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Field Museum scientist discovers 17-pound large meteorite in Antarctica

17-pound large meteorite in Antarctica

Maria Valdes and three other scientists came upon a 17-pound meteorite, which is heavier than the majority of bowling balls and pumpkins for Halloween, during an Antarctic mission in late December.

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The Field Museum in Chicago, where Valdes works, released a statement saying that only one out of every 450 or so meteorites discovered on the icy continent are this huge or greater.

17-pound large meteorite discovered in Antarctica: Key Points

  • According to NASA, meteorites are usually between the size of a pebble and a fist.
  • According to scientists, the globe receives roughly 48.5 tonnes of debris from billions of years old meteors each day, the majority of which evaporates in the atmosphere or falls into the ocean, which makes up over 70% of the planet.
  • On Earth, more than 60,000 meteorites have been found.
  • According to NASA, most come from asteroids, although a tiny fraction, or approximately 0.2 percent(Opens in a new window), come from Mars or the moon.
  • At least 175 of them have been confirmed as coming from Mars (Opens in a new window).
  • The boulder most likely came from the main asteroid belt and fell into Antarctica tens of thousands of years ago, according to one of the researchers, Ryoga Maeda.
  • Before drawing any firm conclusions regarding the type or provenance of the large rock or the other four rocks discovered on the expedition, scientists must examine them in a laboratory.
  • The research will be carried out by the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.
  • Additionally, each researcher will bring back soil samples to their respective home institutions to check for the presence of minute meteorite fragments.

Due to their relative ease of detection on the vast ice plains, Antarctica is where the majority of space rocks are discovered. Even when meteorites sink into the ice, the glaciers churning below help to resurface the boulders on blue ice fields, making the black lumps stand out against the snowy-white environment.

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What are the types of meteorites?

  • The “irons,” “stonys,” and “stony-irons” are the three primary types of meteorites that are classified.
  • The majority of meteorites that hit Earth are stony, but scientists typically discover space debris that is iron because it is heavier and easier to identify from common terrestrial rocks.

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About Antarctica

Antarctica is a difficult place to work due to its extreme temperature and harsh surroundings. It is, nonetheless, among the top locations in the world for meteorite hunting. This is partially due to Antarctica’s desert environment, which limits how much weathering the meteorites undergo. In addition to being dry, the environment is perfect for finding meteorites since the snowy plains make the black space rocks stand out sharply. The churning motion of the glaciers against the rock below helps re-expose the meteorites near the surface of the continent’s blue ice fields, even after they descend into the ice.

Field Museum scientist discovers 17-pound large meteorite in Antarctica_4.1
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