Asteroid 2008 TC3 - Almahata Sitta (Sudan)
Dear collector friends,
Like many of you, on October 7th, 2008, we enthusiastically followed the reports about 2008 TC3 on the media.
As generally known, 2008 TC3 is the first asteroid detected in outer space for which the collision with Earth correctly had been predicted.
Around 19 hours after its detection by the astronomer Richard Kowalski, under the observation of passionate astronomers from all around the world, the asteroid which had a weight of approx. 83 tons when entering the atmosphere impacted in the North of Sudan, in the Nubian Desert. Subsequently, three extensive meteorite search expeditions led by Dr. Peter Jenniskens took place in which up to 100 people were involved. Altogether 47 specimens with a total weight of 3.95kg were found.
We were very excited when we saw the first photos of the meteorites which got their name Almahata Sitta (Arabic for railway station 6) from the nearby railway station where the first specimens had been found.
It was a great moment for us, when we held in our hands the first individuals of this unique meteorite. We knew that Almahata Sitta will always remain the first meteorite which derives from an observed asteroid that subsequently collided with our planet Earth.
Like scientists and collectors we were very delighted that this asteroid brought to Earth such various kinds of meteorites from outer space. Until now more than a dozen of different lithologies have been detected in the Almahata Sitta material. Among the material are coarse-grained up to very coarse-ureilitic fragments, fine-grained, medium-sized and ultra-fine-grained ureilitic fragments, metal-sulfide dominated fragments, chondritic lithologies like EL6, EL5/6, EH IMR, EL3/4, H5 and even a Chondrite classified as "unique".
Our team is aware of the uniqueness of this “cosmic package”. We are curious for every new scientific discovery. On the basis of this responsibility we closely collaborate with renowned international scientists, first and foremost with Prof. Dr. Addi Bischoff from the Institute of Planetary Science (University Muenster, Germany). We are happy about every new insight. All of the Almahata Sitta meteorites we offer were exported with an export license issued by the Geological Research Authority in the Sudanese capital Khartoum. Every individual or fragment we offer is scientifically examined and authenticated.
The big variety of different materials within one and the same meteorite fall is unique so far. In light of this, it was necessary to carry out age determinations with individuals of different classifications in order to clearly prove that the respective specimen is part of the Almhata Sitta fall.
In every age determination, the Earth age of the specimen was congruent with the date of the Almahata Sitta fall in October 2008.
The renowned magazine Meteoritics & Planetary Science dedicated a special edition to the Almahata Sitta meteorite (issue October/November 2010). In an article comprising 33 pages by Professor Bischoff I am mentioned as co-author. Numerous scientific examinations by various scientists from all over the world are based on samples which derive from our material.
Many questions regarding the genesis and consistence of 2008 TC3 are still unanswered and the scientists’ thirst for knowledge urges to find the answers. What is e.g. the reason that the primal bodies of so many various meteorites like different ureilitic lithologies as well as different chondritic lithologies were all drawn together to one place? Was the first meteorite body ureilitic? Why were these first bodies destroyed and how developed the second generation of a newly formed body? How could an intermixture of these fragments take place? Is it a loose compound or a compact formation? Questions upon questions…
One day, maybe soon, bit by bit a lot of single mosaic pieces of knowledge will form an integrative insightful picture. We are looking forward to that!
Further down on this page we listed some interesting web links for you.
With very best regards
Siegfried & Team