Olivine-hypersthene chondrite, L5
Witnessed Fall Near Tsarev village, Volgograd district, USSR. 48°42’N., 45°42’E.
December 6, 1922, 0700 hrs, found 1968, recognized 1979.
1968 was a year marked by a worldwide escalation of conflict; however, in a small village in Volgograd Oblast–the primary site of the Battle of Stalingrad during World War II, one of the largest and bloodiest battles in history–a remarkable discovery was made in the quiet fields near the rural village of Tsarev.
“Tsarev,” which translates to czar, is a stone meteorite that resulted in one of the largest meteorite showers in Russian history. The meteorite shower happened on December 6, 1922, though the stones were not found until 1968. The mineral composition of Tsarev is consistent with that of ordinary chondrites: olivine, orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene, maskelynite, calcium phosphates, nickel-iron, troilite, chromite, ilmenite, and rutile.
Academic samples of the Tsarev meteorite reveal large grains of nickel-iron, light grey areas with a well-preserved chondritic texture, and dark areas containing a matrix with olivine grains and a relics of chondrules. Though its parent body remains unknown, experts suspect the meteorite may have originated on or near the surface of the body.