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Scientists find 17-pound meteorite in icy Antarctica - Space.com

Scientists find 17-pound meteorite in icy Antarctica - Space.com

Scientists find 17-pound meteorite in icy Antarctica - Space.com
Jan 21, 2023 1 min, 4 secs

A daring team of scientists has endured the inhospitable conditions of the icy desert of Antarctica to recover five new meteorites, including a near-17-pound monster space rock.

The team of scientists included Field Museum and the University of Chicago researcher Maria Valdes, who estimated that of the 45,000 meteorites recovered to date from the icy wasteland of Antarctica, only 100 or so have been as large as the largest member of this new haul, which weighs 16.7 pounds (7.6 kilograms).

The team, which was led by Vinciane Debaille, a planetary scientist at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (FNRS-ULB) in Belgium, was the first to explore new potential meteor sites that had been mapped using satellite imagery.

"Going on an adventure exploring unknown areas is exciting, but we also had to deal with the fact that the reality on the ground is much more difficult than the beauty of satellite images," Debaille said in the statement.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Maria Valdes)Antarctica is a desert with a dry climate, which reduces the amount of weathering experienced by meteorites.

The whopping new space rock and the other meteorites recovered by the researchers will now be analyzed at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, while the team members will individually divide and study samples of sediments they collected from Antarctica.

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