The Bassikounou meteorite fell with a very large fireball around 4am local time on October 12th, 2006. The first specimen was found the same day at 1pm about 11km Southeast of Bassikounou, Hodh Ech Chargui, which is located in the far South-eastern corner of Mauritania, Africa. Bassikounou has been classified as an Ordinary Chondrite, H5 with a Shock Rating of S2 and a Weathering Level of W0 (unweathered). The official Total Known Weight for this fall is 29.56kg but more material totalling around 64kg has been found along a strewnfield that is approximately 8km long. Bassikounou displays a beautiful rich black, velvety crust with flow-lines present on some specimens. The interior is a contrasting pale grey colour and the classification also makes mention of some shock veins being present. It also states that the metal abundance is 8% vol. while Troilite (FeS) is 6.6% vol.
The specimen below shows the rich black fusion crust expected from a newly recovered fall. Some parts of the stone are quite smooth which probably indicates a smooth even flow over the surface during tmospheric flight. However, other parts display a much heavier, frothier and irregular appearance. This likely indicates a more disrupted and turbulent flow of air around this part of the stone. There also appears to be some signs of ‘lipping’ which might suggest at least some stable atmospheric flight. This specimen is part of the Meteorites Australia Collection (MA.07.0040).