.54" El Menia Chondrite Meteorite (1.39 g) Fragment - 2023 Fall

This is a .54" wide (1.39 gram) fragment of the L5 chondrite known as El Menia, which fell in Algeria on March 11, 2023. Its outer edges display a nice dark fusion crust.

This specimen comes in its own labeled display case.

El Menia is the name given to a witnessed fall over Algeria in 2023. This massive L5 chondrite lit up the skies around 10:30 AM local time on March 11th, 2023, in the regions around central Algeria. The fireball exploded over the city of El Menia, showering the city and surrounding farmland with bluish, fusion-crusted stones: some were even reported to "skip" over desert sand! To date, about 75 kilograms' worth of stones have been recovered from the areas around El Menia.

The chondrite itself displays varied chondrule sizes amassed in a light gray matrix.

About Chondrites

A chondrite is a stony (non-metallic) meteorite that has not been modified by either melting or differentiation of the parent body. Chondrites are formed when various types of dust and small grains in the early Solar System accreted to form primitive asteroids. Some such bodies are captured in the planet’s gravity well and pulled to the surface. They are by far the most common type of meteorite, representing about 86 percent of all meteorites that have fallen to Earth.

Prominent among the components present in chondrites are the enigmatic chondrules, millimeter-sized spherical objects that originated as freely floating, molten or partially molten droplets in space; most chondrules are rich in the silicate minerals olivine and pyroxene. Chondrites also contain particles of various metals such as nickel, iron, and aluminum. These formed at the very beginning of the solar system and aggregated over time: they are the oldest rocks known on Earth!

Chondrites are divided into about fifteen distinct groups on the basis of their mineralogy, bulk chemical composition, and oxygen isotope compositions. The various chondrite groups likely originated on separate asteroids or groups of related asteroids. Each chondrite group has a distinctive mixture of chondrules, refractory inclusions, matrix (dust), characteristic chondrule sizes, and other components. Other ways of classifying chondrites include weathering and shock. The L chondrite group is the most common of these.

L5 Chondrite
El Menia, Ghardaïa Province, Algeria
.54" wide, 1.39 grams