Vicência

History

This very interesting fall event occurred on a small district of Vicencia named Borracha. Vicência is a small city located about 120 km from Recife city, the capital of Pernambuco state in Brazil northwest. According to residents, Borracha interestingly received its name because it grew very fast stretching like rubber, that means Borracha in Portuguese.

Mr. Adeilson was working in front of his modest joinery in Borracha village on a sunny Monday day of September, 21st . At a certain moment at around 3:00 PM he stooped to pick up something on the ground and suddenly heard a very loud noise of something that had just hit the ground nearby him. He did not know what had happened but soon noticed a very strange black rock on a small pit only about 1 meter from him (he told us he measured the distance from where he was and  the meteorite pit with a measuring tape and this can be seen on some youtube videos). Mr. Adeilson caught the almost hammer stone that could have killed him and noticed that one side of the rock was still hot and the other cold.

Many neighbors were in front of their houses and witnessed the impact event  noticing only the loud noise of the meteorite impact on the ground. As usual, nothing at impact zone was heard or seen in the air except the ground hit impact.  One or two of them were just on the exact impact location very few minutes ago.

I had just arrived home from another hard work day on Friday 27th and read some Internet hot news concerning a possible new meteorite fall in Brazil. According to these news only a meteorite could have caused such event. I immediately called Dr. Elizabete Zucolotto, meteorite researcher and curator of the Brazilian NM. She also read the news and there was no doubt that it could be meteorite. We had to go to that location immediately. We bought the flight tickets to Recife at that same night and traveled the following day.

Arriving at Recife we rented a car and headed to Vicência and then to Borracha village. On the way from Vicência city to the village we started to notice the mountains were covered with sugar cane plantations and started to notice that finding more pieces of this fall could be possible harder than Varre-sai. At least in Varre-sai there were some pastures to search. The entrance for the village is near an alcohol plant. Finding the village was also hard as there was no sign on the way and we had to ask to many people we found on the way. A lot of them were drunk and we thought that the sugar cane plantion were only for local usage..

The village is basically one road with houses on both sides and a small church. Interestingly the first person we have found on that village was Mr. Adeilson in front of his joinery that I have recognized by the videos and pictures. As hapenned in Varre-Sai with Mr. Germano, Mr Adeilson was already a famous person on that small village and had already given some interviews to TV channels and local radios. Fortunatelly the rock was still with him besides the fact that he had received many offers to sell but refused. The first lower offer he received was from a local resident that offered a new motorcycle.

At fall location we made video interviews with Mr. Adeilson and some neighbors that witnessed the fall event. It was hard even for us that are Portuguese native to sometime understand what Mr. Adeilson said because of his strong accent. We then asked him if we could see the rock. He agreed and lead us to his modest house nearby the joinery. Holding the stone there was no doubt it was a beautiful super fresh meteorite that had fallen less than a week ago and was recovered still hot from the ground! We took pictures and talked to a lot o people that were in front of Mr. Adeilson's house attracted by the outer space visitor notice that spread like fire. There was no condition to try buying the stone at that moment and we decided to leave Mr. Adeilson's house and headed again to the fall area to try search on nearby mountains covered with plantations. Also we have used the best effective meteorite recovery method: teaching locals to find meteorites and offering them a reward.

Another thing that must be done is trying to figure out the meteorite bolide direction and possible strewn field area. To accomplish this we tried to interview other residents further from the impact zone and to discover if someone had seen the bolide or heard the explosion in the air. Nobody saw any sign of the bolide or smoke in the air but we got some clues that some noise could have been heard on a nearby city. It was late that first day and we had to find some hotel to sleep. Surely there was no hotel on that so small village and we headed in the eventide to that nearby city that someone told people could have heard something.

I was driving on the way to that city and our car was suddenly was hit by something on the Zucolotto side window making a loud noise.  Zucolotto screamed: we have been hit! Immediately she notice some rock pieces on her lap and car floor. How this could have been happened?  I then noticed my side window was opened and we realized that someone, possible from a motorcycle with a turned off light, tried to catapult a rock from my side window that was opened.  Certainly to assault us! Fortunately the rock missed my face and smashed against Zucolotto side window. We run like crazy to the nearby city and stayed there that night.

On the following day, recovered from the scaring experience of the previous night,  we returned to Vicência and talked to the mayor of that city. We gave him an explanation concerning the meteorite and Zucolotto said she would provide the city a replica of the meteorite that has fallen in Borracha and also would return next month to help organizing a meteorite exposition on that city if we could afford to buy the meteorite from the owner. After talking to the mayor it was then time to return to Mr. Adeilson house to try buying the meteorite. Fortunately he was at home and after putting piles of money that maybe he would have to work years to gain and the promise the city would receive a meteorite replica he decided to sell me the meteorite. Mr. Adeilson's wife was very sick with depression and I really believe this gift from heaven with be of great value for them.

 

Brazilian TV Channel Record

 

 

Another TV Report

 

Local Report

Meteoritical Bulletin classification details:

Physical characteristics
Single stone of 1.547 kg and ~13.7 × 12 × 8.5 cm. Pronounced chondritic texture, with abundant chondrules up to ~7 mm in diameter. Bulk density 3.13 g/cm3; grain density 3.28 g/cm3, porosity of 4.75%.

Petrography
Unshocked (S1), well-developed chondritic texture and mineralogy and mineral compositions of a highly unequilibrated ordinary chondrite. Major minerals olivine (Fa0.4-58.9), low-Ca pyroxene (Fs0.4-29.8). Mean Cr2O3 ferroan olivine 0.14±0.09 wt.%, n=115.

Geochemistry
R. Greenwood and I. Franchi, OU. Bulk oxygen isotopic composition is δ17O = 3.768 ± 0.042‰, δ18O = 5.359 ± 0.042‰, Δ17O = 0.981 ±0.020 ‰.

Classification
LL group based on chondrule mean apparent diameter (0.9 mm), bulk oxygen isotopic composition, content of metallic Fe,Ni (1.8 vol%), Co content of kamacite (1.73 wt%), ratios of metallic FeO/total iron (0.105) vs. total Fe/Mg (1.164), and of Ni/Mg (0.057) vs. total Fe/Mg. Petrologic type 3.2 classification is based on chondritic texture, plot of the standard deviation (0.09) vs the mean Cr2O3 content (0.14 wt. %) of ferroan olivine, trapped 132Xe of ~32×10-10cm3STP/g consistent with petrologic type 3.2.

 

There existed only other 3 meteorite falls in history of such rare primitive chondrite type.

Bishunpur

Official

Y

1895

Uttar Pradesh, India

LL3.15

1039 g

Krymka

Official

Y

1946

Nikolayev, Ukraine

LL3.2

50 kg

Semarkona

Official

Y

1940

Madhya Pradesh, India

LL3.00

691 g