NWA 2683 (provisional)
‘AL MAHBAS’

Pallasite
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Found August 2004
27° 14' 25.7" N., 8° 50' 49.5" W.

A meteorite having the appearance of a pallasite and weighing ~2–5 kg was found by a nomad about 30 kilometers south and east of Al Mahbas, Western Sahara. This mass and a few other smaller complete individuals, weighing only ~16–68 g, still exhibit black fusion crust and fresh metal. Numerous smaller fragments found around the ~10 m find area contain only oxidized metal. It was reported that the nomad who found the large mass had transported it a few miles away before he hid it under a small tree in a wadi, only to later forget the exact location.

In November of 2004, meteorite dealer M. Farmer traveled to the original find location with a metal detector and recovered a number of the oxidized fragments. However, because this find is located within a mined, prohibited military zone only ~2 km from the Algerian border, a thorough search could not be completed. A preliminary classification of this pallasite under the designation NWA 2683 has been completed at Northern Arizona University (T. Bunch and J. Wittke), but it has not yet been officially recognized by the MetSoc Nomenclature Committee. The meteorite was found to be shocked to stage S2 and severely weathered to grade W5 (the FeNi-metal matrix has been transformed into hematite). The photos above show two angles of an oxidized slice weighing 1.26 g. The photo below shows a 65.3 g fusion crusted individual in the Dr. J. Piatek Collection.

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Photo courtesy of Dr. J. Piatek