Physical Characteristics of the Massive Meteorite of Saudi Empty Quarter
The meteorite found in the Empty Quarter of the KSA is the largest meteorite and has the shape of an irregular ellipsoid of semi axes (0.65 × 0.38 × 0.27) and density of 6400 kg/m3 and mass of 2550 kg. It is a massive piece belonging to the category of iron–nickel meteorites with an occurrence (or fall) of only 5% of total showers. The present report was on the physical characteristics (elemental composition and structural) of this piece using laser break down spectroscopy (LIBS), X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and Energy dispersive X-ray spectrophotometer (EDX), Scanning Electron microscope (SEM) Xray diffraction (XRD) etc. Our investigation indicated that this piece consists of 91% iron, 5% Ni, 1.51% P, 0.3% Co, and a host of others; most of them exist as oxides. Since the measured density is only 6400 kg/m3 the meteorite is porous (approximately about 19%) which is confirmed by the micro hardness. Based on these physical measurements, it is very likely that this meteorite would have “escaped” from the belt around Mars and Jupiter and unlikely from the moon or elsewhere. This could be the first investigation, employing the above sophisticated instruments, on that massive Saudi meteorite.
KeywordsPhysical characteristics Massive meteorite Saudi empty quarter Modern analytical methods
The authors are grateful to the Deanship of Scientific Research, King Saud University for funding through Vice Deanship of Scientific Research Chairs.
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