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Uncommon Antarctic meteorite is likely one of the largest ever discovered



Antarctica is the proper place to go meteorite searching, as house rocks stand out on the large fields of ice, and researchers have discovered a brand new crop


24 January 2023

The meteorite in all probability originated from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter

Maria Valdes

Researchers in Antarctica have recovered a uncommon massive meteorite on the ice. Weighing in at 7.6 kilograms, it is likely one of the largest house rocks ever found on the continent.

Antarctica’s dry, chilly climate rigorously preserves any meteorites that land, whereas a uniform white background and lively glaciers churn up historical house rocks buried beneath the ice, making it among the best locations to seek out meteorites. Up to now hundred years, greater than 45,000 meteorites have been present in Antarctica, the vast majority of which have been micrometeorites, which vary from tens to tons of of grams.

Maria Schönbächler at ETH Zurich in Switzerland and her colleagues found 5 new meteorites throughout an expedition close to the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica analysis station in December final 12 months. This was throughout Antarctica’s summer season, when temperatures have been at a comparatively heat -10°C (14°F).

To seek out the meteorite, Schönbächler and her staff combed via satellite tv for pc imagery utilizing a machine studying mannequin and recognized 5 icy areas that have been comparatively freed from snow, which could have in any other case lined up meteorites. They explored all 5 areas systematically by snowmobile, however just one contained any meteorites. “To find such a big one – this is kind of luck to be honest,” says Schönbächler.

Whereas the meteorite has but to be analysed, it seems to be an peculiar chondrite, says Schönbächler, which is the commonest sort. These objects include the oldest materials within the photo voltaic system and doubtless originated from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

The staff will now ship the meteorite to Belgium, in a cool field to stop thawing that might harm its delicate chemical construction, for additional evaluation.

“We don’t tend to find too many meteorites in Antarctica that are as big as this,” says Ashley King on the Pure Historical past Museum in London. “The more meteorite we have, the more sample that we have available for us to study and learn about the early solar system.”

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