RETURN TO ANTARCTICA

Geoff Evatt | 22 Nov 2019

Hello and welcome (back?) to our Lost Meteorites of Antarctica blog. After 7 years in the making, we are now set for the grand finale of the project! Yes, on Sunday our team departs for Antarctica in the search of subsurface iron meteorites. In theory, we reach the continent on Tuesday. We are not expected back until the end of January 2020.

The field  team is comprised of Katie and Romain (meteoriticists), Wouter (engineer), Taff (field guide) and myself (head of chainsawing?). Of course this leaves a much larger team back in the UK who will continue to support us. It is our intention to supply almost daily updates of the project and life in the Antarctic, via this blog. Please feel free to submit questions and we shall endeavour to answer and queries people might have.

As it stands, we’ll have a week in Rothera (the British Antarctic Survey’s main base) to check all of our equipment is in order, repack bags and conduct some final field training. After that we cross the continent to the “Outer Recovery Ice Fields”, where Katie and Julie (our field guide) visited last January to collect the UK’s first haul of meteorites. In so doing Katie and Julie were the first people ever to visit the spot — meaning we got to officially name the place (another first for the project). This project has been a blast all the way, with so much enjoyable help from so many people (thank you everyone). As planned, we have also unearthed some truly interesting and useful science, much of which we’ll explain in upcoming posts. In the mean-time, wish us well, and we look forward to supplying you with tales of scientific adventure from farthest South!

Overview of the Antarctic Peninsula, Queen Elizabeth Land and Coats Land. Rothera, the team’s initial destination is at the far left of the map, whilst their goal of Outer Recovery is at the far right hand side. Right click and open in new tab for a more detailed view. [Credit: Andy Smedley]