Oriented Stone Meteorite Recovered in the Sahara by Berbers
Classification Unknown [density consistent with H chondrites]
The Sahara Desert, near the Moroccan/Algerian Border
For those who would prefer something a bit smaller, here is another oriented meteorite, in this instance, of the stone classification. Meteorites from the Sahara were a tremendous rarity prior to the late 1990s. No more. The catalyst to the explosive upsurge in meteorite recoveries was the first natural history auction in 1996. The extensive media coverage of the prices which meteorites attained sparked the publics interest in meteorites to previously unheard-of proportions. Said natural history expert Henry Galiano, News of the prices attained by meteorites at auction in the mid-nineties made its way across the ocean and motivated legions of new meteorite hunters, primarily from Germany and France, to explore the Sahara in search of more material. These hunters also enlisted local Berber and Bedouin communities to search on their behalf.
Thousands of stone meteorites have been recovered in the past decadeincluding nearly forty different meteorites from the Moon and Marsa major boon to science. While the meteorite offered here is a typical chondrite, the distribution of its mass and its angle of entry into Earths atmosphere resulted in a stable descent to Earth; the meteorite did not tumble. Despite the number of such examples appearing in this offering, oriented meteorites are extremely rare and possess a highly specific appearance. The curve of the parabola seen here is the same curve in which heat is most efficiently deflected away from a object falling through the atmosphere. During an oriented meteorites descent, there is always a low pressure zone behind its rear surface, and evidence of melting and boiling is seen on the reverse. This captivating, well-balanced bit of extraterrestrial real estate possesses a naturally sandblasted glaze referred to as a desert varnish.
63 x 51 x 32mm (2.5 x 2 x 1.25in) and 197 grams