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Thread: Meteorites Found in Antartica

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    Meteorites Found in Antartica

    Google TechTalks
    January 26, 2006

    Dr. Monika Kress

    Dr. Kress was a member of the ANSMET 2003-04 Expedition. (ANSMET = Antarctic search for meteorites)
    http://geology.cwru.edu/~ansmet/

    ABSTRACT
    Every year since the late 70's the US National Science Foundation has supported a team of space scientists to search for meteorites in Antarctica. Why Antarctica? The polar desert environment best preserves these precious samples of other worlds, which include shattered planetesimals, fragments of asteroids, and even rocks from the Moon and Mars. In this talk, I will discuss the scientific importance of meteorites, and the methods used to recover them from the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.


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    Re: Meteorites Found in Antartica

    While rovers and orbiting spacecraft scour Mars searching for clues to its past, researchers have uncovered another piece of the Red Planet in Antarctica.

    The new specimen was found by a field party from the U.S. Antarctic Search for Meteorites program (ANSMET) on Dec. 15, 2003, on an icefield in the Miller Range of the Transantarctic Mountains, roughly 750 kilometers (466 miles) from the South Pole. This 715.2 gram (1.5 pound) black rock, officially designated MIL 03346, was one of 1358 meteorites collected by ANSMET during the 2003-2004 austral summer.

    Like the other Martian meteorites, MIL 03346 is a piece of the Red Planet that can be studied in detail in the laboratory, providing a critical "reality check" for use in interpreting the wealth of images and data being returned by the spacecraft currently exploring Mars. Following the existing protocols of the US Antarctic meteorite program, scientists from around the world will be invited to request samples of the new specimen for their own detailed research.

    Thought to have originated within thick lava flows that crystallized on Mars approximately 1.3 billion years ago, and sent to Earth by a meteorite impact about 11 million years ago, the nakhlites are among the older known Martian meteorites. As a result they bear witness to significant segments of the volcanic and environmental history of Mars.


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    Re: Meteorites Found in Antartica

    Dr. David McKay, Chief Scientist for Astrobiology at the Johnson Space Center, lectures on his scientific experience with meteorites, more specifically ALH 84001.

    Stanford University:
    Stanford University

    Full Course Available on Stanford on iTunes U [iTunes Link]:
    http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/C...

    Stanford University Channel on YouTube:
    YouTube - StanfordUniversity's Channel


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