Exclusive Photos Of The Recently Found 30-Ton Argentine Meteorite

Article Updated: 16 Oct , 2016
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A gigantic piece of the famous Campo del Cielo meteorite fall that was found on September 10, 2016 has been un-earthed, and is now on display in Gancedo, Chaco, Argentina. Photographer Pelin Rodriguez shared some images with Universe Today that he took of the newly found behemoth during a recent “Celebration of the Meteorite.”

And in a surprise finding during a weigh-in of both the new Gancedo meteorite and another meteorite named el Chaco that what was thought to be the biggest meteorite from the Campo del Cielo site, the Gancedo meteorite may actually be bigger. El Chaco was originally billed as 37 tons, but a recent tip of the scales put el Chaco at only 28 tons. Rodriguez said both meteorites will be weighed again in order to verify the tonnage. If confirmed, that would make the Gancedo meteorite the second largest meteorite chunk in the world after the 66-ton Hoba meteorite discovered in Namibia, Africa.

A close-up view of the Gancedo meteorite shows colorful details of the 30-ton rock. Credit and copyright: Pelin Rodriguez.

A close-up view of the Gancedo meteorite shows colorful details of the 30-ton rock. Credit and copyright: Pelin Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said the Gancedo meteorite contains many colors ranging from red, yellow, green, white and different shades of brown.

Scientists estimate about 4,500 years ago, a 600 ton space rock entered Earth’s atmosphere and broke apart, sending a shower of metallic meteorites across a 1,350 square km region northwest of Buenos Aires. The region has at least 26 craters, with the largest crater being about 100 meters wide. The AstronoR group said that the Gancedo meteorite was buried only 3 meters deep.

Rodriguez is a member of the AstronoR astronomy group in Argentina that held a two-day astronomy outreach event at the Village of Gancedo, located 312 km from Resistencia, the capital city of Chaco.

The el Chaco meteorite on display. Credit and copyright: Pelin Rodriguez.

The el Chaco meteorite on display. Credit and copyright: Pelin Rodriguez.

The Gancedo meteorite will be on permanent display in the village of Gancedo, Chaco, Argentina. Credit and copyright: Pelin Rodriguez.

The Gancedo meteorite will be on permanent display in the village of Gancedo, Chaco, Argentina. Credit and copyright: Pelin Rodriguez.

Another close-up view of the Gancedo meteorite. Credit and copyright: Pelin Rodriguez.

Another close-up view of the Gancedo meteorite. Credit and copyright: Pelin Rodriguez.

Another view of the Gancedo meteorite. Credit and copyright: Pelin Rodriguez.

Another view of the Gancedo meteorite. Credit and copyright: Pelin Rodriguez.

The area where the Campo del Cielo or "field of the sky" meteorites are on display. Credit and copyright: Pelin Rodriguez.

The area where the Campo del Cielo or “field of the sky” meteorites are on display. Credit and copyright: Pelin Rodriguez.

Thanks to Pelin Rodriguez for sharing his images with Universe Today. You can see some additional photos and videos from the event on the AstronoR Facebook page.

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3 Responses

  1. Aqua4U says:

    The close ups don’t look like what I’d expect to see from a ‘nickel-iron meteorite? I imagined it would look more metallic? So I dug a bit further and found this description: It is a polychrystalline coarse octahedrite nickel iron with 93% iron, 7% nickel with less than 1% trace elements. Of course, being underground for 4,000-6,000 years in who knows what type or moisture soil has no doubt altered the surface. Maybe the NiFe meteorites usually on display, say in a museum, have been ‘prettied up’ for public consumption?

    • Aqua4U says:

      Am wondering… Does the polychrystalline coarse nickel iron composition say anything about where it might have been formed? Or when?

      • Aqua4U says:

        A Spanish governor had Learned about the iron from local natives who said that it had fallen from heaven… The Governor sent an expedition under the command of one Captaine de Miraval who brought back. Large piece, calling it Meson de fierraro, or ‘large table of iron’. It must have been a pretty large chunk?

        This little tid-bit seems to indicate that there WERE witnesses to the fall! How cool is that?

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