Antarctic Meteorite NewsletterNewsletter Number 38,1

    Program News

Curator's Comments
Kevin Righter, NASA-JSC


New meteorites


This newsletter reports 341 new meteorites from the 2006, 2007 and 2008 ANSMET seasons from the Larkman Nunatak (LAR), Miller Range (MIL), and Dominion Range (DOM) regions, respectively.  Included are many carbonaceous chondrites from the Miller Range 2007 season, many of which are paired and paired with samples reported in the previous newsletter.   The summary of samples is as follows:  2 ureilites, 2 brecciated eucrites, 2 LL chondrite impact melts, one anomalous H5 chondrite, 4 EH3 chondrites (paired), 2 LL3.8 chondrites (paired), one CB chondrite (perhaps paired with MIL 05082), 13 CM2 chondrites (6 pairing groups), 6 CO3 (all paired with MIL 07531 from the previous newsletter), and 13 CV3 (two paring groups and most paired with MIL 07671 from the previous newsletter).


2006-2007 sample processing completed


With this newsletter, the characterization of the 2006-2007 season meteorites is complete.   There were a total of 4 from D'Angelo Bluff (DNG), 34 from Scott Glacier (SCO), 48 from Grosvenor Range (GRO), 621 from Larkman Nunatak (LAR), and 135 from Graves Nunatak (GRA).  In addition, 12 samples were found to be terrestrial.  The collection from that season includes a great diversity of meteorites – 2 mesosiderites, 7 HEDs, spectacular LL impact melts, 2 lodranites and ureilites, 3 irons, 2 fascinating ungrouped achondrites, two lunar meteorites, a shergottite, and 25 carbonaceous chondrites.  A summary of the finds for 2006 samples (or any other season) can be generated using our advanced search on the classification database on our webpage:


Lunar Meteorite Compendium


The Lunar meteorite compendium was completed in May 2007 by the Antarctic meteorite group.  The number of lunar meteorites was 42 then, and now it has grown to 62.  The compendium will soon be updated and current to January 2010.  If you know of research that is not mentioned or covered in the chapters, please let us know:  Kevin will update them as frequently as he can (there have been three updates since 2007).


Report on the 2009-2010 ANSMET Field Season
Ralph Harvey, Principal Investigator, ANSMET

Every ANSMET field season is memorable in some fashion, and the memories can be good (a particularly interesting find), bad (a 6-day windstorm to start the season), fun (the Christmas "mime-off") or just ugly (The death of 6 snowmobiles under one driver). The 2009-2010 field season was no exception, and will be remembered for several exceptional things. First, it was a "good weather" season. After the past 4-5 years Mother Nature owed us a break, and the field team got it this year, with only about 5 days of weather too windy or snowy for effective searching. As a result the field team systematically searched a much larger area than predicted, and slightly over 1000 specimens were recovered. Also memorable was that cool specimens started showing up early and kept coming. The SI curators joke that regardless of the total number of meteorites recovered, a typical season always yields about 50 unusual (i.e., non-ordinary-chondrites) specimens. Based on this, they’ve suggested we just head home after the first 50 finds and save a lot of effort. That tactic might actually have worked this year; about a dozen very cool specimens showed up in the first few days of searching, and every day seemed to bring at least a few more hard-to-identify (and thus easy-to-love) finds. Finally, it was a welcome season where everything went pretty closely to plan, and plan A at that; flights were on time, equipment worked and lasted through the season, and there were no shortages of key material. That was a big change from the last few seasons, where plan a quickly devolved into plan C or D with shortened field time and balky equipment. In a nutshell, the 2009-2010 ANSMET field season went extremely well, and the field team (consisting of John Schutt, Lindsay Keller, Neyda Abreu, Vera Fernandes, Jim Karner, Bingkui Miao, Brian Hynek and Marc Fries) made the best of it. You'll be seeing the fruits of their labor in the Fall newsletter, and I am convinced that the rocks themselves will make this a memorable season for ANSMET sample users.


The 2009-2010 ANSMET field team enjoying Christmas dinner al fresco.
From left to right: Marc Fries, John Schutt, Vera Fernandes, Lindsay Keller, Brian Hynek, Neyda Abreu, Jim Karner, Bingkui Miao
The 2009-2010 ANSMET field team enjoying Christmas dinner al fresco.