Nagjir 001 is a CV3 found in Rio de Oro, Western Sahara. Meaning “River of Gold” in Spanish, Rio de Oro was one of the two territories that made up the Spanish Sahara in the 19th century. Its name comes from a legendary River of Gold that was thought to be in Western Africa—the Portuguese dispatched explorers there with hopes of finding it in the 15th century. Although no gold was discovered, the name stuck.
What was found there, however, were four pieces of rock that fit together like a puzzle. That rock was found to be a meteorite, and not just any kind—a rare CV3. The CV3 group comprises some of the most sought-after meteorites, and for good reason. They’re fascinating to study because they’re rich in carbon and calcium-rich inclusions (CAIs), which are about 4.6 billion years old. CV3s also show large chondrules, but little alteration, meaning they have survived, largely unchanged, since the birth of our solar system.