Browsing Meteoritics & Planetary Science, Volume 44, Number 9 (2009) by Title
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Weston: Revised position for a historically significant meteorite fallWeston is the first well-documented meteorite fall in the New World. The fall occurred on December 14, 1807. The Weston event began the study of meteoritics in the United States in the decade that science accepted that stones do, in fact, fall from the sky. It is unfortunate that much of the literature regarding this historically significant fall is erroneous. This paper will deal with the geographic position of the fall site. One of us (Robson 2007) proposed a new set of coordinates for Weston that was accepted by the Meteoritical Society. At the societys 70th annual meeting, new Weston coordinates were suggested; with the caveat that research was ongoing. However, it was also stated in the presentation that it was unlikely that either coordinate would change by as much as a minute. Further research indicates a final revision is required. Our revised mean fall position of the seven documented fragments of Weston is: 41 degrees 16' N, 73 degrees 16' W (WGS 84 coordinates, to the nearest minute). A quirk of history is a main factor in the derivation of faulty positions for Weston. The historically changing positions given for the fall are explored. Our methodology is discussed and the newly discovered Weston manuscripts, maps, and communications of Yales foremost meteoric astronomer, Professor H. A. Newton, support our findings.