In pictures: Meteorite hunting in the desert of Morocco

In pictures: Meteorite hunting in the desert of Morocco

Ali Maghari carries an observation device and a magnifying glass, and spends months wandering among the sand dunes in the deserts near the village of Tamri in Agadir in search of meteorites.


Once he picks up the signal and confirms that there is a catch, Maghari seizes the opportunity and prepares a card with the technical details of the meteorite, photographing it and recording the location's coordinates on the Global Positioning System (GPS).


In pictures: Meteorite hunting in the desert of Morocco

Then he goes to the University Museum of Meteorites at Ibn Zohr University so that specialists in geology can conduct more tests on the space particle.


In pictures: Meteorite hunting in the desert of Morocco

Maghari says: "We go to survey the area for a month there (the desert), once we find and once we may not find (the meteorites).


"When we find a meteorite, we create its technical card, we find it in a place, we record its GPS coordinates and take a picture of it in the exact place where it was found.”


In pictures: Meteorite hunting in the desert of Morocco

While the University Museum of Meteorites focuses on Morocco, samples from various countries in North Africa and the Middle East also arrive.


Maghari added: "Then we go to the laboratory of Dr. Abd al-Rahman Ibhi at the University Museum."


"We analyze samples in the laboratory with simple capabilities, although we need equipment worth a billion (Moroccan centimes), an oxygen device, and as you have noticed that the laboratory receives messages containing samples from various countries of North Africa and the Arab world."


In pictures: Meteorite hunting in the desert of Morocco

Abdel Rahman Ibhi, a professor in the Department of Geology at Ibn Zohr University, says that more than 50% of the meteorites in international museums and laboratories come from Morocco.


In pictures: Meteorite hunting in the desert of Morocco

For this reason, the university established a meteorite museum whose mission is to expand the horizons of scientific research and provide support for meteorite hunters.


In pictures: Meteorite hunting in the desert of Morocco

He said at the University Museum of Meteorites, which he founded, "More than 50% of the meteorites found in international museums or international laboratories were found in Morocco. There are very important meteorites that gave us great scientific information. On this basis, this museum was established in 2016."


In pictures: Meteorite hunting in the desert of Morocco

He added: "Since 2004, we have been working with people (meteorite hunters), especially in the desert... We work on the fact that there is a heritage that must be preserved."

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