"This meteor, which was probably the size of a small car came into the atmosphere at about 15 miles per second, broke up in the upper atmosphere into thousands of pieces," ASU Professor Laurence Garvie said.
Garvie is the curator for ASU's Center for Meteorite Studies.
"I'd like to say a once in a generation event to have something so close to us," Garvie said. He was part of the meteorite search team in Eastern Arizona.
"You can imagine the excitement saying, 'Am I going to find something?'" Garvie said.
Garvie found the largest piece of 15 meteorites discovered on White Mountain Apache tribal land. Now a year later, the meteorite has been named "Cibecue Star Stone."
ASU researchers are examining the pieces, and some of them are on public display at the the ISTB4 building on the Tempe campus.
"First we thought it was a relatively ordinary meteorite, but when we looked at it under the microscope, we see structure we haven't seen before," Garvie said.
Burnt black on the outside and light-colored inside, the stone is fragile, with black veins running through it.
"A shock wave went through this sample," Garvie said. "It's like someone put it in a pestle and mortar, and crushed it up, and then squeezed it together."
How did that happen? That's the next scientific mystery Garvie hopes to answer.