Martin Horejsi

 
An Article In Meteorite Times Magazine
Martin Horejsi's Meteorite and Tektite Books


 

A January 1947 Witnessed Fall:

The Git-Git Chondrite

Overshadowed by Historic Proportions


Git-Git

 

The combined weight of the two Git-Git stones recovered after they fell failed to reach even half a kilogram in mass.

The end section pictured above represents over 50% of the smaller of the two stones, and yet is the second largest piece of Git-Git in any collection in the world.

The year 1947 was a busy one for meteorite falls. While the six falls for that year does not challenge the average number of reported meteorite falls per year, one fall in particular put 1947 on the map, or maybe I should say the calendar. Sikhote-Alin fell February 12th making history as the largest witnessed fall of a meteorite, ever in recorded history.

However, prior the the great Siberian iron named for the Sikhote-Alin mountains, a pair of small L6 stones arrived on January 9th, 1947 in a much warmer clime marking the first meteorite fall of that famous year.

Git-Git

 

The stony meteorite named Git-Git landed at seven in the morning in Baram, Nigeria. Reports state that two stones were seen to fall and recovered.

The largest of the two stones weighed in at 280 grams, and a slightly smaller second stone topped out at 200 grams creating the oft reported yet scant TKW for this fall at 480 grams.

 

Digging through collection inventories, the following published numbers consume the bulk of this tiny fall. The Catalogue of Meteorites lists two repositories for Git-Git, itself and the Geological Survey of Kaduna, Nigeria. It appears that the Natural History Museum in London holds a 265g specimen along with another two grams in fragments, and the Geological Survey of Kaduna holds 105 grams of Git-Git.

Further, the Monnig Collection Catalog lists 36.78 grams in their large Texas hands. These numbers alone add to over 85 percent of the TKW. Bob Haag sold some pieces of Git-Git at the 2006 Tucson show, and if my memory serves me correctly, they could have made up the majority of the remaining 15 percent of the TKW.

Git-Git

 

There isn't a lot of excitement on this stone beyond its aforementioned collectibility. But one large chondrule-like inclusion does dominate the crustal terrain like a wart on a witch's nose.


Beginning with two stones of 280g and 200g, as Git-Git did, the only source for the 265g stone in the NHM collection could be the 280g stone which pretty much takes that one out the mix. The second stone of 200g is therefore the source for the 105g listed in the Geological Survey of Kaduna collection, the ~37g in the Monnig collection, and the material from the Haag collection (which is the source for the material now in circulation through dealers and internet sites).

But there is more to this story. Not more TKW, but the piece of Git-Git listed as residing in its homeland is no longer accurate. The 105g specimen, or 104.4g to be specific was traded out of the Geological Survey of Kaduna collection by Jim Schwade a number of years ago. That piece then moved from Jim's meteorite cabinet to mine.

Git-Git is not the most beatuiful L6 on the planet (which is already a strike or two against it in some collector's books), but this particular end section does at least have a nice nose-like form, crust on four of its five sides, and at least one unusual inclusion squeezing through the fusion crust.

Git-Git

 

The interior of Git-Git is slightly more thrilling than that of cement. A few rusty spots break up the alabaster monotony, and a scant few visible chondrules are poking their bald olivine heads up.

Interestingly, there are some distinctly human-made scratches on the broken surface of this stone. Why they are there, let alone how they got there is a mystery. I don't see a pattern, and may are uniform in length and arrow-straight. Any constructive thoughts readers might have about them would be welcomed.

The name of this fall brings to mind what a collector might shout if witnessing such an event while pointing wildly towards the impact. I'm not sure what the name Git-Git actually means, but I couldn't help but wonder that if three stones had fallen, would this fall be named Git-Git-Git. If so, good thing it wasn't a meteorite shower.


The Accretion Desk welcomes all comments and feedback.

accretiondesk@gmail.com