Campo del Cielo iron meteorite end cut with two laboratory-prepared etched faces, weighing 5.85 kilograms and measuring approximately 114 mm x 101 mm x 121 mm. This large, attractive example has been expertly cut with a diamond-tipped saw, then polished and prepared in the laboratory to reveal its signature Widmanstätten pattern—a lattice-like geometric structure of two interlocking nickel-iron alloys that is a feature unique to meteorites. A hefty and impressive example of one of Earth's longest-known meteorites. Accompanied by a specimen identification card from Aerolite Meteorites.
Few cosmic impacts during our planet’s tumultuous history can have generated such measurable and far-reaching an influence as the gigantic Campo del Cielo meteorite fall. It is aptly named, as Campo del Cielo is Spanish for 'field of heaven,' or 'field of the sky,' and it must truly have seemed that the sky was falling at the time of impact. About 5,600 years ago dense, nickel-iron cosmic debris rained down over what are today the Argentinian provinces of Chaco and Formosa. It must surely have seemed like the end of the world to any early peoples unlucky enough to have been in the vicinity. The incoming meteoroids (the scientific term for a potential meteorite before it makes contact with the ground), likely had a long and shallow flight path, as evidenced by the lengthy fall zone, or strewnfield. The larger masses formed craters and over twenty have been recorded. Although early peoples likely collected some of the metallic fragments from the surface—perhaps using them as tools or weapons—the first recorded information about this historic meteorite comes from 1576 when the invading Spanish noted the existence of abundant natural iron in Chaco province.
Some large masses of Campo del Cielo remained on the surface, while others were buried over time. Some of those were recovered from significant depths—12 feet or more—with the help of professional metal detectors.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.