Tagish Lake Meteorite Day

On January 18, 2000 at 16:43 local time, fragments of the Tagish Lake meteorite landed on the so named lake in Canada’s Yukon Territory. The original meteor from which it broke off may have weighed as much as 200 tons. The passage of the fireball and the high-altitude explosion set off a wide array of satellite sensors as well as seismographs.

A local man driving in the area at the time used uncommon foresight and didn’t pick the fragments up with his hands, but rather with a plastic bag and took them home and put them where they belonged, in the deep freeze. Scientists believe that it had a pre-entry Apollo type orbit that brought it from the outer reaches of the asteroid belt.

Because so many people witnessed the fireball and gathered its fragments and because it landed on a frozen lake in the middle of winter, it has become one of the world’s most well-preserved meteorites. The fragments were rich in carbon and contained an assortment of amino acids.

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