Monday marks 90th anniversary of 800-pound meteorite crashing in Arkansas

90th anniversary of 800-pound meteorite crashing to earth

PARAGOULD, Ark. (KAIT) - At 4:08 a.m. Feb. 17, 1930, an unexpected visitor from outer space dropped in on the Finch community in Greene County.

Monday marked the 90th anniversary of a meteorite weighing more than 800 pounds crashing down.

Kenneth Renshaw, who is a NASA solar system ambassador living in Piggott, said people in the area reported hearing and feeling the meteorite’s impact.

“It woke people up for miles and miles around,” Renshaw said. “They even thought a plane was going down around St. Louis. It was such a thunderous event. It just woke everyone up in the central part of the United States that morning.”

He said two meteorites actually fell that morning. The largest sits at the University of Arkansas while other is on display at the Museum of Natural History in New York.

He said the “rocks” came from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

"That’s where these rocks come from and a lot of times if it gets too close to Jupiter, the gravity of Jupiter kind of flings it into a different direction,” Renshaw said.

Steve Arnold, who is a professional meteorite hunter, said several pieces of it remain in the area.

Both he and Renshaw encourage Finch residents to keep an eye out for any remains.

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