Campo del Cielo Meteorite
Campo del Cielo Meteorite
Above: The front of the specimen card.
"Moon defends himself with a spear tipped with a head carved of the soft wood of the bottletree, which breaks apart at the first impact. He also has a club made of the same wood which is too light to cause any harm. The Jaguar tears at his body, pieces of which fall on the earth. These are the meteors, which three times have caused a world fire."
~ Oral myth of Toba cosmology as recorded by Alfred Métraux, 1946.
The Campo del Cielo meteorite is an IAB meteorite that is thought to have formed 4.5 billion years ago during the creation of our solar system. With a total recovered weight at 220,562 lbs (100000 kg) it is possibly the heaviest meteorite to have ever been recovered on Earth.
Above: Campo del Cielo Specimens
This specimen is a complete Campo del Cielo meteorite from Argentina. The specimen is housed in an acrylic jar that is encased within a glass-topped riker display box. The box measures 4 1/2" x 3 1/2". A small information card is also included, which serves as the certificate of authenticity.
Please Note: The specimens vary in size and shape. Average weight is roughly 0.5g. Product images are representative samples.
About Campo del Cielo
Campo del Cielo is often referred to as a single meteorite, but it is in fact a broad term defining a meteorite field in the Chaco Province of Northwest Argentina. It is thought that the meteorite broke apart within the Earth’s atmosphere and chunks were spread over 20 mi² (55.5 km²). There are numerous large craters here, the largest being 377 by 299 ft (115 by 91 m), and radiocarbon dating of charred tree stumps place the date of the impact at roughly 2500 BCE.
The descent and impact was witnessed by local indigenous groups at the time and became an important part of their oral history. Stories from numerous tribes describe a cosmic event causing a worldwide fire that would take many lives. This correlates with charred wood found around the site that suggests the meteorite may have ignited a forest fire upon impact.
The area was given the name Piguem Nonralta and did not appear in written history until 1576 CE, when Spanish colonials attempted to seek out the area. The governor of the provinces of Tucumán, Gonzalo de Abreu y Figueroa believed the local legends spoke of a source of valuable metals which the indigenous peoples had used for weaponry. Translated into Spanish, the area became known as Campo del Cielo, or, "Field of Heaven."
The 1576 expedition found the area and assumed it was an iron mine and it was again ignored until the late 1770s when a new expedition proposed that the iron field was the product of a volcanic eruption. It would not be until 1933 that the scientific community finally recognized the site as being formed by meteorite impacts, a fact the locals had known for millennia.
Above: The back of the specimen card.