.34" L5-6 Chondrite Meteorite Hammer Stone - Saint-Pierre-le-Viger

This is a fragment from the L5-6 chondrite known as Saint-Pierre-le-Viger, which fell a French commune of the same name on February 13, 2023. This meteorite (larger circle) is a hammer stone, a unique form of meteorite that hits man-made objects and retains traces of those impacts. This particular specimen hit a tennis court, and comes with a fragment of it!

These specimens come in their own labeled display case.

The meteorite known as Saint-Pierre-le-Viger is an L5-6 chondrite with a well-documented, witnessed fall near a commune of the same name in France in 2023.

Hungarian astronomer Krisztián Sárneczky first tracked an asteroid making its way towards earth around 8:15 PM local time on February 12. Between his observatory station in the Mátra Mountains of Hungary and the Croatian Višnjan Observatory, they estimated that the asteroid would fall in Normandy, France. This was well-tracked by France's own network of bolide-tracking cameras and scientific institutions, known as the Fireball Recovery and Inter-Planetary Observation Network (FRIPON). FRIPON teams made it to the recovery site the next day, and the first fragment was found by an art student on the 15th. Subsequent found fragments were given to FRIPON for research dissemination. Most fragments including the main mass are held in French scientific collections, but some fragments like these have made their way onto the private market.

This meteorite displays a unique double-layered fusion crust, and even rare triple layers! The largely olivine interior is heavily shocked with scarce chondrules.

Hammer stones are the names given to meteorite fragments that hit man-made objects, animals, or people when they fall. Hammer stones are often identified by the scuffed fusion crusts that can contain traces of paint, rubble, or other materials from the objects they hit. Because they are so rare, they are valued collectors' items. Often the items hammer stones hit go up in value, just be being damaged by a meteorite!

About Chondrites

A chondrite is a stony (non-metallic) meteorite that has not been modified by either melting or differentiation of the parent body. Chondrites are formed when various types of dust and small grains in the early Solar System accreted to form primitive asteroids. Some such bodies are captured in the planet’s gravity well and pulled to the surface. They are by far the most common type of meteorite, representing about 86 percent of all meteorites that have fallen to Earth.

Prominent among the components present in chondrites are the enigmatic chondrules, millimeter-sized spherical objects that originated as freely floating, molten or partially molten droplets in space; most chondrules are rich in the silicate minerals olivine and pyroxene. Chondrites also contain particles of various metals such as nickel, iron, and aluminum. These formed at the very beginning of the solar system and aggregated over time: they are the oldest rocks known on Earth!

Chondrites are divided into about fifteen distinct groups on the basis of their mineralogy, bulk chemical composition, and oxygen isotope compositions. The various chondrite groups likely originated on separate asteroids or groups of related asteroids. Each chondrite group has a distinctive mixture of chondrules, refractory inclusions, matrix (dust), characteristic chondrule sizes, and other components. Other ways of classifying chondrites include weathering and shock. The L chondrite group is the most common of these.

L5-6 Chondrite
Saint-Pierre-le-Viger, Normandy, France
Hammer Stone (larger): .34" wide, 0.15 grams