Ordinary chondrite, H4/5
Witnessed fall in Lesotho, July 2002
Thuathe (pronounced “too – ahh – tey”) is a desirable witnessed fall that fell in Lestho on July 21, 2002. Lesotho is a country surrounded by South Africa and known as the “Kingdom in the Sky” due to its high altitude. It was the inspiration behind Wakanda, the fictional country in the 2018 film “Black Panther.”
Eyewitnesses reported seeing dust trails of “sparking objects” over Lesotho at approximately 15:45 local time. One or more stones were reported to have landed on, or near, villagers’ huts in the area, and pieces were picked up almost immediately after the fall, from an elliptical strewn field. A student from the local community brought a piece of the meteorite to the geology department at the University of the Free State in South Africa. Thuathe is the first reported meteorite from Lesotho and therefore presents a unique, ongoing research opportunity.
An H4/H5, Thuathe is an ordinary chondrite; H type chondrites likely originate from asteroid 6 Hebe, or from small near-Earth asteroids that had, in the past, broken off from 6 Hebe. Other, less likely parent body candidates include 3 Juno and 7 Iris. Thuathe stones exhibit black fusion crust, relatively small chondrules, and high iron abundance. The total known weight of Thuathe meteorites is relatively low at approximately 30kg,