Norton County

Achondrite, Aubrite
Witnessed Fall in Norton County, Kansas United States, 1948

The Norton County fireball terrified animals and people, with colossal explosions and an “angry white cloud” in the sky. This rare aubrite, with bright white interior, crash landed to Earth in Kansas at 3:56 p.m. on February 18th, 1948. Meteorite hunters traced the probable fall, but unfortunately, had to leave the area because of snowfall. They left notes with the locals upon their departure. It wasn’t until April 6th that pieces were recovered by a farmer. He reported it sparkled “like a million diamonds.”
July 3rd, farmers nearly drove a tractor into an 8′ diameter x 10′ deep hole. They found a massive, beautifully oriented, meteorite at the bottom of it. The landowner put the stone up for auction, and the University of New Mexico was the high bidder.

The 2,360-lb main mass is now the centerpiece of the Institute of Meteoritics museum at UNM Albuquerque. These unusual historic specimens come directly from IOM/UNM and display original collection numbers from the institute. They are still listed in the UNM catalog. You can verify this by visiting the UNM collection page and searching for “Achondrite”, “Achondrite Groupings”, “All Achondrite Groups”, and “All Brecciation Types” for Norton County.


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