Hamburg, H4

Hamburg was a fairly small that fell in the middle of Winter in Michigan — January 16th, 2018.  After hearing about the fireball, I quickly checked for radar signatures and forwarded them to Peter.  We were both busy in the few days after the fall, but after hearing reports of stones being found on frozen lakes, Peter made it out to the field and spent a week hunting, with no luck.  Any ice in the area was already criss-crossed by countless rows of footprints and had been scoured clean.  There were a few clear areas in town, like a golf course, but the surrounding terrain was challenging:


NASA/ ARES posted an estimate for the strewn-field some time later:

Around 30 stones were ultimately recovered.  All but one or two of them were found on the frozen lakes scattered among Hamburg Township, but hundreds more fell into the surrounding fields and wooded areas: they will probably never be found.

A few papers have since been written about the fall.

The Hamburg meteorite fall: Fireball trajectory, orbit, and dynamics (2019), by Brown et al.

The fall, recovery, classification, and initial characterization of the Hamburg, Michigan H4 chondrite (2020), by Heck et al.

Before leaving, Peter left some fliers describing what to look for in mailboxes along streets in the area, including the mailbox of Nancy Bartel, a local rockhound and lapidary enthusiast.  She reached out some time after the fall.


After some back and forth, an agreement was reached, and we met in Tucson, during the 2019 show.  Here is Nancy with her amazing find!

Here’s her find up-close, 42.3 grams.  Nancy found it on January 19, 2018:

Hamburg meteorite Hamburg meteorite Hamburg meteoriteNancy was kind to include one of her works with the meteorite — a carving of Michigan made of local petoskey stone.

Strewnify posted a list of 26 known stones some time after the fall, totaling roughly 600 grams.  The stone pictured above could be stone #6 (although it was recovered on January 19th, not 18th), or it may not have been recorded.