstein, Andrew M. Davis, Steven B. SimonPhilipp R. Heck, Edward D. Young, Issaku E. Kohl, Mark H. Thiemens, Morgan H. Nunn, Takashi Mikouchi, Kenji Hagiya, Kazumasa Ohsumi, Thomas A. Cahill, Jonathan A. Lawton, David Barnes, Andrew Steele, Pierre Rochette, Kenneth L. Verosub, Jérôme Gattacceca, George Cooper, Daniel P. Glavin, Aaron S. Burton, Jason P. Dworkin, Jamie E. Elsila, Sandra Pizzarello, Ryan Ogliore, Phillipe Schmitt-Kopplin, Mourad Harir, Norbert Hertkorn, Alexander Verchovsky, Monica Grady, Keisuke Nagao, Ryuji Okazaki, Hiroyuki Takechi, Takahiro Hiroi, Ken Smith, Elizabeth A. Silber, Peter G. Brown, Jim Albers, Doug Klotz, Mike Hankey, Robert Matson, Jeffrey A. Fries, Richard J. Walker, Igor Puchtel, Cin Ty A. Lee, Monica E. Erdman, Gary R. Eppich, Sarah Roeske, Zelimir Gabelica, Michael Lerche, Michel Nuevo, Beverly Girten, Simon P. Worden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

187 Citations (Scopus)


Doppler weather radar imaging enabled the rapid recovery of the Sutter's Mill meteorite after a rare 4-kiloton of TNT-equivalent asteroid impact over the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in northern California. The recovered meteorites survived a record high-speed entry of 28.6 kilometers per second from an orbit close to that of Jupiter-family comets (Tisserand's parameter = 2.8 ± 0.3). Sutter's Mill is a regolith breccia composed of CM (Mighei)-type carbonaceous chondrite and highly reduced xenolithic materials. It exhibits considerable diversity of mineralogy, petrography, and isotope and organic chemistry, resulting from a complex formation history of the parent body surface. That diversity is quickly masked by alteration once in the terrestrial environment but will need to be considered when samples returned by missions to C-class asteroids are interpreted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1583-1587
Number of pages5
Issue number6114
Publication statusPublished - Dec 21 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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