A rare aubrite, Sebkha el Melah 001 was found by Sahrawi meteorite hunters—the Sahrawi people are native to the western parts of the Sahra desert and are of Hassani Arab and Sanhaji Berber descent. The hunters came across approximately 17 kilograms of the stones in the region of “Wad Alhath” in Mali in March 2022. This region is known for its agricultural actives, which include the production of crops like millet, sorghum, and cotton.
Aubrites are achondrites (named after the type specimen, Aubres, which fell in France in 1836) known for their unique petrography. It’s believed that aubrites formed in the early stages of the solar system’s evolution, when asteroids were undergoing differentiation. Sebkha el Melah 001 in particular exhibits enstatite crystals, some of which are milky-white in color, or translucent. Remarkable!