An international team of researchers hunted meteorites in Antarctica. They came across a very special specimen.
Brussels/Antarctica – An expedition to Antarctica was a complete success for international scientists. The team spent two weeks combing ice fields in search of meteorites. They covered dozens of kilometers in wind-hardened snow dunes. The researchers were actually just about to end their explorations when they discovered a breathtaking specimen on the snow: a meteorite weighing 7.6 kilograms.
Sensational find in the Antarctic: Researchers discover 7.6 kilos of meteorites in the ice desert
It’s a meteorite that came out of the asteroid belt, that explains Field Museum in a press release. The meteorite ended its course in the blue ice of Antarctica and waited tens of thousands of years to be discovered.
According to researcher Maria Valdes, the size of the meteorite is impressive: “Of the 45,000 meteorites recovered from Antarctica in the last century, only 100 are this large or larger.” It was “rare and exciting to see such a large meteorite that how to find this”.
The meteorite now thaws properly in the laboratory of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences before being analyzed for its chemical composition.
Valdes is looking forward to the results. After all, “studying meteorites helps us better understand our place in the universe. The larger our sample size of meteorites, the better we can understand our solar system and the better we can understand ourselves.”
Meteor, meteoroid, meteorite, comet, bolide and asteroid
A meteor is the light emanating from a meteoroid or asteroid entering the atmosphere. Colloquially, we call this phenomenon in the sky shooting stars. Particularly bright phenomena are called fireballs or bolides.
If the meteoroid does not burn up completely in the earth’s atmosphere and reaches the earth’s surface, it is called a meteorite.
According to the international research team, it was the first to use satellite images to search for new, previously unknown meteorite areas.
“Going on an adventure to explore unknown territories is exciting,” emphasizes Vinciane Debaille, leader of the research team. “However, we also had to deal with the fact that reality on the ground is much more difficult than the beauty of satellite images,” says the researcher Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). However, she does not rule out further expeditions.
The probability of being hit by a meteorite is extremely small. A Californian believed a meteorite destroyed his home in the summer of 2022. NASA also followed the case. In Canada, a woman was almost hit by a meteorite in her bed in 2021. (ml)
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