Kaidun meteorite

Coordinates: 15°0′N 48°18′E / 15.000°N 48.300°E / 15.000; 48.300
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ClassCarbonaceous chondrite
Parent bodyPhobos (disputed)
RegionHadhramaut Governorate
Coordinates15°0′N 48°18′E / 15.000°N 48.300°E / 15.000; 48.300[1]
Observed fallYes
Fall date3 December 1980
TKW2 kg
Alternative namesKaydun

Kaidun 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 has been suggested that Kaidun originated from the Martian moon of Phobos, but this is disputed.


It contains a uniquely wide variety of minerals, causing debate about its origin. It is largely carbonaceous chondrite material of type CR2, but also contains fragments of other types, such as C1, CM1, and C3.[3] Of the nearly 60 minerals found in the meteorite, several have not been found elsewhere in nature[which?], such as florenskyite, which has the chemical formula FeTiP.[4]


In March 2004 it was suggested that the meteorite originated from the Martian moon Phobos.[5][6] 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 almost wholly produced by deep differentiation. This points to Mars and one of its moons, and Phobos is more likely than Deimos because it is closer to Mars.[7] However, mineralogical and noble gas work do not tie the lithic fragments to Mars, as they have other proven Martian meteorites, and this hypothesized link is tenuous at best. In support of the Phobos hypothesis, in 2017 two scientists at the Western University found that meteorites originating from Phobos (and even Deimos) can travel to Earth.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Meteoritical Bulletin Database: Kaidun
  2. ^ Ivanov, Andrei V.; Ulyanov, A. A.; Skripnic, A. Y.; Kononkova, N. N. (March 1984). "The Kaidun Polymict Carbonaceous Breccia: the Mixture of Incompatible Types of Meteorites". Lunar and Planetary Science. 15: 393–394. Bibcode:1984LPI....15..393I – via Astrophysics Data System.
  3. ^ Zolensky, Michael; Ivanov, Andrei V. (2003). "The Kaidun Microbreccia Meteorite: A Harvest from the Inner and Outer Asteroid Belt". Geochemistry. 63 (3): 185–246. doi:10.1078/0009-2819-00038. ISSN 0009-2819.
  4. ^ Ivanov, Andrei V.; Zolensky, Michael E.; Saito, Akihiro; Ohsumi, Kazumasa; Yang, Vincent; Kononkova, Nataliya N.; Mikouchi, Takashi (2000). "Florenskyite, FeTiP, a new phosphide from the Kaidun meteorite" (PDF). American Mineralogist. 85 (7–8): 1082–1086. doi:10.2138/am-2000-0725. ISSN 1945-3027.
  5. ^ Hogan, Jenny (22 April 2004). "'Weird' meteorite may be from Mars moon". New Scientist. Archived from the original on 1 May 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  6. ^ Ivanov, Andrei V. (March 2004). "Is the Kaidun Meteorite a Sample from Phobos?". Solar System Research. 38 (2): 97–107. Bibcode:2004SoSyR..38...97I. doi:10.1023/B:SOLS.0000022821.22821.84. S2CID 123669722.
  7. ^ Ivanov, Andrei V.; Zolensky, Michael (4 September 2003). "The Kaidun Meteorite: Where Did It Come From?" (PDF). Lunar and Planetary Science. 34. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 March 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2009.
  8. ^ Wiegert, P.; Galiazzo, M. (2017). "Meteorites from Phobos and Deimos at Earth?". Planetary and Space Science. 142: 48–52. arXiv:1705.02260. Bibcode:2017P&SS..142...48W. doi:10.1016/j.pss.2017.05.001. S2CID 119247634.

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