Wednesday 9 October 2019

Costa Rican 'mud meterorite' acquired by the Chicago Field Museum.

The Field Museum in Chicago has acquired a 2 kg piece of meteorite that fell on the Costa Rican town of Aguas Zarcas on 23 April 2019. The meteorite was purchased from a commercial dealer by museum supporter Terry Boudreaux for an undisclosed sum and donated to the institution. It is part of a shower of rocks that fell on the town, causing minor damage to several properties. About 25 kg of meteorite pieces was gathered following the shower.

A 2 kg meteorite that landed in Costa Rica on 23 April 2019, and has now been obtained by the Chicago Field Museum. John Weinstein/Field Museum

The Aguas Zarcas meteorites are carbonaceous chondrites, meteorites rich in clay minerals and organic compounds such as amino acids, that date from around 4.5 billion years ago, when the Solar System was forming. Most such meteorites are very small, limiting the amount of material uncontaminated by contact with Earth's environment that can be obtained from them, but the large size of the chunk donated to the Field Museum means that there is potentially a great deal of uncontaminated organic material beneath its surface, and makes in one of the rarest and most valuable meteorites ever found.

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