Saint-Aubin (iron) shale


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shale fragment. It comes from the outer part of the meteorite that has altered to iron oxides (called shales).

sold in a membrane box with label/certificate of authenticity

Found in 1968
Total mass > 7 tons

Since 1968, several masses of meteoritic iron were discovered in the department of Aube.

The first specimen is found on November 7, 1968 in a field near from the village of Saint-Aubin. A small part of the metallic mass emerges from the soil and is extracted by the owner of the field. It weighs almost 170 kg.
It stays for 35 years in the farmyard until its expertise in 2002 by Emmanuel Dransart (EMTT) who confirmed its extraterrestrial origin and its composition. A second mass of 67 kg is located in 1970 by the same discoverer but it is not extracted from the ground and its location is not carefully noted. Luckily it is found in 2002 thanks to a metal detector. The owner is now deceased and the two masses were recovered by other family members.

Then, in 1977, another discoverer finds a 65 kg specimen on his own property.

Between 1990 and 1995, a third discoverer extract from the ground two meteorites, one of 144 kg, and the other of 26 kg, making detection.

Finally, on November 2, 2001, a fourth discoverer finds one specimen weighing 53 kg south-east of Romilly-sur-Seine on his property.
Raymond Tomasson, member of the Société Académie de l’Aube, also cites two large fragments, one weighing about 30 kg and the other weighing 100 kg, which were allegedly found between the Aube and the Marne. This imprecision makes this discovery doubtful as that of two masses from the fall of Saint-Aubin.
The total mass recovered is then 525 kg. We can delimit the maximum area of ​​discoveries by drawing a line that passes through Saint-Aubin (more precisely, Parc-de-Pont hill) to the west, and then Crancey, Romilly-sur-Seine, Châtres, Orvilliers Saint-Julien, Ossey-les-Trois-Maisons, Ferreux, Quincey and finally to close this perimeter, a return to the Parc-de-Pont hill. The strewnfield is therefore located within this perimeter. Furthermore, the owners of the land on which meteorites were found do not wish to communicate on the location of these places of find.

One also evokes a seventh meteorite found at the edge of a field towards Clesles (Marne) and whose mass is estimated at about fifty kilograms. But between the moment when the witness, a geology lover, discovers the object and the moment he returns to look for it, it had disappeared !

It is believed to have solved the mystery of the fall date of Saint-Aubin when, in 2015, analyzes carried out on numerous meteorites (irons and chondrites) by Aurore Hutzler as part of her doctoral thesis, indicate for Saint-Aubin a terrestrial age of 55,000 ± 40,000 years. The meteor observed in 1865 is therefore not linked to the iron meteorite of Saint Aubin !

Ferdinand Hoefer evokes in 1841 in his work entitled Elements of mineral chemistry, the discovery of « aerolithic irons » in the department of Aube. Perhaps this is the “accidental” extraction by the mass peasants of the Saint-Aubin meteorite ? Unless it is from another fall ?

In 2018, several meteorite hunting campains are led by a french team composed of meteorite hunters Pierre Antonin, Alain Gallien, and Emmanuel Dransart.
The discoveries and recovery of over 120 fragments from this fall took place between the end of March and the beginning of October. They used an experimental detector to identify the strewnfield ellipse. A total mass of 6 tons of meteorites were recovered with the most remarkable find of a 477 kg meteorite on October 3, 2018. This is then the second largest meteorite specimen found in France after the meteorite of Caille (626 kg).

With these finds, total mass is over 7 tons making it the largest meteorite fall from France.