Space rocks on ice: Hunting for meteorites in Antarctica

Space rocks on ice: Hunting for meteorites in Antarctica

Meteorites shed light on the origin of the Solar System and on the geological history of different planetary bodies. Antarctica is unique collection ground for meteorites – it very cold so preserves them well, the black meteorites are easy to spot against the white ice, and meteorites samples are often concentrated together on the ice along the Transantarctic mountain range. I will outline my experience in travelling to collect meteorites with the US Antarctic Search for Meteorites Programme, and talk about the scientific reasons we go and collect these stones from space.

About Katherine Joy

Katherine Joy obtained her PhD in studies of lunar evolution from University College London in 2007, where she combined data from the European Space Agency's SMART-1 mission and studies of lunar meteorites. She then held a postdoctoral research position at Birkbeck College where she studied data from the X-ray instrument on the Indian Chandrayaan-1 mission. In 2010 Katherine took up a postdoctoral research post in Houston, Texas where she was based at the Lunar and Planetary Institute and NASA Johnson Space Centre as a NLSI postdoctoral research fellow. She studied samples returned by the Apollo 16 mission in order to study the Moon's impact record. In 2012 Katherine returned to the UK to work at the University of Manchester where she investigates the bombardment history of the Moon and inner Solar System. She has twice joined the US Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) programme, spending two field season's on the ice collecting meteorites.