Center for Meteorite Studies

Gao-Guenie is an H5 ordinary chondrite that fell in the province of Sissili, Burkina Faso in 1960. For many years, this stone was the source of some confusion in the meteorite world!

According to the Meteoritical Bulletin (MB 39, MB 57, MB 83), approximately 16 stones were seen to fall in the village of Gao, near the border with Ghana, around 5pm on March 5th, 1960.  The largest of the stones weighed 2.5 kg, and the fall was audible from over 100 km away. It was then reported that, one month later, a second shower of stones fell only 10 km from the first.

For almost 40 years, the two falls were referred to as separate meteorites (Gao and Guenie) and additional stones found in the area (with a total mass of hundreds of kilograms) were arbitrarily designated as one or the other. In 1999, however, the Meteorite Nomenclature Committee decided to bestow the collective name of Gao-Guenie on all stones recovered from the area, as it had been shown that the two meteorites, Gao and Guenie, were most likely the result of one fall in March of 1960 (Bourot-Denise, et al., 1998).

 

 


Category: Meteorites

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