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Buseck Center for Meteorite Studies

Almahata Sitta

Almahata Sitta is an anomalous, polymict ureilite (achondrite). Almahata Sitta is the first case in which meteorites have been recovered from a known asteroid that was tracked in space and during its subsequent collision with our planet.

The small asteroid 2008 TC3 was first discovered October 6th, 2008, by an automated telescope at Mount Lemmon in Tucson, Arizona, and was tracked closely as it entered our atmosphere and exploded approximately 37 km above northern Sudan’s Nubian Desert early the following morning. Roughly 4 kg of the meteorite were found during expeditions led by the University of Khartoum, and several (280) small (1 – 10 cm) and thinly-crusted stones have been recovered from the large strewn field.

The Almahata Sitta meteorites are extremely interesting, as the specimens exhibit multiple distinct lithologies, ranging from ordinary chondrite to bencubinnite. The meteorites from this unprecedented event continue to provide key information about the composition of asteroids.