Editors: Abderrahmane Ibhi, Giorgio S. Senesi, Lahcen Ouknine, Fouad Khiri

African Meteorites

eBook: US $49 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $86
Printed Copy: US $61
Library License: US $196
ISBN: 978-981-5136-30-2 (Print)
ISBN: 978-981-5136-29-6 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2023
DOI: 10.2174/97898151362961230101


African Meteorites is a comprehensive exploration of meteorite falls and finds across the arid and hot regions of the African continent, offering profound insights into a significant collection of meteorites, second only to Antarctica. The book is divided into seven chapters, covering the origin and formation of meteorites, statistical analyses of meteorite falls in African countries, classes and mass distribution of meteorite finds, allocation and renaming of North West African (NWA) meteorites, exceptional and rare meteorite falls and finds in Eastern Morocco Sahara, protocols for recognizing, recovering, and preserving meteorites in Sahara, and a review of confirmed and proposed meteorite falls, finds, and impact structures in Egypt, Sudan, and Libya. With detailed and updated references complementing the simple presentation, this book is an invaluable resource for meteoriticists, hunters, museums, astronomers, students, and geology and astronomy enthusiasts, on the origin, characteristics, and collection of meteorites discovered in Africa.

Key Themes:

  • - Meteorite origin, formation, and classification
  • - Meteorite falls and finds in Africa
  • - Unique features of North West Africa (NWA) meteorites
  • - Rare and exceptional meteorite falls and finds in Eastern Morocco Sahara
  • - Protocols for recognizing and preserving meteorites in the Sahara
  • - Meteorite falls, finds, and impact structures in Egypt, Sudan, and Libya

Audience: Meteoriticists, geologists, mineralogists, historians, researchers and general readers.


Meteorites recovered in Africa represent more than 1/6 of all extraterrestrial rocks collected in the entire world. This means that Africa hosts the second-largest population of meteorites after Antarctica. The present book offers complete information on the origin and characteristics of meteorite falls and finds in Africa.

The book opens with an exhaustive synthesis of the formation and origin of meteorites, their categorization into “falls” and “finds” according to the circumstances of their discovery, the criteria for their identification, and the guidelines adopted for the nomenclature of meteorites and their classification. The second chapter deals with a statistical study of falls recorded in different African countries. It analyzes their evolution in time and space, provides information on the distribution of their masses, and characterizes their typological classification, focusing on the different factors likely to contribute to their detection on the ground and recovery. The following chapter is devoted to meteorite finds in Africa, pointing to the advantageous natural and human factors that enhance the discovery of new meteorites on this continent. Again, the distribution of meteorite masses collected and their typological classification are presented, drawing the reader’s attention to the influence of climate, terrestrial age, as well as sample porosity and mass, and the variation of the degree of weathering.

The subsequent chapters are devoted to other important aspects involving the study of African meteorites, such as the complex problematics connected to the nomenclature of North West African meteorites (NWA), therefore enhancing the scientific importance of the meteoritic heritage of northwest African countries and, consequently by providing detailed documentation on the circumstances of their recovery. A specific chapter is dedicated to Moroccan meteorites, as this region has proved to be one of the most prolific areas in the world for meteorite recovery. The following chapter deals with the Saharan meteorites, stressing the hypothesis that many new meteorites might be extracted from the Sahara Desert in the coming decades, as supported by the estimate that more than 90% of the desert surface has not yet been explored. The last chapter reports on the North East African meteorites and contains an up-to-date review of the confirmed and proposed meteorite falls and finds and of the possible related impact structures in Egypt, Sudan and Libya. The book ends with a summary of the most significant scientific results obtained from the various studies carried out on African meteorites.

I am honored to present this book that aims to become a reference text for university students, researchers, collectors, meteorite enthusiasts, museum curators, astronomers, and for all those readers interested in African meteorites and, more generally, in celestial rocks.

Finally, I would like to congratulate the editors, the authors and their collaborators, all with long-standing professional activity, for their contribution to the publishing of this comprehensive and well-balanced book on the extraordinary scientific heritage represented by African meteorites.

Vanni Moggi Cecchi
Università Degli Studi Di Firenze
Museo di Storia Naturale – Sistema Museale di Ateneo
Via La Pira, 4 50132 Firenze