Scientists Discover 17-Pound Meteorite in Antarctica: One Hefty Area Rock

For meteorite hunters, Antarctica is a wonderland. Darkish rocks stand out in opposition to the pale, snowy panorama and the dry local weather helps to protect them. A group of researchers went trying to find meteorites there and found a uncommon prize: a jumbo meteorite weighing in an 16.7 kilos (7.6 kilograms).

The meteorite hunters had been thrilled with the invention of a hefty house rock in Antarctica. White helmet: Maria Schönbächler. Inexperienced helmet: Maria Valdes. Black helmet: Ryoga Maeda. Orange helmet: Vinciane Debaille.

Maria Valdes

The meteorite was one in every of 5 collected by the researchers, who launched into the journey in late December. “Dimension does not essentially matter in relation to meteorites, and even tiny micrometeorites may be extremely scientifically beneficial, however after all, discovering an enormous meteorite like this one is uncommon, and actually thrilling,” analysis scientist Maria Valdes mentioned in an announcement from the Discipline Museum on Jan. 18.

Valdes estimates round 45,000 meteorites have been present in Antarctica over the past century, however solely about 100 of them have been the dimensions of the 17-pounder or bigger.   

The group’s enthusiasm for the bizarre discover may be seen in {a photograph} the place the researchers posed with the rock.

The analysis group tried out a brand new method utilizing satellite tv for pc imagery to identify meteorite websites. “Happening an journey exploring unknown areas is thrilling, however we additionally needed to cope with the truth that the truth on the bottom is rather more tough than the fantastic thing about satellite tv for pc pictures,” mentioned Université Libre de Bruxelles glaciology pupil Vinciane Debaille. 

Whereas the December timing put the group in Antarctica through the area’s summertime, the expedition nonetheless braved chilly temperatures and prolonged snowmobile rides and treks.

The meteorites are destined for examine on the Royal Belgian Institute of Pure Sciences. Every one is a window into the cosmos. “The larger a pattern measurement we have now of meteorites,” Valdes mentioned, “the higher we are able to perceive our photo voltaic system, and the higher we are able to perceive ourselves.”

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