Thursday, September 15, 2016

Second Largest Meteorite Found in Argentina

The Campo del Cielo meteorite was found in outside the small Argentinian town of Gancedo. Credit: Facebook: Ministerio de Gobierno

The second-largest meteorite ever found has been exhumed outside the small Argentinian town of Gancedo. The 30-ton rock, named after the town, was discovered on September 10 and dug up by an excavation team which was shocked by its massive size. "While we hoped for weights above what had been registered, we did not expect it to exceed 30 tons," Astronomy Association of Chaco president Mario Vesconi said.

The discovery, made on the border of Chaco, about 1,078 km (670 miles) northwest of the Buenos Aires, has been attributed to a meteor shower that hit the region more than 4,000 years ago. 

The original asteroid is estimated to have weighed about 600 tons and entered Earth's atmosphere at 14,000 kilometers per hour, where it broke up into a shower of smaller meteorites, according to Scientific American.

The undisputed king of Earth-based meteorites is a 66-ton whopper called Hoba, excavated in Namibia nearly a century ago.It was discovered in 1920 by a farmer ploughing his field with an ox.

While the Hoba meteorite has been fully uncovered from its resting place in the Otjozondjupa Region of Namibia, due to its size, it has never been removed. 

It’s thought to have slammed into Earth some 80,000 years ago, and its age has been estimated to be between 190 million and 410 million years.

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