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    Description

    VACA MUERTA - A FINE METEORITE SLICE
    Stony-iron - Mesosiderite A1
    Atacama Desert, Chile
    Mesosiderites are a rare form of stony-iron meteorite composed of roughly equal parts of nickel-iron and silicate. One of the most famous mesosiderites is the Vaca Muerta (Spanish for "dead cow"), found in the Atacama Desert in Chile; in 1861 ore prospectors discovered hundreds of fragments strewn across a large field and initially took the shiny inclusions to be evidence of a silver ore outcrop before their extraterrestrial origin was determined. The find area was later meticulously surveyed by meteoriticists, making it one of the best-mapped and best-studied strewnfields in history. As a result, nearly all representative specimens belong to research institutions and quality specimens are almost never offered for sale. In the fall of 2010 meteorite hunters Geoff Notkin and Steve Arnold searched for meteorites at the Vaca Muerta site, while filming an episode of their series Meteorite Men. At the very end of the expedition they recovered a 3.4-kg complete Vaca Muerta mass, on camera. The specimen was cut and prepared by Marlin Cilz of the Montana Meteorite Laboratory, and verified by Dr. Laurence Garvie of the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University. Both meteorite experts stated that it was one of the finest mesosiderites they had ever seen. This large full slice is not only an exemplary mesosiderite specimen, but also has a unique provenance-a piece of one of the Meteorite Men's greatest discoveries. Only nine slices were offered for sale, and this is one of the largest and best. With a complete rind of desert varnish, both faces have been polished smooth and one brought to a gleaming finish to show off the lovely speckled patterning, with a strong silvery sheen and countless inclusions. The specimen measures approximately 5¼ x 4 3/8 x 1/8 inches, 158.2 grams; a photograph of half of the Vaca Muerta mass was featured in Meteorite Hunting: How To Find Treasure From Space, written by Geoff Notkin, and a signed copy of the book accompanies this lot, as does a DVD copy (not available for sale) of the television episode in which this remarkable meteorite was found.

    Discovered by Steve Arnold and Geoff Notkin while filming The Science Channel's award-winning series Meteorite Men.


    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2011
    12th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,670

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