Villalbeto de la Peña

Video of the Villalbeto de la Peña meteorite fall showing the beautiful daytime fireball seen all over northern Spain. This video was filmed in the city of Leon.

The Villalbeto de la Peña meteorite fell on January 4, 2004 at 17:47 near the village of Palencia, in Castilla-Leon, Spain. A shower of stones fell after the beautiful fireball. A few days after the fall the first stones were recovered in a dirt road near the local church, a centuries old building. Organized searches led to many more stones being found, with a total known weight estimated at ~5 kilograms. The meteorite is a chondrite (L6).

 In November of 2004 I went to Spain to hunt this meteorite while on my way to Morocco. I spent three days in the mountains hunting with no luck, I found nothing. My last day I woke up to nearly 30 cm of snow! Sadly, I cant find my disks with photos of this meteorite hunt.

Selected images of the fireball. a) An image of the fireball after the first seconds of flight taken from Las Oces de Valdeteja (León) by
Salvador Díez. The fireball was at a height of 43 km at that moment. b) A photograph obtained from Santa Columba de Curueño (León) by
Maria M. Robles. This image was taken just after the main fragmentation event, showing several pieces in flight. c) A video frame obtained
by Luís A. Fernández and Carmen Blanco of the exact moment of its flight imaged in Fig. 2b. Photograph courtesy of Televisión Española.
d) A magnification of (b) showing the different points identified on the video frame. All of these images were used for calibration. The bright
spot in images (b), (c), and (d) is the Moon.

Images from ABSTRACT: The Villalbeto de la Peña meteorite fall:
II. Determination of atmospheric trajectory and orbit
Josep M. TRIGO-RODRÍGUEZ1, 2*, Ji􀃚í BOROVI􀂪􀀮􀀤3, Pavel SPURNÝ3, José L. ORTIZ4,
José A. DOCOBO5, Alberto J. CASTRO-TIRADO4, and Jordi LLORCA2, 6


Photo of my piece as found with GPS coordinated, provided by the finder. Documenting specimens is crucial to the process and greatly adds to a specimen's scientific value.

 69.70 gram 99% complete stone found a few months after the fall. I bought this stone and some others from a Spanish meteorite hunter who found many stones. I also have a 100% crusted small 4.57 gram stone in my witnessed-fall micro collection, not pictured here.

Photo of same stone, reverse side. You can see slight signs of weathering from months of exposure to the elements.

This stone measures  60 mm x 30 mm x 28 mm.
The Villalbeto de la Peña meteorite fall showed was one close to me, as I love Spain, and welcomed the opportunity to spend a few days in a part of Spain which I had never visited. While that particular hunt was a failure for me as I found nothing, I will always remember the days spent there walking the mountains and talking to the local people, all very friendly. I will always treasure my pieces of this meteorite.