Meteorites & Craters in Namibia

With the Perseid meteor shower imminent, all eyes will be turned to the sky on 12Aug17.

However, meteorite showers are nothing new to Namibia and it is known to a very few that the worlds’ biggest meteorite lies on display on Namibian soil.

Namibia boasts not fewer than 19 Internationally recognized meteor impact sites with specimens ranging from 30.2 grams up to 60 Tons in weight.

The Hoba meteorite is the largest and heaviest meteorite in the world. Located close to the city Grootfontein, this mother of all meteorites weighs in at an estimated 60 Tons.

The Hoba Meteorite was found by sheer luck in 1920, when a farmer, Mr Jacobus Hermanus Brits ploughed one of his fields. A man by the name of Frederick Wilhelm Kegel took the first published photography of the meteorite.

It is believed that the Hoba Meteorite struck earth at around 80 000 years ago. It is composed of 16% nickel, 82% iron and other metals.

Other meteorites include the Gibeon Meteorites of which samples are on display in the Central Business District of the capital, Windhoek.

The surface of Namibia is dotted with craters. The most important crater linked to meteorite impact is the Roter Kamm, located in the extreme South West of Namibia, close to the mining town named Rosh Pinah. The Roter Kamm has a diameter of 2.5 kilometres and is 130 meters deep. However, sand covers about 100 meters of its depth.