Witnessed Meteorite fall from the planet Mars

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190 grams measuring 73 mm by 55 mm by 42 mm with partial roll over rim and an impact crater on the leading edge.  Has flow lines in the crust and impact marks in the fusion crust.



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8.89 grams measuring 24.2 mm by 16.9 mm by 16.1 mm

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4.42 grams measuring 17.4 mm by 15.6 mm by 12.1 mm



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4.29 grams measuring 17.3 mm by 16.4 mm by 12.9 mm

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2.50 grams measuring 16.6 mm by 12.9 mm by 9.2 mm



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2.09 grams measuring 15.5 mm by 11.4 mm by 9.1 mm

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1.14 grams measuring 9.4 mm by 9.0 mm by 8.2 mm




Offical Classification of this Spectacular Mars Meteorite Fall


  • Tissint 2928.917’N, 736.674’W
  • Tata, Morocco
  • Fell: 18 July 2011
  • Classification: Martian meteorite (Shergottite)


History: (H. Chennaoui Aoudjehane, FSAC, and A. Aaronson) At about 2 am local time on July 18, 2011, a bright fireball was observed by several people in the region of the Oued Dra valley, east of Tata, Morocco. One eyewitness, Mr Aznid Lhou, reported that it was at first yellow in color, and then turned green illuminating all the area before it appeared to split into two parts. Two sonic booms were heard over the valley. In October 2011, nomads began to find very fresh, fusion-crusted stones in a remote area of the Oued Dra intermittent watershed, centered about 50 km ESE of Tata and 48 km SSW of Tissint village, in the vicinity of the Oued El Gsab drainage and also near El Ga’dat plateau known as Hmadat Bo Rba’ ine. The largest stones were recovered in the El Ga’dat plateau, whereas the smallest one (a few grams) closer to the El Aglb Mountains. One 47 g crusted stone was documented as being found at 2928.917’ N, 736.674’ W.

Physical characteristics: Several fusion-crusted stones have been collected ranging from 1 to 987 g, with a total weight of around 7 kg. The stones are almost completely coated by glistening black fusion crust, characterized by thicker layers on exterior ridges as well as much glossier regions (above interior olivine macrocrysts). Some stones have thinner secondary fusion crust on some surfaces. The crust on some stones has been broken in places to reveal the interior, which appears overall pale gray in color with larger, very pale yellow olivine macrocrysts, and sporadic small pockets and some very thin veinlets of black glass. No terrestrial weathering is evident.

Petrography: (A. Irving and S. Kuehner, UWS): Olivine macrocrysts (to 1.5 mm) and microphenocrysts (to 0.4 mm) are set in a finer groundmass of patchily zoned pyroxene, plagioclase (maskelynite), Ti-poor chromite, ilmenite, pyrrhotite and minor merrillite. Both the larger olivine macrocrysts and smaller olivine microphenocrysts exhibit thin ferroan rims against the groundmass, and contain tiny chromite inclusions. Narrow ferroan zones also occur within the interior of some olivine macrocrysts.

Geochemistry: Olivine (cores of large macrocrysts Fa19.4-20.2, Fe/Mn=42-44; rims Fa43.2-60.4, Fe/Mn=50-55), cores of microphenocrysts Fa29.1-30.2, Fe/Mn=45-46; rims up to Fa53.3, Fe/Mn=53), orthopyroxene cores (Fs24.0-24.4Wo4.1-4.6, Fe/Mn=30-32), pigeonite (Fs26.1-51.6Wo11.9-16.9, Fe/Mn=31-35), subcalcic augite (Fs21.7-23.3Wo25.0-24.2, Fe/Mn=26-28), plagioclase (An61.1-64.3Or0.5-0.4). Oxygen isotopes (R. Tanaka, OkaU): analyses of acid-washed subsamples by laser fluorination gave, respectively d17O = 2.849, 2.892; d18O = 4.844, 4.943; ?17O = 0.299, 0.290 per mil. Bulk composition (G. Chen and C. Herd, UAb) ICPMS analysis of powdered interior material gave Sm/Nd=0.646, indicating that this specimen has affinities with the depleted compositional group of shergottites.

Classification: Achondrite (Martian, olivine-phyric shergottite).

Specimens: A total of 30.3 g of type material and one polished thin section are on deposit at UWS. Other known institutional specimens include 370 g (ASU), 58 g (UAb), and 108 g (UNM). The remaining material is held by anonymous dealers and collectors.




Links to Articles on Tissint:

   Black glass holds first Mars soil sample on Earth

   Meteorite Delivers Martian Secrets

   43rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

   Carbonaceous particles in rock of the Tissint martian meteorite

   Tissint meteorite helps build Museum Martian library


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