EUSTIS


H4
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Found 1918
28° 50' N., 81° 41' W.

A highly weathered stone weighing 502 g was found by Mr. Alger of Eustis, Florida while plowing new land on which pine trees had recently been cut. The meteorite was located a few inches under the surface of the sandy soil. From the fragmental shape of the stone and its still distinct primary and secondary fusion crust, it is inferred that Eustis is a fragment from a larger meteorite mass. It was noted by Mr. Alger that about 25 years prior to his discovery, a family located 2 miles from Eustis witnessed a meteor traveling in the direction of Eustis and even made a search for the possible meteorite. While not verifiable, it is reasonable to assume that the Eustis meteorite fell at this time.

The main mass comprising 480 g had been in the Smithsonian Collection, USNM 581, until a recent trade initiated by M. Horejsi that resulted in the release of a 10.5 g slice. The photo above shows a 0.4 g cut fragment removed from the dark lithology of the trade specimen and shows chondrules and abundant flakes of free metal (these were described in 1918 by Merrill as "abundantly besprinkled with small flecks of metal"). The photo below shows the fusion-crusted side of this fragment.

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Due in part to the intense temperature and moisture conditions in the state of Florida, only four meteorites have been found there to date, in addition to two recovered falls. Besides Eustis, approximately 1 kg of L4 fragments were brought up in a net offshore of Lake Okechobee, a 41.8 kg H5 stone was found in Bonita Springs, and a 10.9 kg H5 stone was found near Grayton Beach. In 2004, November 8 at 6:15 P.M., Orlando resident Donna Shuford heard a meteorite bounce off her car and hit the side of her house. Fragments composing an ~180 g eucrite were recovered. In 2016, January 24 at 10:27 A.M., numerous eyewitnesses observed a bright fireball over northern Florida near the Osceola National Forest. Utilizing radar images from several stations, a group of hunters successfully plotted the fall site and recovered 8 stones over many weeks having a combined weight of 1,099.6 g. The L6 chondrite fell within a forested wetlands region delimiting a strewn field of approximately 5 miles × 1 mile.

The Eustis photos on this page are shown courtesy of Martin Horejsi.