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Why not give a little piece of heaven to someone as a present?
The Campo del Cielo meteorite is an iron meteorite whose fragments were first found on the present border between the provinces of Chaco and Santiago del Estero in 1576. A Spanish governor heard of the lore of the native Indians which spoke of iron falling from the sky and sent out an expedition that recovered several fragments. The site, an arid plain, was aptly named 'Campo del Cielo' (field of heaven). Some 200 years later, the Spaniards sent another expedition, where a naval lieutenant reportedly found a fragment which he estimated to weigh between 15 and 18 tonnes. An investigation of the material, however, revealed that it was merely iron, and this claim was retracted. In 1992, an American meteorite dealer tried to cart away a 37 tonne fragment. The Argentine authorities did not agree to this however, and the meteorite remained in the country.
An investigation, including radiocarbon dating, indicated that the meteoroid may have landed 4,000 to 6,000 years ago. The meteorite itself is about 4.5 billion years old. On entering the atmosphere, it burst into thousands of fragments and a total of more than 100 tonnes of meteorite have now been located. The larger fragments were found in and around an area including 26 craters. The largest crater has a diameter of 78 metres and a depth of 5 metres. The original 'small solar system body' came from the asteroid belt. Its remains have been classified as Group IA coarse Octahedrites. The chemical composition is as follows: 92.6% iron, 6.68% nickel, 0.43% cobalt, 0.25% phosphorus, 87ppm gallium, 407ppm germanium and 3.6ppm iridium.
This composition is a unique identifier, pointing to a meteoritic origin, and validates the authenticity of the meteorite as this composition cannot be reproduced on Earth.
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