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VALERA METEORITE — THE ONLY DOCUMENTED METEORITE TO HAVE KILLED
These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more
VALERA METEORITE — THE ONLY DOCUMENTED METEORITE TO HAVE KILLED

L5 TRUJILLO, VENEZUELA (9°19' N, 70°37' W)

Details
VALERA METEORITE THE ONLY DOCUMENTED METEORITE TO HAVE KILLED
L5
Trujillo, Venezuela (9°19' N, 70°37' W)
One face is cut and polished. The multi-hued variegated matrix is embedded with sparkling metallic grains, and a single large metallic inclusion is at the left margin. Blurred chondrule boundaries evidence heating on its parent asteroid long before its brush with Earth and a cow. Modern cutting.
75 x 44 x 32 mm (3 x 1¾ x 1½ in.)
160g
Provenance
Dr. Ignacio Ferrin, Merida, Venezuela

Accompanied by a copy of the signed affidavit attesting to the circumstances of the Valera event.
Literature
Kusuno, H., Fukuoka, T., Matsuzaki, H. (2013) “Simple relationship between Al production rate and major elemental composition of meteorite samples.” Geochemical Journal, 47(1), 83-88.
Special notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.
Post lot text

Lot Essay

An echo in miniature of the devastating asteroid believed to have killed off the dinosaurs, it was on the evening of October 15, 1972 that farmhands in Trujillo, Venezuela were startled by an inexplicable sonic boom. The next day an exotic rock was found alongside a cow’s carcass whose neck and clavicle had been pulverized. It was obvious to the farm’s owner, physician Dr. Argimiro Gonzalez, what had occurred, but he didn’t give it a second thought since mayhem from falling meteorites seemed intuitive. An unplanned steak dinner was enjoyed that night and the celestial boulder was used as a doorstop. More than a decade later scientists confirmed what Dr. Gonzalez had long presumed. However, what Dr. Gonzalez didn’t know was that this was the first and still the only documented fatal meteorite impact. When Dr. Ignacio Ferrin, an astronomer at the University of the Andes, learned of the act of bovicide that had occurred at Valera, he visited the Gonzalez estate and left with an affidavit affirming the aforementioned events as well as the meteorite itself.

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