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Published: December 22, 2012

Science paper: The Sutter's Mill Meteorite

Philipp Heck, Robert A. Pritzker Associate Curator for Meteoritics and Polar Studies and Head, Robert A. Pritzker Center, Integrative Research Center

Robert A. Pritzker Assistant Curator of Meteoritics and Polar Studies Dr. Philipp R. Heck is co-author on a paper in the journal Science on the first results of the rare meteorite, Sutter’s Mill. On April 22 a very fast-moving fireball was observed over large parts of California and Nevada. Equivalent to four kilotons of TNT, the fireball was photographed, and recorded by video and by weather Doppler-radars. The photographs and videos helped to trace back its orbit to the far reaches of the outer part of the asteroid belt. The Sutter’s Mill meteorite was scrutinized by almost the entire arsenal of observational and analytical state-of-the-art tools available to scientists today.

Robert A. Pritzker Assistant Curator of Meteoritics and Polar Studies Dr. Philipp R. Heck is co-author on a paper in the journal Science on the first results of the rare meteorite, Sutter’s Mill. On April 22 a very fast-moving fireball was observed over large parts of California and Nevada. Equivalent to four kilotons of TNT, the fireball was photographed, and recorded by video and by weather Doppler-radars. The photographs and videos helped to trace back its orbit to the far reaches of the outer part of the asteroid belt. The Sutter’s Mill meteorite was scrutinized by almost the entire arsenal of observational and analytical state-of-the-art tools available to scientists today.

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Philipp Heck

Philipp R. Heck is the Robert A. Pritzker Associate Curator of Meteoritics and Polar Studies at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, IL. He is also an Associate Professor (part time) at the University of Chicago's Department of the Geophysical Sciences and the College, and a member of the Chicago Center for Cosmochemistry.

As the curator in charge and head of the Robert A. Pritzker Center for Meteoritics and Polar Studies, Philipp R. Heck oversees the collection of meteorites, the largest meteorite collection housed at a private research institution. Other responsibilities include the curation of the gem, mineral, rock and economic geology collections.