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    Antarctic meteorite in the research of a Polish woman and a NASA team

    “Working on a lunar meteorite is a real scientific treat.”, says geochemist and mineralogist from the Department of Polar and Marine Research of the Institute of Geophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences, prof. Monika A. Kusiak. Currently, with a team of scientists from NASA and Korea, she is studying a meteorite found in Antarctica.

    “Working on a lunar meteorite is a real scientific treat. There are about 80,000 total meteorites on Earth, of which less than 1 percent are lunar meteorites; there are about five hundred of them. Those that fell on Antarctica are even fewer – maybe 40. One of them has the Korean Polar Research Institute (KOPRI).”,

    says the geologist.

    She adds that Poland has no such meteorites, nor conducts expeditions to Antarctica, the purpose of which would be to search for meteorites.

    The researcher deals with accessory minerals – i.e. those that usually make up less than 1 percent. rocks. In the lunar shard, he studies the mineral zircon. Zirconium silicate contains enough uranium, thorium, and lead to calculate the age of the entire mineral from radiological decay. Thanks to this, it is possible to draw conclusions about the geological evolution of the rock, and thus, more broadly, of the area.

    The lunar meteorite DEW12007 was found on the so-called on blue ice about 40 km from Mount DeWitt (Victoria Land, East Antarctica) during the Korean-Italian Antarctic Expedition.

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