Meteorite Type: Iron, IIF
Measurements: 24 mm x 21 mm x 2 mm
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Goat herders in the North-Eastern Kenyan region where this intriguing meteorite comes from call it Dhagax Bir, which means “metal stone” in the local Somali dialect. Local residents have known of the mysterious ferrous stone for at least 50 years; a 60-year-old woman in the area recounts that she’d known about it since she was 10 years old.
Balambala is unique; the single mass was shaped like a shield and is covered in regmaglypts. Classified as a rare IIF iron, Balambala and other meteorites of this type are rich in nickel and contain high levels of gallium, germanium, copper, and cobalt. The elemental abundance in IIF irons are consistent with formation in planetesimal cores, and meteorite scientists believe these irons may have formed alongside PES pallasites (Eagle Station Pallasites).