Photos of the Sahara

Desert images

9 100 000 km2 - Average annual rainfall 0 to 25 mm
The average temperature is 30°
Summer daytime temperature is 50°
  • The Sahara
  • History of discoveries
  • Official name of meteorites
  • A meteorite per day
  • GPS localization

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Camel caravan, Sahara

Small erg, Sahara Desert


With an area of 9,100,000 km2, the Sahara now offers the planet’s greatest potential for discovering meteorites. Effective prospecting in an environment as vast and hostile as this requires an excellent knowledge of soil types, as well as the geological and climatic mechanisms that have over the years created certain areas presenting a good likelihood of finds.

While meteorites fall everywhere on earth, there are very few sites at which they will remain well preserved or visible on the surface. Meteorite preserving surfaces represent less than 5% of the desert’s area.

The Sahara,  Mauritania photo


The first Saharan research campaigns took place in 1989. Desert enthusiasts travelling through Algeria and Libya discovered that these areas held an important potential for meteorite finds on what was once sedimentary land that had been subjected to erosion. The emergence of GPS devices then made it possible to explore virgin territories in relative security. Such expeditions, which were conducted by Swiss and German meteorite hunters, would result in hundreds of specimens being collected within a few years. These were the first large-scale discoveries of meteorites from the hot deserts.

Desert of the Sahara

Sahara desert sand
Card and Posters
Desert tree, Sahara sand dunes

Cards, Posters Photoprints

Danita Delimont
Posters and photos of desert Desert & Sand
Art Posters

Desert flowers

Sahara, Mauritania


In view of the Sahara’s vastness and the absence of local communities, Saharan meteorites bear the names of the geographic regions in which they are discovered. In a plateau like Libya’s Dar al Gani, which covers 6,000 km2, more than a thousand meteorites were discovered on the surface. A sequence of letters and numbers serves to identify each meteorite taken from Dar al Gani. The reference DaG 001 was used for the first such stone catalogued, while DaG 597 was the 597th. This rule, which the Meteoritical Society uses for assigning names, is internationally recognized.

Photo after a storm. Such storms are rare and short, but can be very violent. The Sahara is a desert with less than 25 mm of rain a year and it can go several years without rainfall.

Photos, Sahara desert


It takes an average of one day of hunting to find a single meteorite. This effort involves 200 km of prospecting, at a speed of 25 km/h examining the slightest mottling on an otherwise clear landscape. Patience, persistence, excellent knowledge of the land and good organization are key assets.

Specific information that has been gathered since 1989 in the Sahara includes GPS locations, photos and notes provided by the prospecting teams, classification and lab analyses on more than 2,000 individual meteorites. This trove represents the equivalent of the past 30 years of data and discoveries from Antarctica.

Sahara photos

Desert images

Desert photos


Each random find or fall location in the desert becomes a point of departure for a more localized, focused and specific search.

Meteorites seldom land by themselves, in one piece. Often the original fireball bursts into fragments when it enters the atmosphere, catapulting its pieces along similar trajectories that hit the soil in an extended area termed the ellipse of fall. Precise location information on each find thus helps pin down the fall trajectory, making future prospecting work all that much easier.

© Copyright : Richard Pelisson, SaharaMet