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The Oslo and the Valle meteorites are now "official" classified and registered

The two most recent Norwegian meteorites, “Oslo” and “Valle”, are now officially classified and registered in the international meteoritical database. Only now, the scientific community consider it real although it fall felt for some Oslo citizens real since quite a while.

The “Oslo” meteorite. Photo: Øivind Thoresen

The “Oslo” meteorite. Photo: Øivind Thoresen

The meteorite “Oslo” fell in March 2012, where it hit the edge of a cottage roof in Rodeløkka. This specimen weighs 500 g. Soon after, tens more fragments were successively being found in other areas of Oslo.

Part of the roof from the cottage at Rodeløkka damaged by the “Oslo” meteorite
Part of the roof from the cottage at Rodeløkka damaged by the “Oslo” meteorite. Photo: NHM

It rarely happens that meteorite falls in a capital city. Interestingly, in case of Oslo, the first specimen was found “just” beyond the fence of the Natural History Museum. 

Several studies on the Oslo and Valle meteorites have led to classification and official registration.

From the birth of the solar system

Now we know, “Oslo” is an ordinary chondrite of type H. Name ‘chondrite’ comes from the fact that these rocks are built of ‘chondrules’ – rounded objects that formed in the earliest time of Solar System birth. Ordinary chondrites are called so, because they are the most common (90%) type of material reaching the Earth.

‘H’ stands for high content of iron in these rocks, which occurs in form of pure iron-nickel minerals, such as kamacite and taenite. H chondrites genetically relate to S-type asteroids, most common small bodies located between Mars and Jupiter, in the inner asteroid belt, but the exact parent body is unknown.

The 5 kg heavy Valle-meteorite

Meteorite “Valle” is a single stone, almost 5 kg in mass, which was found in 2013 in open mountain area in Valle, Aust-Agder. Although no one saw it fall, Norwegian Meteor Network recorded a fireball in 2012, which coincides with Valle’s find and fall location.

The Valle meteorite is classified as a H-type ordinary chondrite, like the Oslo meteorite.

The “Valle” meteorite. Photo: Øivind Thoresen
The “Valle” meteorite. See larger image. Photo: Øivind Thoresen

The classification of the two meteorites was led by CEED researcher, Agata Krzesińska and Henrik Friis, curator at the NHM.

The Oslo and Valle meteorites are now approved and all required information about their classification is added to the international Meteoritical Bulletin Database, which is run by The Meteoritical Society, an organisation established in 1933.

Currently, there are 15 meteorites found in Norway. All, but one, are part of the collection of the Natural History Museum in Oslo and are on display in their exhibition. 

References: 

Meteoritical Bulletin Database: Officially registered 5. September 2020, the Oslo meteorite and the Valle meteorite.

For more information, contact:

Agata Krzesińska, CEED/GEO – a.m.krzesinska@geo.uio.no 

or Henrik Friis, NHM/UiO – henrik.friis@nhm.uio.no

Published Sep. 24, 2020 3:09 PM - Last modified Oct. 1, 2020 1:30 PM