The team found the exceptionally large meteorite in the so-called “Blue Ice Field”, an area of blue ice and snowdrifts, about 60 kilometers from the Belgian Antarctic station.
The rock is larger than 99.7 percent of all meteorites that have been discovered in Antarctica to date. Most only weigh around 20 grams. This stone is a specimen weighing 7.6 kilograms. “It has a beautiful molten crust,” enthuses earth scientist Maria Schönbächler. This crust is formed when the rock enters the Earth’s atmosphere and falls to Earth as a glowing shooting star.
The chunk probably landed on a glacier in Antarctica millions of years ago, was then enclosed by the ice and traveled with the glacier. “In the blue ice areas where we searched, the glacier is eroded by the wind and meteorites appear again,” explains the researcher.
Along with Prof. Dr. Schönbächler, two researchers from Belgium and one researcher from the USA.