Muscat: The Ministry stated that the first meteorite sample documented to have entered the airspace of the Sultanate of Oman, was monitored in cooperation with the Natural History Museum in Bern, Switzerland and Curtin University in Australia, with technical support from the Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel).
The meteorite was named ‘Al-Khadhaf’ in reference to the location of its fall in the Al Khadhaf area in Thumrait.
The meteorite is the smallest mass found among 40 meteorite falls that were monitored by meteorite detectors around the world
The meteorite monitoring devices were able to determine the geographical location of the meteorite (two samples weighing 8.2 grams and 13.8 grams) and calculate the path of the fall, which made it easier for the Omani-Swiss scientific team to quickly reach the sample.
The Ministry completed the stage of chemical analyzes and the study of the correlation between the data of monitoring devices and analysis of short-lived radioactive isotopes of meteorites (manganese element 54 and sodium element 22) in a specialized scientific laboratory at the University of Freiburg, Germany. The process of examining meteorite samples through the optical and microelectronic microscope was also conducted at the University of Freiburg. The results of the tests proved that the meteorites that were found were recently fallen ones, and they are the same meteorites that were monitored through the devices.
The monitoring, calculations, analysis and study of modern meteorite data is currently on under the supervision of astronomers and meteorologists to reach details of the meteorite and know the extent to which it was affected by climatic factors before it entered the Earth’s airspace. The study also makes it possible to measure the extent the meteorite was affected by various factors such as erosion and oxidation after it entered the atmosphere and settled on Earth.
The results of the analysis showed that the source of the meteorite was from the inner part of the asteroid belt, which is located between the planets Mars and Jupiter.
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