Campo del Cielo: A Campo by any other name

John T. Wasson

Meteoritics & Planetary Science
First published: 14 October 2018


“A sample of Campo del Cielo with any other name would have the same composition. During the last three decades, our instrumental neutron activation analyses (INAA) of many supposedly new iron meteorites have shown an anomalously large fraction to have compositions within the compositional field of the IAB‐MG iron Campo del Cielo. A plot of Ir versus Au provides the best discrimination; only two independent‐fall irons found after 1980 with good recovery documentation fall within the 90% contour ellipse around the centroid of this Campo field, and one of these is from Antarctica. Now (early 2018) a total of 36 other irons attributed to other geographical locations have compositions that cannot be resolved from the Campo compositional field. Because it is possible that some of these are actually independent falls, the Meteoritical Society Nomenclature Committee has chosen to assign about half these meteorites Nova XXX names used for meteorites whose discovery localities are not adequately documented. However, for Campo‐like irons with too little information (e.g., total weight not known) or for which no adequately large type specimens are available, the decision is to call them Campos with the working name used during the UCLA analysis. In the UCLA Meteorite Collection, they are cataloged together with the documented Campos.”