A meteorite weighing over 30 tonnes (33 US tons) was discovered in Argentina last weekend by a team of scientists from the Chaco Association of Astronomy, Argentinian news site La Nacion reports.
"It was a big surprise,” Mario Vesconi, president of the Astronomy Association of Chaco, told the Argentine newspaper Clarin, translated via Google.
“The meteorite was buried about 5 meters [16.4 feet] deep and has a width of almost 2 meters [6.6 feet],” Vesconi told En Compactonea. He added that the meteorite, now called "Gancedo meteorite", weighed 30,800 kilograms (67,900 pounds). However, the team said the meteorite will be remeasured to officially confirm this.
The discovery was made in an area called Campo del Cielo – which loosely translates to “Sky Field” or “Field of Heaven” – found near the border between the provinces of Chaco and Santiago del Estero, northwest of the capital Buenos Aires. This site is covered in craters from an iron meteor shower around 4,000 years ago. The largest of these craters is 115 by 91 meters (377 by 298 feet).
Much of the local media described the find as the second largest meteorite ever discovered, although there were also unconfirmed reports of a 37-tonne (40 US tons) meteorite found at Campo del Cielo years ago. The largest known meteorite can be found in Namibia. Known as “Hoba,” this 60-tonne (66 US tons) meteorite is thought to have hit Earth around 80,000 years ago.
The potential value of the meteorite has not yet been discussed. However, local politician Livio Gutierrez welcomed Campo del Cielo's new resident, saying it is a "milestone" in science and could potentially boost the area's tourism