Nothing gets your attention quite like a meteor screaming in at 40 miles a second.

(Phil Bland/Imperial College London)
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For now, though, the Sudan meteor remains unique: the first object ever tracked from space all the way to its demise in the atmosphere. Robert Haag of Tucson, Arizona, the self-proclaimed "Meteorite Man," knows that for this reason alone any meteorites it dropped would be valuable—if he could only get to them. The trouble is, they fell on the edge of Darfur, one of the most dangerous places on the planet. A University of Khartoum team has since reported finding meteorites, but at the time of our talk in December, Haag doesn't know their location. And he's mulling over his chances of getting there first. In fact, even as we talk, he's got Google Maps up on his computer screen, scouting for train stations near where 2008 TC3 fell.

Air & Space senior editor Tony Reichhardt wrote about the search for Apollo artifacts on the moon (Aug./Sept. 2008). He's never seen a fireball, but if a meteorite lands anywhere near his home in Fredericksburg, Virginia, he'll be among the first to jump in his car and go looking.

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