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Russian Scientists to Find 4,5 Million-Year-Old Meteorites in Antarctica
October 25, 2015 14:19

Participants of the first Meteoric Expedition to Antarctica, which will be started on December 15, intend to find fragments of unknown types of meteorites that are 4,5 million years of age. It was reported by Ruslan Kolunin, one of the members of the expedition arranged by the Ural Federal University.

According to the scientists and explorers,  modern Russia's first meteoric expedition in Antarctica will take place in good climatic conditions: it will be round-the-clock light day on the continent, and air temperature there will increase upto to 25 centigrade below zero. Researchers will look for meteorite fragments by expedient means on blue ice glades. They plan to cover the radius of 50 km in snowshoes, sledges and dragharrows.

The crew consists of six people, with three of them working as guides in the mountains for 7 to 8 months a year.

The expedition members will take off from Yekaterinburg to Cape Town (Republic of South Africa) on December 15. From Cape Town they will continue flight by Il-76 aircraft, which is famous for its unimproved-field capability. It will bring the crew to the airfield of  Novolazarevskaya Station in Antarctica. From there the expedition will move on 250 km deep into the continent. Powder peas and chicken will be the basic food for explorers of Antarctica. The Russian crew will spend 20 days in Antarctica altogether.

 "A great number of various meteorites are concentrated in Antarctica. Among them there are probably those, which we never examined yet. The second ice armor of the Voltat massif  is located in the Russian territory and has not been reached by any expedition yet. Therefore, I do not rule out the possibility of finding fragments of meteorites that have never been studied", - the head of the expedition Victor Grokhovsky told.

Apart from meteorite fragments, the expedition memebrs will cut blocks of blue ice.
"Scientists from St. Petersburg have long been studying space dust, which regularly covers the planet Earth. It settles on the planet surface very slowly, is not burnt down in dense atmosphere and therefore keeps all substances and molecules", - Mr. Kolunin told.

According to Victor Grokhovsky, the concentration of extraterrestrial substance in blue ice is several hundred thousand times higher than in all the other areas of the planet.

The expedition members will cut blocks of blue ice, put them in special containers and ship them to St. Petersburg. "These blocks will be sent to France, and then melted there. All this water will go through a nanofilter, which will catch space dust with various molecules brought to us from the outer space", - Mr. Kolunin said.

Ancient meteorite fragments will also be delivered to Russia in special containers.

Victor Grokhovsky assumes that this New Year will turn unforgettable for the expedition members, as they will celebrate it in daylight on the South Pole and perhaps, with answers to the mystery of life origin on the planet Earth.



Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Antarctic Russian science    

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