The UK and Ireland Meteorite page
go to main index

BOVEDY, County Londonderry, Stones(L3), fell 1969

<< go back
BOVEDY, County Londonderry
Stones(L3), fell 25th April 1969 at 9:22pm
A fireball was observed travelling SE to NW over the British Isles, Wales, terminating in Northern Ireland where one stone(513gm) fell through an asbestos roof in Sprucefield, County Antrim, and broke in two. A second(4.95kg) fell 60km away on a farm in Bovedy.
Summary of the article in Nature magazine, vol 223, July 5, 1969
Summary of the article in Nature magazine, vol 223, July 5, 1969, pages 24-29, excludes the mineralogy parts

Recent Fall of the Bovedy Meteorite, Northern Ireland

The path of the meteorite which passed over England, Wales and Ireland on April 25 has been plotted from numerous sightings in the three counties, and specimens which fell from the parent body have been analysed.

by Ian G. Meighan, dept. of Geology, Queen's University, Belfast
Philip S. Doughty, dept. of Natural Sciences, Ulster Museum, Belfast

Observations of the meteoroid
The fireball was mostly described as blue-green in colour over Wales, and "fiery-white" in Northern Ireland, with a brightness equal to or brighter than the full moon. Everyone who saw the meteoroid also saw a very clear tail in its wake. The colour of the tail did not seem to be related to that of the meteoroid. Fragmentation was clearly seen by a number of observers.

Reports from along the path

The Sprucefield and Bovedy Specimens
Three days later at the Royal Ulster Constabulary Central Stores (Irish Grid J.262623) a hole was discovered in the corrugated asbestos roof of a store. On the concrete floor, among fragments of the roof a stone object was found broken into two pieces. Weighing 283g and 230g. The meteorite resembles a angular block with a tapered base, has a complete brownish black fusion crust, but no "thumb marking" on the surface. The broken surface is medium grey in colour consisting of lighter grey chondrules in a darker groundmass with flecks of metal over the entire surface.

Subsequent press reports of scorching of the asbestos roof and desks in the immediate vicinity of the meteorite fragments have been discounted, from the evidence collected. A thorough search of the immediate vicinity revealed no further fragments.

The second, and larger(4.95kg) specimen fell on the farm of Mr. Gilmore in Bovedy. (Irish Grid C.890124). On the following Monday at about 2pm a small impact crater, depth 14.5 inches, was discovered in a field used as open grazing, and a stone 9 x 8 x 4 inches recovered. The specimen was broken open by local people and some small fragments carried away. When examined the following day no scorching of the grass or roots around and in the hole, and angle of fall was estimated between 30 and 50 degrees from the horizontal.