Antarctica, five meteorites were found: one weighing about 8 kilograms
“Size doesn’t necessarily matter when it comes to meteorites, and even small micrometeorites can be incredibly valuable from a scientific point of view – says Maria Valdes – but apparently finding a large meteorite like this is really rare and exciting.”
The expedition in which Valdés was led by Vincien Debaile of the Free University of Brussels (Fnrs-Ulb), Maria Schönbachler (Eth-Zurich) and Ryoga Maeda (Vub-Ulb) were also part of the team.
This young team was the first to discover potential new meteorite sites mapped using satellite imagery by Veronica Tolinar, a graduate student in glaciology at Ulp.
“Embarking on an adventure to explore unknown regions is exciting – says Debayle – 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.”
Although their journey took place at the end of December, during the Antarctic summer, temperatures were around -10°C and it was not easy to hike and sleep in a tent. The five meteorites recovered by the team – continues inav average It will be analyzed at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.
Meanwhile, deposits that could contain very fine meteorites are being shared among researchers for study at their institutions. Valdes says she is keen to see what the meteorite analyzes will reveal, because “studying meteorites helps us better understand our place in the universe. The larger our sample of meteorites, the better we can understand our solar system and the better we can understand ourselves.”
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