Almahata Sitta 15
Small asteroid 2008 TC3
fell to Earth
at dawn on October 7, 2008,
tracking through the skies over the Nubian Desert in northern Sudan.
That event was remarkable because it was the first time an
asteroid was detected in space
into planet Earth's atmosphere.
It was generally assumed the
itself had completely disintegrated to dust.
But, based on satellite and ground observations of the
atmospheric impact event,
Dr. Mauwia Shaddad of the University of Khartoum, aided by
Dr. Peter Jenniskens of the SETI Institute
and NASA Ames Research Center, led
an expedition of students and staff
to the area, combing the desert
for surviving fragments.
On December 6, 2008, two hours after their search began, the first
The team ultimately collected some 280 small
now called Almahata Sitta, with a total mass of about 5 kilograms --
the first material
recovered from a known asteroid
In stark contrast to the lighter-colored stones, the
black fragment in the picture is Almahata Sitta meteorite number 15.
About 4 centimeters in diameter, it is seen as it came to rest on
the desert floor.
In Arabic, Almahata Sitta is "Station Six": a railway stop
in the Nubian desert where witnesses reported seeing the
bright fireball meteor.
Authors & editors:
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings,
NASA Official: Jay Norris.
A service of:
& Michigan Tech. U.