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Published on Dec 23, 2009
Dr. Jenniskens, with the help of students, scours the desert in search of meteorite fragments.
A message from Dr. Jenniskens: Greetings from Khartoum, where the '2008 TC3 Workshop'is being held at the University of Khartoum. Today was theopening of the two-day event. 20 foreign scientists are meeting with over 80 local researchers and students to discuss the results from one year of analysis of the astronomical observations, the recovery of the meteorites, and analytic studies of the Almahata Sitta meteorites.
The meeting is held in a 100-seating auditorium with modern audiovisual equipment. Posters are displayed outside in a courtyard, while in another courtyard is placed a large tent, with carpet flooring, where thee and lunch were served. Talks were given by, amongst others, Dr. Muawia Shaddad, who led the meteorite recovery effort and is head of the local organizing committee, by Dr. Petr Pravec of Ondrejov Observatory, who now has calculated in what orientation 2008 TC3 impacted the atmosphere, and Dr. Jason Herrin of NASA Johnson Space Center, who reported on the physical conditions in the Ureilite Parent Body, its violent destruction during an impact and its reassembly as the asteroids we see today.
Many questions are being raised that bring out fascinating aspects of the asteroid's history and demise. Why were meteorites found 1.6 km south of the approach trajectory? What was the albedo of the asteroid? How large were the fragments in which the Ureilite Parent Body exploded? Tonight, we dine at the house of the Dean of the Faculty of Sciences. Tomorrow a second day of exciting talks awaits.