ASU researchers were able to track down small meteorites after a meteor streaked across the night sky earlier this month.
FOX 10's Andrew Hasbun has the details.
As all the pieces were falling down to Earth, their path was picked up on a Doppler radar in northern Arizona. The bright flash could be seen clearly in Phoenix, but the area where the meteorites landed was actually on the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation near Springerville.
ASU researchers worked with the tribe to get to the area and recover pieces of the meteor.
Many saw it in the early hours of June 2 and many security cameras captured the moment it lit up the dark sky. All that is left is tiny meteorites that look just like rock on Earth but are black from the entering the Earth's atmosphere.
"This is only the fourth recovered meteorite fall in Arizona history," said Laurence Garvie from the ASU Center for Meteorite Studies.
"To see a fireball have the Doppler radar and then go find the stones is exceedingly rare," said Garvie.
Garvie led a group up to the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation to search the area where the Doppler radar showed an impact.
They searched for 132 hours.
"This stone that you are looking at on the right not only are the meteorites on the ground but you are looking in the right place. And that was it. Then we could actually do the search properly cause before that it was where should we start looking. It was just a general area," said Garvie.
They ended up finding more than a dozen pieces that are now being evaluated at ASU's Center for Meteorite Studies on the Tempe campus. NASA estimates that they were part of an asteroid that was ten feet in diameter and traveled toward Earth at 40,000 miles per hour before entering the earth's atmosphere and breaking apart.
"Every meteorite that we get especially fresh one like this that fall aren't contaminated by the earth is a little piece of that puzzle that tells us where we come from," said Garvie.
"All the meteorites provide little snippets of information that can be used to build that early solar system stories."
They believe the impact zone is eight miles long and about half a mile wide. The ASU team was only able to search a fraction of that area. They will begin testing the pieces they found later this week.