Exceedingly dense, the exterior texture features centimeter-size regmaglypts (thumbprints), which formed as the sample underwent surficial melting while plunging through Earth’s atmosphere. It also features patches of fusion crust, another product of atmospheric passage. A fine reticulated surface texture further accents this meteorite, which is shrouded in a charcoal patina with pewter to platinum highlights.
57 x 68 x 38 mm. (2.25 x 2.66 x 1.5 in.)
537.6 g. (1.2 lbs.)
Thousands of years after having collided with Earth, Campo del Cielo (“Valley of the Sky”) meteorites were first written about in 1576 by Spanish explorers in Argentina. The unearthly origins of these fragments were not yet understood. The first large meteorite displayed at the British Museum of Natural History was a Campo, and several large Campo del Cielo masses can be found today in the finest museums in the world.
A meteorite shower is typically the result of atmospheric forces being exerted on a large mass, resulting in an explosion that produces numerous smaller fragments. Such was the case with Campo del Cielo; its disruption produced thousands of fragments. The larger masses ploughed into the ground at such a high velocity that at least 26 impact craters have been documented, the largest being 90 ×115 meters. The Campo now offered was recovered at a much higher elevation than in the Campo del Cielo valley where the vast majority of Campos fell. As a result, it had less exposure to incursions of ground water and other oxidants and its elaborate surface texture is preserved. It is much less weathered than the majority of Campo del Cielo meteorites in the great museum collections.
Christie's would like to thank Dr. Alan E. Rubin at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles for his assistance in preparing this catalogue note.
Please note this lot is the property of a private individual.
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