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Black stone in the snow: a large meteorite found in Antarctica

As of: 2020/01/2023 4:09 PM

It is said to weigh seven kilograms, and has been on Earth for tens of thousands of years. An international research team found a meteorite in Antarctica. The discovery could provide insight into the origin of the planets.

A team of researchers found a meteorite near the South Pole. According to the Free University of Brussels, it originally came from the asteroid belt in our solar system. It is said to have affected the Earth tens of thousands of years ago.

“very nice gift”

The meteorite weighs 7.6 kg. “It’s very unusual,” Belgian researcher Vincienne Debaile, who led the expedition, told RTBF. Meteorites usually weigh between 10 and 50 grams. “It’s a very nice gift that we found in the last hour of our last day of searching.”

Debye discovered the meteorite with an international team on an expedition about 60 kilometers from the Princess Elizabeth Polar Research Station in Antarctica. With the help of satellite images and GPS coordinates, the researchers found many meteorites in the area. To do this, they sometimes had to camp in difficult conditions at minus ten degrees and among snowy dunes.

Finds from glacier hikes

“Antarctica is suitable for finding meteorites because the black stones are clearly visible on the white snow,” Swiss researcher Maria Schönbachler told the Keystone-SDA news agency. Meteorites are discovered again and again in the million-year-old ice due to the migration of glaciers.

According to Debelle, the stones can provide insights into the origin of the solar system and the planets, because they are composed of dust grains that originated before the planets. The chemical composition of the stone will now be examined from space in Brussels.

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