Communion Of Dreams

A different story out of Libya.
March 21, 2011, 5:14 pm
Filed under: Astronomy, Science, Space, Travel

3.5 million square miles of desert: a meteorite-hunter’s dream. Here’s an excerpt from this fascinating account:

Dar al Gani

Small in size at 80 x 50 km (50 x 30 mi), Dar al Gani is the most important Saharan strewnfield, with nearly a thousand itemized meteorites, Lunar and Martian rocks, various achondrites, etc. At least 150 different falls are represented. When you approach Dar al Gani from the west, the first thing to strike you is its whiteness, as if you were looking out over mountain-tops covered in snow: a mirage in the desert. First comes a succession of terraces which then open on to a smooth, rolling expanse of white, without rocks or vegetation. Meteorites have been falling here for thousands of years, and it goes without saying that strewnfields like this one are of scientific interest. Unlike Antarctica, where ice shifts concentrate meteorites and wind scatters the fragments, things here stay in the same place from one millennium to the next. I often think of Dar al Gani as a photographic plate recording all falls over a significant time-scale of 20,000 years or more. The terrain is gentle and preserving, so that thousands of years worth of data are at present accessible.

The author and his brother make one of the most important finds ever. Very cool, and with some great pictures.

Jim Downey


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