Meteorite Hunting Waaaaay Down Under
Good morning, Earthlings!
Today I want to write about the ANSMET program as their season is in preparation for the coming winter season! ANSMET (or the Antarctic Search for Meteorites) is out of Case Western University and is U.S. government supported. Since it's start in 1976, field parties of scientists and mountaineer guides have traversed the open dry plains of the Antarctic. They go for about 3 months (November to January)...remember, that's considered South Pole "Summer"!
Why Antarctica?- The likelihood of finding a dark iron-clad piece of space rock is better within all the white background of land. Another reason is that the tectonics of the Antarctic allow for the pushing away of newer land to expose much older (by thousands of years old) ice sheets to deposit (which we call "lag deposit") meteorites that have been trapped in that ice! Since the end of 2015, more than 21,000 meteorites have been collected (which is about 500-some meteorites per field season!!)
Today I thought I'd share my top 10 favorite quotes from the ANSMET team's 2014-2015 season.
1- Occam's Razor would suggest that the simplest solution is the most likely, therefore I think it's clear that a herd of stealth rhinoceroses (and friends) trampled me in my sleep (tap-danced on me even).
2- Trust me when I say that the warrior pose...are not easy in four layers of pants, a big puffy coat and boots that weigh about four pounds each
3- Other things you aren't allowed to do with the meteorite: no juggling, no soccer, no softball, and no curling
4- It is important to not drip snot on the meteorite
5- Our tents are a pale yellow, which means your world is bathed for 12-16 hours a day in a pale yellow light which totally distorts your sense of color
6- Wait, why are you laughing...I haven't told my "jokes" yet.
7- The wind at the ridge was just whipping along at 15.5 m/s (35 mph) and wind chill down to -35*C (-31*F)!
8- Ski-doo names: Miss Kitty, Cosmo, Space Oddity, and Flower
9- Collecting 172 meteorites in a single day is tiring!
Thank you for reading and to read more on the adventures of the ANSMET team, follow their field notes here: http://caslabs.case.edu/ansmet/
Tune in next week for a look into the Pleiades cluster!