4000 years ago, a massive meteor shower struck Earth. Meteors fall on our planet all the time. But these ones left craters that are noticeable even after thousands of years.
Craters weren’t the only thing left behind. After all this time, scientists in Argentina have discovered something epic about this rare event.
The story of the 4000-year-old meteor shower has been passed down from generation to generation by the natives. The famed event occurred over the lands which are now Argentina.
But it wasn’t until very recently that scientists discovered one of the remarkable secrets that the meteor shower has left behind.
A meteorite was discovered in Chaco, Argentina, which is about 670 miles northwest of the country’s capital, Buenos Aires.
The celestial rock was found 16 feet below the surface of the ground. But the scientists realized soon after that this was no ordinary discovery. So, what was so special about this one?
When the crew started digging, they never expected such a celestial object. The meteorite left everyone speechless when the scientists saw the impact it had when it landed.
Even if it arrived thousands of years ago, it left quite the crater and managed to sink deep into the ground. So deep that present-day scientists had trouble discovering all its secrets until now.
Upon discovery, Mario Vesconi, the head of Chaco’s Astronomy Association, had told journalists that the meteorite’s size and weight were larger than they thought.
It became clear that extracting the meteor was not going to be easy. In fact, it will most likely require extensive preparation and special equipment. And even then, there were no guarantees
Campo del Cielo (Field of Heaven) is the name the natives gave to the location of the celestial event. The meteorite shower from 4000 years ago scattered a colossal number of iron-rich meteorites over a vast area.
So far, 26 craters have been found, and around 100 tons of meteorite samples have been recovered. And yet, not all secrets hidden in this field of meteorites have been unraveled.
Because of the shallow water in the area, groundwater quickly flooded the excavation site and threatened to fully submerge the meteorite.
Now they were fighting against time as well, not just struggling with the enormous size of the rock. This posed a significant challenge to the crew. Will they be able to get it out?
The project has garnered some extra attention from the nearby areas as well. Locals and even companies got involved in the operation of a lifetime. It was only when officials from Gancedo, a nearby town, hooked the researchers up with machinery that could pull out the millennia-old rock.
The scientists named the meteorite Gancedo to honor the support they received from the local authorities. They were getting closer to uncovering the millennia-old secret hiding along with it.
Locals and people from many different nearby towns came to the project’s site. Everyone wanted to see what they were digging up there. To their surprise, it was something massive that came from far away and landed right near their little town.
When the scientists finally managed to pull out the celestial rock, everyone’s jaws dropped at the sight of the massive extraterrestrial object.
When they finally checked, the scientists were astonished to discover that Gancedo’s mass was about 33 tons. While they realized that it was massive, they did not expect it to be over 30 tons.
Vesconi and his research team were astonished by the discovery of the giant rock. No one believed that such a meteorite could still be discovered during our generation.
The meteorite is not your average chunk of space rock, as it challenges the second largest meteorite ever found. Weighing in at around 33 tons, Gancedo is only bested by the 37 ton El Chaco meteorite found in the same Campo del Cielo.
This makes the Gancedo the third largest meteorite in the world. Vesconi never expected such an incredible discovery when they began digging it out.
Gancedo and El Chaco are the largest fragments found so far from that historical fall. But they weren’t the only ones.
The meteor shower from 4000 years ago left many iron-rich meteorites scattered over a large area. So far, 26 craters have been found, and around 100 tons of meteorite samples have been recovered.
The celestial shower that hit Campo del Cielo is believed to have originated from a single 600-ton meteor. And scientists believe that while half of it burned down during its entry into Earth’s atmosphere, the rest separated into smaller meteorites.
It must have been a spectacular sight for the inhabitants of the area. Their stories about the event have been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years.
While Campo del Cielo is currently the location of the largest number of meteorites in the world, it is not home to the biggest space rock to ever land on our planet.
That title is held by Hoba, a 66-ton (132,000 pounds) meteorite discovered in Namibia, South Africa, that was found in 1920 by a farmer who was working on his land.
To prevent people from taking portions of this precious rock as souvenirs, Gancedo was declared a national monument. Its protection increased, and the only attention it got since then was from tourists and not thieves.
If you want to get a small piece of a genuine meteorite, there are verified vendors out there. Just make sure that it comes from a reputable source.