Posted by : Tina Easley






The largest meteor, 800 pounds, ever to fall to earth with its date or arrival known was one on Feb. 17, 1930, landing near Paragould in Northeastern Arkansas. This was a stone meteor, and the 800 pounder was one of the three fragments into which it broke.     Now, 17 years later, astronomers of the State University of Iowa, at Iowa City, tell where this meteor traveled before dropping in on Arkansas. It had an orbit around the sun, elliptical in form. At the outermost edge of the meteor in this orbit was three times as far away from the sun as the earth. At its nearest the meteor was just a little closer to the sun than is the earth. This nearness caused the meteor's path to cut the earth's orbit and led to the 1930 collision.     The orbit was calculated by interviewing observers who saw this meteor over Arkansas. Missouri and Tennessee as it was plunging earthward. Many observations fixed the path in which the big piece of stone traveled through the upper atmosphere. This path pointed back to where the meteor came from, and with some other data on speed, enabled the calculations of where it had been. The work was done by Harry F. Nelson, Warren J. Thomson and C.C. Wylle and is published in popular astronomy.     Iron meteors of many tons have been picked up but the time when they fell was never known.  

NOVEMBER 2, 1947