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Coordinates: 15°0′N 48°18′E / 15°N 48.3°E / 15; 48.3 The Kaidun meteorite is a meteorite that fell on 3 December 1980 on a Soviet military base near what is now Al-Khuraybah in Yemen. A fireball was observed travelling from the Northwest to the Southeast, and a single stone weighing about 2 kilograms (4.4 lb) was recovered from a small impact pit.[1][2] It contains a uniquely wide variety of minerals, causing some confusion as to its origin.


It is largely made up of carbonaceous chondrite material of type CR2, but it is known to contain fragments of other types, such as C1, CM1, and C3. Of the nearly 60 minerals found within the meteorite, several have not been found elsewhere in nature, such as florenskiite, which has chemical symbol: FeTiP.


In March 2004 it was suggested that the meteorite originated from the Martian moon Phobos.[3][4] The reason Phobos has been suggested is the existence of two extremely rare alkaline-rich clasts visible in the meteorite, each of which entered the rock at different times. This suggests that the parent body would have been near a source of an alkaline-rich rock, which is in particular a product of deep differentiation. This points to Mars and one of its moons, and Phobos is more likely than Deimos because it is closer to Mars.[5]


  1. ^ "Kaidun". Meteoritical Society. Meteoritical Bulletin. 8 Jul 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2009.  
  2. ^ Ivanov, Andrei V.; Ulyanov, A. A., Skripnic, A. Y., & Konokona, N. N. (March 1984). "The Kaidun Polymict Carbonaceous Breccia: the Mixture of Incompatible Types of Meteorites". Lunar and Planetary Science (Astrophysics Data System) 15: 393–394. Retrieved 20 August 2009.  
  3. ^ Hogan, Jenny (22 April 2004). "'Weird' meteorite may be from Mars moon". New Scientist. Retrieved 20 August 2009.  
  4. ^ Ivanov, Andrei V. (March 2004). "Is the Kaidun Meteorite a Sample from Phobos?". Solar System Research 38 (2): 97–107. doi:10.1023/B:SOLS.0000022821.22821.84. Retrieved 20 August 2009.  
  5. ^ Ivanov, Andrei V. (4 September 2003). "The Kaidun Meteorite: Where Did It Come From?" (PDF). Retrieved 20 August 2009.  


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