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Sidi El Habib 001

Ordinary chondrite (H5, anomalous)
Bordj Badji Mokhtar, Algeria Find, possible fall: 2020 Dec

Discovered in December 2020 in Algeria, Sidi El Habib is classified as an anomalous H5 ordinary chondrite. Of special note to collectors and academics are the intriguing grains of purple halite crystals encased within its interior. Halite crystals are extremely rare in meteorites, and are known to be found in only two other meteorites: Zag and Monahans.

Halite is a salt crystal, similar to table salt, that is typically colorless or white. However, the halite crystals in meteorites have been turned purple by radiation in space. Experts are still studying these halites and how they came to be formed in meteorites.

Studies at the University of Arizona revealed that they might have formed during early aqueous formation phases, and water trapped inside the halite crystals found in Monahans has lead them to believe that meteorites could contain water that possibly predates the sun and planets in the Solar System.

Geochemistry: (L. Garvie, ASU): Halite-bearing lithology Fa19.4±0.5, range Fa18.5-20.4, FeO/MnO=37.5±3.5, n=9; Fs16.8±0.3Wo1.46±0.08, n=14. The halite contains up to 0.1 wt% K, 0.7 wt% Fe, and 0.3 wt% Br. The sylvite contains up to 0.3 wt% Na and up to 0.1 wt% Br. The ferroan sphalerite contains between 21.1 and 23.8 wt% Fe. Light-colored clast 19.2±0.3, range 18.7-19.5, FeO/MnO=37.8±2.2, n=10; Fs16.7±0.1Wo1.44±0.08, n=12. – as per the Meteoritical Bulletin

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