Campo de Cielo meteorite
The Campo del Cielo meteorites are a collection of iron meteorites that fell to Earth in prehistoric times. Discovered in Argentina, these meteorites are renowned for their significant size and historical importance. They were first found in the Campo del Cielo region, which translates to “Field of Heaven” in English.
The meteorite impact occurred around 4,000–5,000 years ago when a large meteoroid broke apart in the atmosphere, resulting in numerous fragments crashing into the Earth. The largest piece, known as the Gancedo meteorite, weighs over 30 tons, making it one of the largest meteorites ever discovered.
The Campo del Cielo meteorites are primarily composed of iron and nickel, giving them a distinct metallic appearance. They exhibit a characteristic pattern called a Widmanstätten pattern, formed by the interlocking crystal structure of nickel-iron alloys when etched with acid.
Since their discovery in the late 16th century, these meteorites have fascinated scientists and collectors alike. They hold scientific significance as they provide insights into the composition of asteroids and the early solar system. Their iron-rich composition also makes them valuable for various scientific studies.
Numerous fragments have been recovered from the Campo del Cielo area, with some specimens displayed in museums and private collections worldwide. The massiveness and historical context of these meteorites have led to extensive studies, including investigations into their impact site and the circumstances surrounding their fall.
Due to their size and unique characteristics, Campo del Cielo meteorites remain a subject of interest for astronomers, geologists, and collectors, serving as valuable specimens for understanding the cosmic events that have shaped our planet’s history. Their impact continues to resonate in both scientific exploration and the fascination with celestial phenomena.