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Post Info TOPIC: Tenham meteorite


L

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RE: Tenham meteorite
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One night in February, 1869, Mr. M. Hammond, owner of Tenham Station, was camped with his brothers, whilst mustering cattle, near the junction of Cooper and Kyabra Creeks in south- west Queensland. The darkness was suddenly illuminated as if by a lightning flash, a noise like a rushing motor-car was heard, and upon looking up the brothers beheld a brilliant meteoric shower passing from west to east, Soon afterwards the locality in which the meteorites fell was found, and from time to time a number of specimens were collected, the largest weighing 130 lb.
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Title: Recent investigations of the Tenham meteorites shower.
Authors: J. H. Brook, B. R. Houston, N. A. H. Simmonds

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Title: The mass distribution of an aerolite shower (Tenham, Queensland, 1879)
Authors: Hellyer, B.

The fragments of the meteorite fell in 1879 near the Tenham station, South Gregory, in western Queensland. Although the fall was seen by a number of people its exact date has not been established; it apparently took place during February -- or possibly in March or April -- of that year. The time of fall was between 2 and 3 a.m. local time. Bright meteors were seen to be moving roughly from west to east and stones were subsequently recovered from over a large area, about 12 miles long by 3 miles wide. Unusually, the largest stones seem to have fallen at the beginning rather than at the end of the distribution ellipse.

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Title: Australian Aboriginal Geomythology: Eyewitness Accounts of Cosmic Impacts?
Authors: Duane W. Hamacher and Ray P. Norris

It was reported in 1900 that Aboriginal people were "deadly afraid" of the Warbreccan masses of the Tenham meteorite: "They cover them in the bush with kangaroo grass, a twisted gidga bark and mud, and then by boughs over the top. Their idea is if the sun sees them, more stones will be shaken down to kill them",suggesting that they had witnessed the fall(Event #20).

According to Spencer (1937) the Warbreccan stones were taken by an opal dealer named T.C. Wollaston and sold to the British Museum, using an invented story to explain their origins and how he acquired them. The Aboriginal account is taken from files in the British Museum, so this account is considered dubious (although we do not know if the account is fictitious). However, a news article (Anon 1880) describes an eyewitness account of the Tenham fall on Monday, 25 April 1880 that involved an Aboriginal policemen and theirreaction to the event:

"A few minutes aftersix o'clock [...] a very large and brilliant meteorshot from overhead and descended in a southerly direction. The meteor appeared to be the size of a six-quart billycan, and was one splendid ball of fire; it left no streak of light after it, and was the largest one I have ever seen. When the meteor had descended about three parts the distance from where I firstsaw it to the earth, I lostsight of it, asit was passing behind a large dark cloud. Istood looking in the direction the meteor wastraveling, when a loud explosion took place in the same direction which slightly shook the ground for miles around; then a loud rushing noise could be heard as though a great blast of air was rushing through a large tube suspended in mid-air. Thissound must have lasted for nearly two minutes when it died away. Next morning, when I rode up to Jundah, everyone there wanted to know what the explosion was, and the only conclusion we could arrive at was that when the meteor struck the ground it must have exploded, but we have not been able to account for the rushing sound afterwards. Inspector Sharp of the black troopers [an Aboriginal police force] said that when the explosion took place, the house he wasin shook very much, and that when he ran out to see what wastaking place he saw all the troopers running into the barracks with fright depicted on each countenance. From what I could learn I wasthe only white man atJundah who saw the transit of the meteor. It is my opinion that itstruck the earth a few miles above Galway Downs, and close to the Barcoo River, or we could not have felt the earth shake when it exploded."

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Tenham meteorites are the fragments of a larger meteorite that fell in 1879 in a remote area of Australia near the Tenham station, South Gregory, in western Queensland. Although the fall was seen by a number of people its exact date has not been established.
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The Tenham (L6) meteorite fell in Queensland, Australia, in 1879. A total mass of 160 kg was recovered.

25 44'S, 142 57'E



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