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Space Rocks Hunting: British Expedition Aims To Collect Iron Meteorites In Antarctica

First Posted: Feb 01, 2017 02:06 AM EST

The space rocks or also referred to as meteorites hunting has been given a go signal for the British scientists. They aim to gather meteorites in the cold Antarctica.

On the other hand, the British scientists only target one strange class of meteorites. These are space rocks made of iron. These rocks are the smashed-up innards of bodies that almost became planets at the beginning of the Solar System, according to BBC News.

Dr. Katherine Joy at Manchester University said that finding more of them could give them important clues to events that occurred some 4.6 billion years ago. She further said that they cannot access the iron core of the Earth. On the other hand, the iron meteorites provide them with a nice guide as to what the inside of the Earth is like and gives them an indication of how many planets there may have been in the early Solar System.

Iron meteorites are mostly made from an iron-nickel alloy or referred to as meteoric iron. They have two mineral phases, namely, the kamacite and the taenite. This iron found in iron meteorites became the known earliest usable iron that was used by humans, which signaled the beginning of the Iron Age.

Iron meteorites are considered fragments of the cores of huge ancient asteroids that have been crushed by impacts. Researchers search for them in deserts and Antarctica. There were more than 35,000 meteorites that have been collected and about two-thirds of them have been recovered from Antarctica.

The British team is yet to decide where to conduct its research. On the other hand, it would be more likely along the Argentina, Shackleton or Pensacola ranges.

Meanwhile, Dr. Joy said that NASA has just announced the Psyche space mission, which will visit an iron asteroid. She further said that it is going to be a body made of exactly the type of material they hope to be collecting in Antarctica.

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