Astromaterials Research & Exploration Science
METEORITE FALLS

CAPE MAY COURTHOUSE, NJ

CAPE MAY COURTHOUSE, NJ

CAPE MAY COURTHOUSE, NJ

DATE/TIME

11/13/2021 @ 2129 UTC

11/13/2021
2129 UTC

LAT/LONG

39.079094 • -74.820704

39.079094
-74.820704

None displayed.

STREWN FIELD

None displayed.

SUMMARY

This event is a bright bolide which occurred during daylight hours over the Atlantic Ocean, terminating over or near Cape May Courthouse, NJ. This event occurred on 13 Nov 2021 around 21:29 UTC (16:29 local time).

This event is American Meteor Society event number 7611 for 2021. 172 eyewitnesses reported seeing this fireball, which is extraordinary considering it was still daylight at the time. Three videos and two photos of the fireball were also submitted.

NASA Meteor Watch reports that this event might be a part of the northern Taurid meteor shower, which is currently active. These meteors originate from Comet 2P/Encke. If this is true and meteorites can be recovered from this event, it will be the first time that meteorites are recovered from a comet, much less a known comet.

NOAA NEXRAD radar data records a pair of unusual radar signatures at the time of the fireball (2029 UTC). These are two bright returns which bracket Cape May peninsula. The radar brightness of the western return in particular may suggest that it is a reflection off of the optically luminous fireball itself, which at this point in its flight would be very close to extinction. The altitude is very low (3.5 km), but the radar is an expanding beam and it may indicate reflection off of a bright reflector at higher altitude. Both of these radar signatures have Doppler values indicating they are moving. These two signatures describe a ground path which passes directly over Cape May Courthouse, NJ. The possibilty exists that meteorites may be found in or around Cape May Courthouse, NJ. If they are cometary, they will be very fragile and very dark in color. They will not survive very long in the open.

The evidence that this is a fall is not ironclad, but the extremely unusual nature of this possible cometary meteorite fall is scientifically important enough to merit attention.

LEARN MORE

RADAR & MAPS

Composite radar image showing possible meteorite signatures (colored pixels). See text for discussion. The red line is the possible ground track for the fireball.

RADAR SUMMARY

Composite radar image showing possible meteorite signatures (colored pixels). See text for discussion. The red line is the possible ground track for the fireball.

GET DIRECTIONS

Click on the View larger map link that is displayed in the address box above in order to get directions to the strewn field area.

EVENTS TO DATE

Learn more about other fall events and possible landing sites that have been identified across the United States.

EVENT UPDATES

Find out more about recent searches and possible discoveries that have taken place around the United States.

METEORITES 101

This step-by-step guide will show you how to locate possible meteorite fall sites using radar software and weather data along with info provided by reporting agencies and monitoring systems.
These instructions will show you how to best preserve the meteorites you discover and how to make contact with the organizations that are willing to accept and analyze your find.
Don't know exactly what a meteorite is, what they are made of or where they come from? If that's the case, we have provided a mini-"crash" course in what you need to know about them.
It turns out that meteorites have provided us a lot of scientific insight, not only into the origins of our solar system and planet Earth, but what the future might hold for mankind.
There's a lot going on in the study of meteorites, both here at NASA and in other places. Here are a few links to the people and institutions who are leading the research in this field.
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