The Gao-Guenie meteorite fell on March 5, 1960, in Burkina Faso and is known as one of the largest observed meteorite showers in Africa. This H5 chondrite has left a lasting impact on science. Read more.
The Mysterious Fall of the Gao-Guenie Meteorite
The Gao-Guenie meteorite, an H5 chondrite, made an unforgettable and spectacular entrance in the skies of Burkina Faso, West Africa, on March 5, 1960. This impressive meteorite shower, consisting of an abundance of fragments, has earned a prominent place in the annals of history as one of the most extensive and striking meteorite showers ever observed on the African continent.
The Fusion of Two Names
Although they were originally known as two separate meteorites, Gao and Guenie, it was decided in 1999 to combine these two names. They were officially merged into the collective name Gao-Guenie, acknowledging their shared origin.
A Day that Went Down in History
On that memorable day in 1960, precisely at 5:00 pm local time, a series of three powerful explosions shook the country, after which thousands of stones fell from the sky, spread over an extensive area of about 70 square kilometers. The overwhelming sound of the falling meteorites was so loud and penetrating that it was even heard in Ouagadougou, a city located 100 kilometers away. Eyewitness accounts tell stories of trees being snapped like matchsticks and chicken coops being destroyed. Among the found fragments were some massive stones that reached an impressive weight of 10 kilograms.
The Impact of the Gao-Guenie Meteorite
The fall of the Gao-Guenie was not just a remarkable spectacle of nature, but it also marked a turning point for science. Through this event, scientists were able to gain valuable insights into meteorites, their composition, and their interaction with the Earth's atmosphere, contributing to a better understanding of these fascinating space rocks.