Meteorite Recon | Stones
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Northwest Africa 5787

HED-achondrite, eucrite
Purchased from a dealer in Ouzarzate, Feb 2009
TKW: 48.0 g
Individual: 48.0 g

This meteorite was purchased as a “special stone” in February 2009 from a Moroccan mineral dealer. Neither the precise find location nor the name of the finder is known. It was said to be found in the Morrocan Sahara. The meteorite has the size and shape of a fig and shows a glossy black fusion crust as well as a lightly oriented shape with a convex front and a concave rear surface. The dimensions are 4.40 x 3.65 x 2.75 cm, the weight of the stone is 48.0 g.

On two spots the fusion crust is missing, first, on a 7 x 7 mm chip, that probably goes back to the time of the fall as it already shows a darkened matrix coated with forming caliche. The second damage is a missing corner of 14 x 12 mm that was appearently cut out of the meteorite with a hand saw . Beginning light red caliche deposits are marking the meteorite’s lower portion of the broadest surface, which was embedded in a light red soil with clay constituents. The overall appearance of the meteorite is very fresh.



Due to a burred texture composed of delicate spines and ridges the glossy black fresh fusion crust gives the meteorite a crumpled appearence, much like a dried prune. Several patches of the fusion crust show a vesicular structure in the sub milimeter range. Also, Obviously the meteorite is composed of inhomogenous constituents with differing melting points, which lead to a granular and uneven ablation of its surface.

The fusion crust displays two noteworthy features. First, glass pockets can be seen solidified in various stages of melting, from clear and transparent to coffee and honey colored and semi opaque to a full opaque glossy black. The second characteristic of the fusion crust is the display of grain boundaries, apparently due to selective ablation of different mineral components. The grain boundaries are visible in the shape of parallel structures reaching lenghts of up to 4 mm. These parallel structures seem to represent underlying coarse grains with barred crystallization patterns. On several spots glass pockets are seperating these grains.

As can be seen in the image of the cut section below, the meteorite appears to consist mainly of a pyroxenes and feldspathic glass (originally plagioclase). In fact a large percentage of the matrix shows grains of transparent and semi transparent glass. Under the microscope these glasses often reveal Vesicular pockets with trapped melt inclusions indicating a shock event on the motherbody. One other striking feature of the matrix is the relatively coarse grain size indicating a cooling at a relatively slow rate.

Under magnification, the cut section prepared for classification reveals the parallel orientation of the lammellae zoning within the grain structure. As the write up from NWA 5787 in Met.Bull. No. 98 points out, these features bear witness to a strong shock event on the meteorite’s mother body: “The plagioclase consists of multiple domains of subparallel, ribbon-like microcrystals, suggestive of quenching from shock melt (as in some shergottites)”.


The cut surface detail shown above resembles a rather porous section of the meteorite. Glass grains and parallel lamellae are visible. As can be expected no general orientation of the parallel crystallization pattern is obvious, each barred grain shows a different allignment of its orientation axis.

Sayh Al Uhaymir 001

Stone, ordinary chondrite L4-5, S2, W1
Sayh al Uhaymir, Sultanate of Oman
Find: March 16, 2000
TKW: 408 kg
Individual 194.5 g

Fully crusted individual showing well preserved fusion crust on a small corner that was protruding from the sand. The larger portion of the meteorite was burried in the sand and displays caliche coating with quartz sand grains embedded in the deposit. The lower image shows the meteorite in situ. Note the difference in surface preservation between the embedded and the exposed portion.

Sayh Al Uhaymir 001 (SAU 001) is among Oman’s largest known meteorite showers. With more than 2670 fragments collected and mapped by Russian researchers it is beside JAH 073 one of the best researched strewn fields in the Omani desert. The mapped find locations of the SAU 001 meteorites show a typical distribution pattern indicating that the SAUH 001 bolide traveled from northeast to southwest, bearing 233°, and breaking-up in several stages under a trajectory angle of 70°. In 2003, during the 66th Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting, a paper on the distribution pattern of the SAU 001 meteorite field was contributed by A. V. Korochantsev et al.: A STUDY OF THE FRAGMENT DISPERSAL AND TRAJECTORY OF THE SAYH AL UHAYMIR 001 METEORITE SHOWER.


Norton County

Stone, achondrite, aubrite, AUB
Norton County, Kansas, USA
Fall: February 18, 1948, 04:00 p.m.
TKW: 1.1 MT

Fragment 19.50 g

Fragment from the Lincoln La Paz collection. At about 4 p.m. on February 18, 1948, hundreds of people witnessed a brilliant fireball in the clear afternoon skies above Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska. Several people heard loud explosions, followed by a roaring sound like the noise of a jet engine. In the smoke train behind the fireball, puffs of smoke appeared where the large meteorite that was streaking across the sky broke apart in smaller pieces. In the following days and months, hundreds of stones were recovered from a large area on the Kansas / Nebraska border, in Furnas County, Nebraska and Norton County, Kansas. The meteorite became known as the Norton County meteorite.

The 2nd collection specimen (B-23.1) is a fragment of 38.24 g. According to the then practised conservation method by the Institute of Meteoritics of the University of New Mexico, the curator coated the fragile Meteorite with clear laquer.

Collection specimen # B-23.2 is a pristine Fragment of 27.30 g, also from the University of New Mexico, and bears the original inventory number # N 533.

Dar Al Gani 364

Stone, chondrite, L6, S6, W1
Al Jufra, Libya
Find: 1997
TKW: 982.00 g
Endcut 206.00 g

This streamlined endcut of DAG 364 comes from one of the earliest finds in the Dar al-Ghani. It shows a moderately oxidized crust and a very fresh matrix that has a weathering grade of only W1. As the cut section shows the crust on DAG 364 reaches a thickness of up to 1 mm and is particularly well defined.

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.

Camel Donga

Stone, achondrite, Ca-rich, metal-rich eucrite, AEUC
Camel Donga, Nullabor Plain, Western Australia
Find: January 1984
TKW: >7.6 kg
Individual: 34.60 g

Irregular shaped individual with pristine glassy crust, delicate contraction cracks and flowlines on all surfaces. 12 stones were found in 1984 and 1985 within a radius of 1 km by Mrs. J.C. Campbell, B. Mason and W H. Cleverly. Judged by the lack of patina the Camel Donga meteorites were discovered shortly after their fall. However, as no eye wittnesses could be identified the meteorite was classified as a find. Highly aesthetic specimen,