Meteorite Hunters Discover 17-Pound House Rock in Antarctica

The 16.7 pound (7.6 kilogram) meteorite was found sitting on the surface of the Antarctic desert, where its black composition contrasted against the snow.

The 16.7 pound (7.6 kilogram) meteorite was discovered sitting on the floor of the Antarctic desert, the place its black composition contrasted towards the snow.
Picture: Maria Valdes

Researchers combing the floor of Antarctica for area rocks hit the jackpot by discovering 5 meteorites within the tundra, one among which weighs nearly 17 kilos.

The expedition group discovered the meteorites sitting on high of the snow in Antarctica, the place the rocks’ black our bodies caught out towards the white snow fields of the continent. Antarctica is a really perfect place to search out comparatively undisturbed area rocks, since its dry local weather prevents extra weathering over time. Maria Valdes, a analysis scientist with the Discipline Museum and the College of Chicago, and her group discovered a complete of 5 meteorites throughout their hunt in December, one among which weighs 16.7 kilos (7.6 kilograms).

“Measurement doesn’t essentially matter in relation to meteorites, and even tiny micrometeorites might be extremely scientifically precious,” mentioned Valdes in an announcement. “However after all, discovering a giant meteorite like this one is uncommon, and actually thrilling.”

Researchers Maria Schönbächler, Maria Valdes, Ryoga Maeda, and Vinciane Debaille pose with the largest of the meteorites.

Researchers Maria Schönbächler, Maria Valdes, Ryoga Maeda, and Vinciane Debaille pose with the most important of the meteorites.
Picture: Maria Valdes

Valdes estimates that, out of the tens of hundreds of meteorites which were present in Antarctica, solely round 100 are as massive because the one her group discovered. To seek out the meteorites, the researchers rode on snow mobiles and walked in areas that have been beforehand mapped and recognized by satellite tv for pc imagery as potential touchdown spots for meteorites. When the group discovered a suspected meteorite, they used a handheld software to check the magnetic properties of the rock, Valdes defined in an electronic mail to Whereas most of those meteorites keep on the floor, even those who sink into the ice will reemerge as glaciers shift and transfer.

“Happening an journey exploring unknown areas is thrilling,” mentioned Vinciane Debaille, a member of the analysis group from Université Libre de Bruxelles, in an announcement. “But we additionally needed to cope with the truth that the fact on the bottom is way more troublesome than the great thing about satellite tv for pc photographs.”

Whereas the discover is thrilling, the subsequent step for the scientists is to find out what the meteorites can inform us concerning the universe. The 5 rocks Valdes and her group discovered with be analyzed on the Royal Belgian Institute of Pure Sciences, whereas soil samples from the world might be analyzed by the group themselves.

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