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Rare 30-Ton Meteorite That Hit Earth 4,000 Years Ago Found In Argentina --- Could It Be The World's Largest?

Sep 24, 2016 10:00 AM EDT
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A group of workers have successfully excavated a humongous meteorite out of the ground located in Campo del Cielo about 670 miles northwest of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The meteorite, which is estimated to weigh 30 tons, is believed to be one of the meteorites that hit the earth 4,000 to 4,700 years ago.

According to Sky and Telescope, the rare meteorite was made of iron-nickel and is one of the biggest to be excavated yet.

As of today, it is believed to be the second largest, next to a meteorite called Hoba. Santa Monica Observer reported that Hoba, which weighs 66 tons, was found in Namibia hundred of years ago. Because of Hoba's monstrous weight, it was never fully exhumed from the ground.

"While we hoped for weights above what had been registered, we did not expect it to exceed 30 tons," Mario Vesconi (Astronomy Association of Chaco) told the Xinhua news service. "The size and weight [of Gancedo] surprised us," he added.

The meteorite was named "Gancedo," after a nearby town. Gancedo might have been related to "El Chaco," another meteorite found in Campo del Cielo. Experts presume that Gancedo and El Chaco likely came from the same powerful meteor shower that landed on Earth.

Reporting about Gancedo, Fox News quoted Vesconi saying that the process of excavating the meteorite was uneasy as there was an instance when water began to seep out into the work area. Nevertheless, they were provided with efficient equipment that made the excavation possible.

The report also added that the meteorite will be weighed again for precise measurement.

"We will weigh it again. Apart from wanting the added confidence of a double-check of the initial readings we took, the fact that its weight is such a surprise to us makes us want to recalibrate," Vesconi said.

The American Museum of Natural History defines a meteorite as rocks that are far older than the Earth's rocks. They may consist of tiny particles that formed around other stars that are even older than the sun.

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