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Abbans-Dessous (France, 2015)

On August 3, 2015, Fabien Kuntz, a meteorite hunter living in Besançon (France), received an e-mail from Quentin Louis, a french meteorite collector and geologist.

Quentin had spent two weeks of vacation in Quingey area, hiking in search of fossils, and thought to have found a meteorite. He detailed his find as well : « This is a small black stone, about 3g, completely covered with what appears to be a perfect glass fusion crust, cracked in some parts. I found this rock on a clear surface on the edge of a small country road in Abban-Dessous (near Quingey). It is a very fresh stone, showing no traces of  tampering or oxidation. A slight reaction to the magnet is observable. I think it is a very recent fall, the stone showing no damage due to the passage of cars. I wish to know your advice. Being a geologist, I am almost certain it is a meteorite . We come back from Quingey by train today. We are right now and up to 3pm in Besançon. If you wish and if you are free, we can meet right away. Otherwise I can send you pictures of the stone tomorrow.»

On July 25, so he was hiking with his girlfriend in the town of Abbans-Dessous when he discovered on a path a very black stone which was completely different from the other stones in the area. He recognized with certainty that it was a meteorite.

On August 3, when he took his train back to Besançon to go at home in Lille, he contacted Fabien Kuntz to show him the stone before leaving. An appointment was taken into town. This is really a meteorite, weighing 3.12 grams precisely. It is incredibly fresh and it may have fallen a few days before July 25, 2015.

I went on August 3 evening to Besancon, to conduct research during the week with Fabien Kuntz. On August 4, it rained quite a lot on the area, and research was simply impossible. The hunt began really on August 5 to August 7. Temperature are above 100° F, and the searching areas around Abbans-Dessous are quite rare. The region is extremely wooded and many fields are either cultured or closed for breeding.

Quentin Louis was first reluctant to cut the stone to give 20% for analysis. Understandably. The non-destructive magnetic susceptibility test was performed and indicated a LL type chondrite (log(x)=4.20). Then later, a non-destructive analysis was done at the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS) in Italy, using a high-purity germanium (HPGe) detector to determine the terrestrial age. The specimen was measured starting from
December 23rd, 2015 for 12.65 days. The density measurement gave a L chondrite and the terrestrial age analysis indicated that the meteorite was not from a recent fall.

Finally, Quentin Louis accepted to cut a type-specimen so the complete analysis of his find has been done at the  CEREGE in France.

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