At 9:07 p.m. on April 23, 2019, a meteorite shower occurred in a rain forest in central Costa Rica. The fireball was caught on multiple cameras, including those perched on the summits of two volcanoes. One piece punctured the roof of a house and another crashed through the roof of a doghouse (see lot 4). While more than 100 stones were found, most were extremely small with a total weight of only 27 kilograms. However, only 11 kilograms were recovered prior to the strewn field being soaked with rain — a major problem for CM2 meteorites which are highly porous and easily contaminated. The specimen offered here was recovered before the rainfall and is pristine. Like Murchison, Aguas Zarcas meteorites are loaded with organic compounds. They are rich in carboxylic acids, sugar alcohols, aromatic hydrocarbons and others. A total of 144 different scientific papers have already been written about Aguas Zarcas meteorites; many more are in the pipeline. The revelations provided by Aquas Zarcas thus far — providing a hint of what is to come — is perhaps best described by the title of a 13-page article in the preeminent publication in the study of meteorites, Meteoritics and Planetary Science. The article, published in July 2020 is entitled, “The Aguas Zarcas (CM2) Meteorite: New Insights Into Early Solar System Organic Chemistry”.

This meteorite is 70% covered with fusion crust, the result of its fiery plunge through Earth’s atmosphere. Regmaglypts (thumbprint-shaped indentations, another aerodynamic artifact) are also in evidence. There are fractures on the upper right, upper left and reverse. The fractures reveal CAIs (calcium aluminum inclusions) — the oldest matter humankind can touch. Accompanied by a custom armature, the front face of the meteorite is accented with a sienna-hued streak caused by the meteorite’s passage through the oxidized tin roof of Roky’s Doghouse.

Christie's would like to thank Dr. Alan E. Rubin at the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles for his assistance in preparing this catalogue.

79 x 79 x 39mm (3 x 3 x 1.5 in.) and 178.7g (0.33 lbs)
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