Huge meteorite found in Antarctica
It is one of the biggest ever found.
By Mark Waghorn via SWNS
A huge meteorite containing the oldest material in the solar system has been unearthed in Antarctica.
It is one of the biggest ever found - and sheds fresh light on the evolution of the sun and the planets.
The 17lb (7.6kg) cosmic treasure was easy to find. Its black composition contrasted starkly against the snow-white ground.
The wilderness is the best place to search for surviving space rocks. Dry cold weather provides perfect conditions for preservation.
Active glaciers can also churn up any ancient ones buried beneath the ice.
Dr. Maria Valdes, of The Field Museum, Chicago, said: "When it comes to meteorites, size doesn't have to matter.
"Even tiny micrometeorites can be incredibly valuable from a scientific point of view. But, of course, to find such a large meteorite like this is very rare."
In the past century more than 45,000 meteorites have been found on the continent - but only about 100 as large.
Most are micrometeorites that range in size from tens to hundreds of grams.
Expedition members rode snowmobiles to reach promising landing sites previously mapped using satellite images.
They discovered five new specimens near the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica research station.
A computer neural network helped reveal several locations relatively free of snow, which might otherwise have covered them up. One contained the meteorites.
Professor Maria Schonbachler, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, said: "To find such a big one - this is kind of luck to be honest."
The space rock appears to be an ordinary chondrite she explained - the most common type.
These objects contain the oldest material in the solar system and probably originated from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
The meteorite is being kept in a cool box to prevent thawing that could damage its delicate chemical structure. It will be sent to a lab in Belgium for further analysis.
Dr. Ashley King, of the Natural History Museum in London, said: "We don't tend to find too many meteorites in Antarctica that are as big as this.
"The more meteorite we have, the more sample that we have available for us to study and learn about the early solar system."
The next step is to determine what meteorites can tell us about the universe.
Stories and infographics by ‘Talker Research’ are available to download & ready to use. Stories and videos by ‘Talker News’ are managed by SWNS. To license content for editorial or commercial use and to see the full scope of SWNS content, please email [email protected] or submit an inquiry via our contact form.
1 de cada 4 se siente poco calificado para posibles trabajos
Al contrario, el 18% de los encuestados piensan que están sobre cualificados.
The ‘perfect’ living room layout to improve your mood and well-being
“We become blind to rooms that aren’t working and it’s hard to see a problem when you’re in it."
Cancer survivor finally becoming a mom after friend offers to be surrogate
"I had hoped for so long to be a mom."
This is how ants spread all over the world
How ants evolved to become so ubiquitous has remained a mystery until now.
Drone footage captures boyfriend pulling off the ‘ultimate proposal’
"It was just perfect."
- Health1 week ago
Women reveal reasons why they don’t exercise enough
- Food & Drink3 days ago
Family dinners are more important than you’d think
- Sports4 days ago
This is how far sports fans are willing to go for their favorite team
- Weddings4 days ago
Couple ditches their wedding dresses for matching sweatsuits
- Home1 week ago
1 in 6 Americans put off cleaning for at least a month
- Wellness1 day ago
Average American feels insecure 5 times a day: poll
- Animals4 days ago
This dog is so big people often mistake him for a pony or a lion
- History1 week ago
Early European farmers survived because they had lots of sex