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Astromaterials Newsletter – Volume 1 No. 1 March 2019

Antarctic Meteorite News

Kevin Righter, Antarctic Meteorite Curator

New Meteorites
We report the availability of 238 new meteorites. This new batch contains samples from the 2015 ANSMET season at the Miller Range, and includes an EH3 chondrite, CK5 chondrite, and a large (13) pairing group of CV3 chondrites, as well as several ungrouped low FeO chondrites, an H impact melt breccia, L3.5, LL4, and a veined LL5 chondrite.
For more information about these new meteorites, go to:
Loan Agreements
In the Fall of 2013, we initiated loan agreements for the Antarctic meteorite collection. Because these are 5 year agreements, many are now expiring. This is just a quick note to remind everyone that if you are still holding samples for research and your loan agreement has expired, we will need to get it renewed. Many of you will be contacted by us to get the process going.
Sample Request Guidelines
The Meteorite Working Group (MWG), is a peer-review committee which meets twice a year to guide the collection, curation, allocation, and distribution of the U.S. collection of Antarctic meteorites. The deadline for submitting a request is 2 weeks prior to the scheduled meeting.
Requests are received twice per year in the Spring and Fall. Request will be reviewed at the MWG Meetings. Requests that are received after the Spring deadline (March 8th) may be delayed for review until MWG meets again in the Fall. Questions pertaining to sample requests can be directed to the MWG secretary by e-mail.
Requests for samples are welcomed from research scientists of all countries, regardless of their current state of funding for meteorite studies. Graduate student requests should have a supervising scientist listed to confirm access to facilities for analysis. All sample requests will be reviewed in a timely manner. Sample requests that do not meet the curatorial allocation guidelines will be reviewed by the Meteorite Working Group (MWG). Issuance of samples does not imply a commitment by any agency to fund the proposed research. Requests for financial support must be submitted separately to an appropriate funding agency. As a matter of policy, U.S. Antarctic meteorites are the property of the U.S. government, and all allocations are subject to recall.
Samples can be requested from any meteorite that has been made available through announcement in any issue of the Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter (beginning with 1(1) in June, 1978). Many of the meteorites have also been described in five Smithsonian Contributions to the Earth Sciences: Nos. 23, 24, 26, 28, and 30. Tables containing all classified meteorites as of August 2006 have been published in the Meteoritical Bulletins and Meteoritics and Meteoritics and Planetary Science.
The most current listing is found online at:
All sample requests should be made electronically using the form at:
The purpose of the sample request form is to obtain all information MWG needs prior to their deliberations to make an informed decision on the request. Please use this form if possible.
Please send requests and attachments to
The preferred method of request transmittal is via e-mail. Type MWG Request in the e-mail subject line. Please note that the form has signature blocks. The signature blocks should only be used if the form is sent via Fax or mail.
Each request should accurately refer to meteorite samples by their respective identification numbers and should provide detailed scientific justification for proposed research. Specific requirements for samples, such as sizes or weights, particular locations (if applicable) within individual specimens, or special handling or shipping procedures should be explained in each request. Some meteorites are small, of rare type, or are considered special because of unusual properties. Therefore, it is very important that all requests specify both the optimum amount of material needed for the study and the minimum amount of material that can be used. Requests for thin sections that will be used in destructive procedures such as ion probe, laser ablation, etch, or repolishing must be stated explicitly.
Consortium requests should list the members in the consortium. All necessary information should be typed on the electronic form, although informative attachments (reprints of publication that explain rationale, flow diagrams for analyses, etc.) are welcome.

Report from the Smithsonian
Cari Corrigan, Geologist, Department of Mineral Sciences
This newsletter reports 238 new classifications. A few changes have occurred at the Smithsonian since the last newsletter. With some collections funds that were awarded to our Collections Manager Julie Hoskin, we have been able to hire both Chris Anders and Greg Polley to work with us for the next year. They both came on board in October, and have been working hard to help us get caught up with our collections activities. With the National Museum of Natural History having been closed for all of January for the government shutdown, and the meteorites not arriving until Feb 1, the existence of this newsletter is nothing short of miraculous.
I have to shout out my most sincere thanks to our crew, Tim Gooding for making thin sections, and Chris and Greg for their amazing help with a variety of newsletter related tasks. We even recruited Ph.D. student Sam Crossley from the University of Maryland who volunteered his time to help us get the newsletter finished. These guys worked hard, and without them, this would have been a MUCH smaller newsletter. Now that the newsletter is completed, we will be turning our attention toward filling your outstanding requests.
While the Hyperprobe is still running beautifully, our SEM is starting to show its age and after 7 or 8 hard days of running EDS analyses for this current newsletter, the EDS detector is now off to the shop to be repaired. Luckily it held out long enough to classify over 200 OC meteorites for the newsletter! We are still eagerly awaiting the new cabinetry for our meteorite vault, which will expand our Museum vault storage capability, provide more workspace, and enable us to develop a new display case. In the meantime, we will continue to work through the tasks that allow us to supply you with your research materials!

ANSMET 2018-2019 Field Season
Jim Karner, University of Utah
Ralph Harvey, Case Western Reserve University
The 2018-19 field season to the Davis Nunataks and Mount Ward (DW) is in the books and I'd label it no less than a banner year! We recovered a whopping 865 meteorites with over a dozen achondrites included in that tally - definitely some really cool looking ones too. This year's team was led by ANMSET personnel Jim Karner, John Schutt, and Brian Rougeux, and joined by ANSMET vet Brian Hynek, along with newbies Paul Scholar, Elena Dobrica, Sheridan Ackiss and John McBrine.
Our thoughts before the start of this season were that we would be able to complete search and recovery at DW this year - there was a sizeable amount of blue ice left to be skidoo searched, but most of the moraines surrounding DW had been searched, and we thought, completed. In short, we were wrong! The season got underway as the team was put-in to DW by December 15. Search efforts began the next day but the first couple weeks were tough as severe windstorms (30 to 50 knots) kept us in the tents about half the time.
The winds kept us from performing a lot of skidoo sweeps on the blue ice, so we foot-searched the heavy moraines that surround the ice fields and found a surprising amount of meteorites. The winds abated on December 30 and recovery efforts ballooned as we collected 317 meteorites in one week, mostly on sweeps on the open ice but we found 80 on a down-wind ice edge that was unexpected.
Good weather continued and we recovered several dozen meteorites from newly exposed wind-rows on the far reaches of the ice fields, and perhaps the most puzzling (in a good way) event was our recovery of about 200 meteorites from a moraine we call The Beach (Figure 1-those red flags are meteorites). Puzzling because this exact same area was foot-searched four years ago and we found 200 meteorites then!
Obviously there is some recharge mechanism working here that is exposing new meteorites on the surface of the moraine. The team continued search and recovery efforts until January 18, when lousy weather started up again and pull-out efforts began; the whole team was out of the field by January 24.
So to sum up, we did not finish our efforts at DW but for good reason - we kept finding more meteorites! We are planning on going back next season - we anticipate finishing the area off next year, but not before recovering a lot more meteorites.
Figure 1: John Schutt at the Beach (pictured). Red flags designate meteorite finds.
Figure 1: John Schutt at the Beach. Red flags designate meteorite finds.
Figure 2: Elena Dobrica, John McBrine,Paul Scholar, Jim Karner, Sheridan Ackiss, Brian Hynek, Brian Rougeux, John Schutt (pictured left to right).
Figure 2: Elena Dobrica, John McBrine,Paul Scholar, Jim Karner, Sheridan Ackiss, Brian Hynek, Brian Rougeux, John Schutt (left to right).

Reclassification of MIL 090292
MIL 090292 was announced as a CR1 chondrite in the August 2012 newsletter. Subsequent studies have suggested it might be a CR2 (Harju et al., 2014), and other work has highlighted the fact that it has distinct mineralogy from CR chondrites (Ni-rich metal and cubanite, while also lacking carbonate), and has O isotopic compositions offset from the trend of CR chondrites (Jilly-Rehak et al., 2018; Schrader et al., 2014). For these reasons, and because it is a small and potentially rare meteorite, we have decided to re-classify this sample as an ungrouped C1 chondrite.
Jilly-Rehak, C. E., Huss, G. R., Nagashima, K., & Schrader, D. L., 2018, Low-temperature aqueous alteration on the CR chondrite parent body: Implications from in situ oxygen-isotope analyses., Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 222, 230-252,
Schrader, D. L., Davidson, J., Greenwood, R. C., Franchi, I. A., Gibson, J. M., 2014, A water-ice rich minor body from the early Solar System: The CR chondrite parent asteroid., Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 407, 48-60.
Harju, E. R., Rubin, A. E., Ahn, I., Choi, B.-G., Ziegler, K., Wasson, J. T., 2014, Progressive aqueous alteration of CR carbonaceous chondrites., Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 139, 15-Aug-14, 267-292, ISSN 0016-7037,