Scientists from the University of Manchester will soon be embarking on a truly remarkable adventure: To discover the ‘lost’ meteorites that have been buried inside Antarctica’s ice for millions of years.
These iron-rich meteorites are believed to be the remains of dead planets, long-since destroyed by huge impacts with each other.
Leader of the team Dr Geoffrey Evatt, said: “We now have the opportunity to commence on a truly exciting scientific adventure. If successful, our expeditions will help scientists to decode the origins of the Solar System and cement the UK as a leader in meteoritics and planetary science.”
It’s believed that as the Sun’s rays heats these heavy meteorites they have melted the ice around them and slowly sunk further and further into their icy tomb.
Now though, the first UK-led expedition will head to the continent in search of these objects.
It’s hoped that by examining these rarer meteorites we will be able to better understand how planets are formed.
The scientists believe they’ll also find remnants of both Mars and the Moon however the process of sorting their finds could take months or even years.
To help hunt down these meteorites the team will use an advanced form of metal detection, calling on their own expertise in the development of high-sensitivity scanning devices such as metal detectors in airports, landmine removal and more.
The team have set a rough date of 2020 for the expedition, giving them plenty of time to prepare for the extreme conditions they’ll have to face.
They will be hundreds of miles from the nearest research station and will have to face freezing temperatures, gale force winds and mountainous terrain.
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