The meteorite, the ninth largest recorded at over 2 metres wide, was unearthed in Somalia in 2020, although local camel herders say it was well known to them for generations and named Nightfall in their songs and poems.
Western scientists, however, dubbed the extraterrestrial rock El Ali because it was found near the town of El Ali, in the Hiiraan region. A 70-gram slice of the iron-based meteorite was sent to the University of Alberta’s meteorite collection for classification.
Nightfall… I love that name. Nightfall, Somalia… it’s a piece of music, I am sure.
I read that local pastoralists were aware of the rock for between five and seven generations, and it featured in songs, folklore, dances, and poems. Now, however the future of the meteorite is uncertain as it has been shipped to China, presumably for sale. Somehow I don’t think the local pastoralists will get anything out of this. And they can no longer point at Nightfall when kids ask about the song.