Man standing over small meteorite in desert sand.
Source: NASA/SETI/P. Jenniskens
Published: January 25, 2019
Historical Date: October 7, 2008

On Feb. 28, 2009, Peter Jenniskens, meteor astronomer at NASA Ames Research Center and the SETI Institute Mountain View, Calif., found his first 2008TC3 meteorite, an SUV-sized asteroid which broke into two pieces when it landed in the Nubian Desert of northern Sudan in 2008.

This was the first time scientists were able to study an meteorite with a definitive link to an asteroid from space.

"It was an incredible feeling," Jenniskens said. "I realized that I was the first person to lay eyes on these rocks from space, laying there in the sand much the same as the day they fell on the ground," he said.

Graphic showing trajectory of meteor over desert.
This space-based view of the Nubian Desert shows altitude in kilometers (in white circles) and meteor locations in red. Image/. Credit: NASA Ames/SETI/JPL

ENLARGE

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