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Basaltic achondritic micrometeorite
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A "unique" micrometeorite found in Antarctica is challenging ideas about how planets can form.
Detailed analysis has shown that the sample, known as MM40, has a chemical composition unlike any other fragment of fallen space rock.
This, say experts, raises questions about where it originated in the Solar System and how it was created.
It also means that astrochemists must expand their list of the combinations of materials in planetary crusts.

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RE: Antarctic Search for Meteorites
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Where did the earth come from? That's a question many people have asked, but few know the answer to.
But a professor at Case Western Reserve University is looking for the answers to that question and he's going to the edge of the world to find them.
Dr. Ralph Harvey is an Assistant Professor of Planetary Materials at Case.
For the past 17 years, he has led a team of researchers on missions to Antarctica in search of meteorites.

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GRA 06128 and GRA 06129 Meteorites
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First ever evidence of asteroids with Earth-like crust
A team of scientists has found the first ever evidence of asteroids with an Earth-like crust.
A research team, primarily composed of geochemists from the University of Maryland, US, estimated that two rare meteorites found in Antarctica two years ago are from a previously unknown, ancient asteroid with an outer layer or crust similar in composition to the crust of Earth's continents.
This is the first ever finding of material from an asteroid with a crust like Earth's. The discovery also represents the oldest example of rock with this composition ever found.
These meteorites point to previously unrecognised diversity of materials formed early in the history of the Solar System, according to researchers.

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RE: Antarctic Search for Meteorites
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The ANSMET meteorite hunters found a unique rock, which gave them fun to puzzle over its origin. They also talked about the importance of team communication.

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The ANSMET meteorite hunters have found more than 100 meteorites so far. One of the hunters explained about Antarctic Ferrar Dolerite, a Mars-like rock in a Mars-like environment.

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A few years ago I was approached with a tempting offer that I'll bet many of you would jump at the chance to accept.
It came from Ralph Harvey, who coordinates the U.S. National Science Foundation's annual expedition to collect meteorites in the ice fields of Antarctica.

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ANSMET Meteorite Hunters
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ANSMET Meteorite Hunters are back on Antarctica. They will target the Davis Nunataks and Mt. Ward, and ice fields adjacent to the Dominion Range, a triangular body of rock sticking up between the headwaters of the Beardmore and Mill glaciers. According to them, in 1985 and 2003 they recovered 152 meteorites from these ice fields.

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RE: Antarctic Search for Meteorites
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Title: Micrometeorites from the Transantarctic Mountains
Authors:  P. Rochettea, L. Folcob,1, C. Suaveta, M. van Ginnekenb, J. Gattaccecaa,  N. Perchiazzic,  R. Brauchera, and  R. P. Harveyd

We report the discovery of large accumulations of micrometeorites on the Myr-old, glacially eroded granitic summits of several isolated nunataks in the Victoria Land Transantarctic Mountains. The number (>3,500) of large (>400 m and up to 2 mm in size) melted and unmelted particles is orders of magnitudes greater than other Antarctic collections. Flux estimates, bedrock exposure ages and the presence of ~0.8-Myr-old microtektites suggest that extraterrestrial dust collection occurred over the last 1 Myr, taking up to 500 kyr to accumulate based on 2 investigated find sites. The size distribution and frequency by type of cosmic spherules in the >200-m size fraction collected at Frontier Mountain (investigated in detail in this report) are similar to those of the most representative known micrometeorite populations (e.g., South Pole Water Well). This and the identification of unusual types in terms of composition (i.e., chondritic micrometeorites and spherulitic aggregates similar to the ~480-kyr-old ones recently found in Antarctic ice cores) and size suggest that the Transantarctic Mountain micrometeorites constitute a unique and essentially unbiased collection that greatly extends the micrometeorite inventory and provides material for studies on micrometeorite fluxes over the recent (~1 Myr) geological past.

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The explorers found balls of Earth glass and other material that came "from a gigantic cosmic impact," Folco said, that probably occurred in Indonesia.

Folco and his team said many of the particles are ''gigantic," permitting tests that "were impossible up till now."


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Italian Antarctic meteorite haul
Italian Antarctic explorers and geologists have found the world's largest and oldest haul of meteorite particles.
The group led by Pisa University's Luigi Folco have found some 1.35 million bits of space dust during an expedition in the Transantarctic Mountains which they say could shed new light on how life on Earth developed.

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-- Edited by Blobrana at 16:50, 2008-11-18

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