Antarctica is a wonderland for meteorite hunters. Darkish rocks stand out in opposition to the pale, snowy panorama and the dry local weather helps to protect them. A crew of researchers went looking for meteorites in Antarctica and found a uncommon prize: a jumbo 16.7-pound (7.6 kilogram) meteorite.

The meteorite hunters have 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 among 5 collected by the researchers, who launched into the journey in late December. “Measurement would not essentially matter relating to meteorites, and even tiny micrometeorites may be extremely scientifically useful, however after all, discovering an enormous meteorite like this one is uncommon, and actually thrilling,” analysis scientist Maria Valdes stated in a statement from the Field Museum on Wednesday.

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

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

The analysis crew 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 fact on the bottom is far more troublesome than the fantastic thing about satellite tv for pc photos,” stated Université Libre de Bruxelles glaciology pupil Vinciane Debaille. 

Whereas the December timing put the crew in Antarctica in the course of 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. Each is a window into the cosmos. “The larger a pattern dimension we’ve got of meteorites,” Valdes stated, “the higher we will perceive our photo voltaic system, and the higher we will perceive ourselves.”

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