Iron meteorites from this site are located in the Chaco and Santiago del Estero provinces, approximately 1,000 km SSW of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and 500 km SW of Asuncion, Paraguay. The 18.5 x 3 km fall field contains at least 26 craters.
In 1576, the governor of a province in northern Argentina commissioned an army to search for a huge quantity of iron, which was said to be used by the natives for weapons. The natives claimed that the mass had fallen from the sky at a place they called Piguem Nonralta, which the Spanish translated as Campo del Cielo ("Heavenly Field or Sky").
The expedition found a large mass of metal protruding from the soil and took several samples, which were described as unusually pure.
It is estimated that the size of the main body was greater than 4 metres in diameter. Samples of charred wood were taken from beneath the meteorite fragments The results indicate that the date of the fall is approximately 4,200-4,700 years ago, the age is estimated at 4.5 billion years, and the meteorite was formed as part of the evolution of our solar system.
The fragments contain an unusually high density of inclusions for an iron meteorite, which may have contributed to the disintegration of the original meteorite. The average composition of the Campo del Cielo meteorites is 3.6 ppm iridium, 87 ppm gallium, 407 ppm germanium, 0.25% phosphorus, 0.43% cobalt and 6.67% nickel, with the remaining 92.6% being iron.
Synonyms: Chaco Gualamba, Chaco Gualambo, Charata, El Abipon, El Charata, El Hacha, El Mataco, El Mocoví, El Mocovi, El Patio, El Perdido, El Rosario, El Taco, El Toba, El Tonocoté, Gancedo, Gran Chaco (iron), Gran Chaco Gualamba, Gran Chaco I, Gran Chaco II, La Perdida, Los Guanacos, Meson de Fierro, Mesón de Fierro, Nihuá, Otumpa, Pinalta, Pozo del Cielo, Reventazone, Runa Pocito, San Jago del Estero, Santiago del Estero, Silva, Tucuman, Wöhler's Iron