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Abstract

We propose that the Taurid meteor shower may contain bodies able to survive and be recovered as meteorites. We review the expected properties of meteorite-producing fireballs, and suggest that end heights below 35 km and terminal speeds below 10 km s−1 are necessary conditions for fireballs expected to produce meteorites. Applying the meteoroid strength index (PE criteria) of Ceplecha and McCrosky (1976) to a suite of 33 photographically recorded Taurid fireballs, we find a large spread in the apparent meteoroid strengths within the stream, including some very strong meteoroids. We also examine in detail the flight behavior of a Taurid fireball (SOMN 101031) and show that it has the potential to be a (small) meteorite-producing event. Similarly, photographic observations of a bright, potential Taurid fireball recorded in November of 1995 in Spain show that it also had meteorite-producing characteristics, despite a very high entry velocity (33 km s−1). Finally, we note that the recent Maribo meteorite fall may have had a very high entry velocity (28 km s−1), further suggesting that survival of meteorites at Taurid-like velocities is possible. Application of a numerical entry model also shows plausible survival of meteorites at Taurid-like velocities, provided the initial meteoroids are fairly strong and large, both of which are characteristics found in the Taurid stream.