Meteorite Recon | Chondrites
Meteorite search expedtions into continental deserts, meteorite features, collection specimens and photography
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Hamada al Hamra 336

Stone, ordinary chondrite, H4-5, S2, W2-3
Gharyan, Libya
Find: May 30, 2004
TKW: 880.00 g Fragment 46.40 g

One of 24 fragments that were found during the 3rd Meteorite Recon Expedition in May 2004 in the Hammdah al Hamra in Libya. The photo shows the meteorite in situ. This particular image made it to the cover of O. Richard Norton’s Field Guide to Meteors and Meteorites.

Northwest Africa 3118

Stone, carbonaceous chondrite, CV3
Purchased in Erfoud, Morocco
Find: 2003
TKW: 5.895 kg
Endcut 99.10 g

Endcut with large CAIs and olive drab matrix. Matrix consists of nothing but densely packed chondrules in wide crystal pattern variation, extremely beautiful specimen. Hundreds of fragments (total weight of 5,895 g) were purchased in Erfoud, Morocco in December 2003 by A. and G. Hupé. Description and classification (T. Bunch and J. Wittke, NAU): olive gray to tan in color depending on the degree of weathering.

Indian Butte

Stone, chondrite, H5
Pinal County, Arizona, USA
Fall: June 7, 1998
TKW: 1712 g
Individual 45.10 g

Elongated fragment with four surfaces, three of which show well preserved fusion crust and a delicate pattern of contraction cracks. The fourth surface is a fragmented plane covered with caliche. Because the entry on Indian Butte in the Meteoritical Bulletin tells only half of the story, we quote the history of its discovery as provided by D. Gheesling on his website



A dramatic fireball was witnessed in Arizona, presumably terminating near Casa Grande – a name that the fireball would carry with it for some 15 years. Then-21-year-old Robert Ward immediately embarked upon a 30-day expedition, funded by his father (who is since deceased), to recover what would be his home state’s second witnessed fall. Ward interviewed countless witnesses, triangulated the termination point of the fireball, then put boots on the ground and hunted in earnest, yet ultimately in vain, for the strewn field. As would later be shown, he’d collected every necessary data point except for wind speeds at various altitudes, the impact of which upon meteorite distribution wasn’t yet fully understood in the meteorite community.

Ward had all but given up on ever recovering a stone from the Casa Grande fireball, but in 2012, he started discussing with me the possibility of soliciting the help of Marc Fries at Galactic Analytics in locating a radar return that might further pinpoint the fall. Given the success in recent years of Fries – who developed and eventually proved his hypothesis that weather radar might indicate the position of falling meteorites – it only made sense, so Ward reached out to Fries in confidence in early 2013, submitting the data he’d collected in 1998. Fries had unsuccessfully searched aerial data for Casa Grande before, but with the help of Ward’s data was finally able to locate the radar return (Ward had been referring to the “Casa Grande” event as “Stanfield” in private since 1998). Ward was ready to hunt as soon as his mother’s recent, then-terminal cancer diagnosis could be sorted out. The hunt had waited almost 15 years, and it could surely wait a little longer under the circumstances.

But while Galactic Analytics was analyzing and confirming the radar images located with Ward’s confidential data from 1998, the radar returns were somehow passed along by one of Fries’ colleagues to another meteorite hunting team, who subsequently and soon proudly announced the recovery of the first Indian Butte meteorite – to the astonishment of Ward, who had until then been unaware of the leak and was not so much as mentioned in the communique. While it was one of Ward’s earliest dreams in the meteorite arena to personally recover the first stone from this historic Arizona event, he was glad to know that his hard work had paid off and that the strewn field had finally been located.

On April 7, 2013, Ward found his first Indian Butte meteorite, and surely many more recoveries are yet to come for him in this strewn field that most likely would have been lost to history were it not for his hard work and determination. At the time of this writing, Mrs. Ward’s prognosis had dramatically and thankfully improved.

Noktat Addagmar

Stone, chondrite, LL5, S2, W0
Tiris Zemmour, Mauretania
Find: October or November 2006
Fell at least several decades ago
TKW: 779.00 g
Fragment 591.10 g

Flat, trapezoid-shaped meteorite fragment, apparently a half individual. As reported by the finder, the Noktat Addagmar meteorites fell “recently”. Measuring of the short lived radionuclides, however, prooved that the meteorite shower must have occured at least several decades ago. The LL5 chondrite looks extremely fresh and shows a plethora of fusion features including melt rims, splash marks, bubbling and flow lines. Particularly aesthetic specimen.


Stone, chondrite LL6, S3, W0
Jigawa, Kilabo, Nigeria
Fall: 2002, Juy 21, 19:30 hrs
TKW > 19 kg
Individual 69.10 g

“Mr. Mallam Yahava Muhammad of Hadejia, Nigeria, observed a brilliant fireball moving south to north. Two loud detonations were heard several minutes later. Mr. Mallam Audu and several neighbours in Kilabo heard the stone fall and later recovered it. The meteorite was found in the crater measuring 35 cm wide by 20 cm deep in sandy soil. The meteorite had fragmented on impact into many pieces, the largest of which was 2.2 kg.” (Meteoritical Bulletin N° 87). The pictured specimen is a partly crusted individual with primary secondary and tertiary fusion crust. Brecciation and the characteristic blue shock veins are visible on the non crusted surfaces. Fallfresh specimen recovered briefly after the fall.


Stone, chondrite, L5-6, W0
Cluj, Transsylvania, Romania
Fall: February 3, 1882, 16:00 hrs
TKW: ~ 300 kg
Individual 68.90 g

Fully crusted individual with inventory label from The Vienna Museum of Natural History. The Mocs meteorite shower fell on February 3, 1882 at 16:00 hours in the afternoon in Cluj, Transylvania. Around 300 kilograms of stones were recovered, the largest of 56 kg. The majority of the specimens collected were purchased from the Vienna Museum of Natural History, and from there many were distributed to other museums in Europe and the US via trades .

“Al Mahbes”

Stone, chondrite, LL6, S2; W1 (prov.)
Western Sahara
Find: November 2006
TKW: 3.579 kg
Individual 3.540 kg

Fresh individual with patches of pristine crust showing flowlines and lipping. Other surfaces show abraded crust indicating a find location in an area with abundant quartz sand and high wind velocities. The effect of corrasion (mechanical erosion) can be seen in the shape of several pockets eroded into the Meteorite. The green olivine-rich matrix encloses a dense array of glassy melt pockets. This Meteorite was classified as an LL6 chondrite and submitted to NomCom but as so many others is still pending publication.


Stone, chondrite, H5
Ostrolenka, NE Warsaw, Poland
Fall: January 30, 1868
TKW: >200 kg
Individual 74.20 g

The majority of the Pultusk meteorites that were collected after the fall were tiny pellets also known as “Pultusk peas”. With 74 g this meteorite already is a rarity from this location. However, recent discoveries made with metal detectiors include larger specimens as well. This fresh individual was collected and sold to 19th Century Mineral dealer Anton Berger right after the fall and shows well preserved fusion texture and adherent soil, a small chip has broken off one edge.


Stone, chondrite, H4/5, S2/3
Berea, Lesotho
Fall: July 21, 2002, ~13:49 GMT
TKW: 45.3 kg
Individual 127.90 g

Cuboid and compact specimen with six surfaces and fresh secondary crust. “The Thuathe meteorite was travelling east to west and exploded over Lesotho producing an elliptical strewn field extending 7.4 by 1.9 km (bearing: ~276°) on the westernmost lobe of the Thuathe (or Berea) Plateau, ~12 km east of the capital city of Maseru. The explosion was accompanied by an extraordinarily loud, 15 s long noise which was heard over a large (100 km radius) area of Lesotho; the fall was eye-witnessed by several people who reported sightings of dust trails of “sparkling objects” over Lesotho and the southern part of the Free State Province of South Africa. Many villagers of Ha Ralimo, Boqate Ha Majara, and Boqate Ha Sofonia reported falls of stones close to themselves and onto their homes” (Met Bul. no. 87). This specimen is listed in the Ambrose Catalog as number 122 and was found in zone A on the Thuathe Plateau between Baruting and Ha Ralimo.


Stone, ordinary chondrite, H4-5, W0
Carancas, Chucuito, Puno, Peru
Fall: 15 September 2007, ~16:45 UTC
TKW: 342 g
Fragment 27.20 g

Walnut-sized mass that fragmented along a shock plane on one surface. Slickensides and few remnant chondrules visible. At 16:45 UTC in the afternoon of September 15 the small town of Carancas in Peru was shaken by an enormous detonation. Eye wittnesses descibed a smoke trail that had descended from the sky and exploded on contact with the ground. Windows were shattered and buildings were damaged by ejected secondary debris. A mushroom shaped explosion cloud raised from the impact site and stood several minutes above a fresh crater measuring 13 meters in diameter. Carancas is an exceptionally rare case of a contemporary stone meteorite fall that produced a crater.