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UK meteorite hunt thwarted by equipment damage

UK meteorite hunt thwarted by equipment damage

UK scientists' bid to find a hidden population of iron meteorites in the Antarctic has been beaten into submission.

The University of Manchester team had developed a detection system it hoped would reveal the metal objects sitting just under the ice surface.

But after 18 days of survey work, the equipment has broken beyond repair.

It seems the components couldn't cope with the pounding they received as the detector was dragged across hard ice.

"This constant battering from the ice meant that anything which could fail did, and once repaired as best we could, a weakness in components remained for further exploitation," expedition co-lead Dr Geoff Evatt reported on Wednesday.

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The scientists had been trying to test a theory that would explain why so few iron meteorites turn up in Antarctica compared with the rest of the world.

This theory holds that the metal objects warm up in the sunshine and melt themselves down into the ice and out of view.

The bespoke detector - modified from the technology used to locate land mines - was designed to sense the iron down to a depth of a few tens of centimetres.

The team went with two systems to be dragged behind snowmobiles. Both rapidly picked up damage as they bounced over the frozen undulated terrain of the Outer Recovery Ice Fields.

   Although it is dissappointing that they were unable to achieve their result, the glaciers prove to us that there will be a possible of uncovering lost pieces of history and more.

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UK meteorite hunt thwarted by equipment damage - by Idris_A - 01-09-2020, 04:44 PM

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