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Vaca Muerta



Name: Vaca Muerta
Location: Chile
Type: Mesosiderite

The name Vaca Muerta comes from the fact that an old cattle trail crossed the strewnfield, and many dry skeletons of 

cows are scattered along the trail. The cattle came from the valleys of Salta and Jujuy, north Argentina, distant 

-approximately- 700 miles across the Andes. These cattle were to serve as food for the miners of Saltpeter fields of the 

Atacama Desert. The Vaca Muerta Mesosiderites were first recognized in 1861. Several large masses up to 25 kilograms 

were found before 1864 and distributed to the world museums. However, recently a new specimen was discovered after 

almost 100 years. Mesosiderites are thought to have formed when a silicate rich asteroid collided at high speed with a 

metal rich asteroid smashing together and mixing their contents to form this unusual rare meteorite. Several rare eucrite 

achondrite type inclusions have been found inside this meteorite and are now being studied to help understand the mysteries 

                    of its formation.


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