A researcher from the ETH Zurich discovered with Belgian and American colleagues a meteorite weighing 7.6 kilos in Antarctica. Such a find is rare, most meteorites not exceeding a few tens of grams.
“Finding a meteorite larger than the size of a fist is extraordinary,” Maria Schönbächler, a geologist at ETHZ, told Keystone-ATS. In Switzerland, only eleven meteorites have been found since 2018.
The research team traveled to Antarctica from last December until mid-January, exploring the potential of several regions based on satellite images. ‘On the snow, the black meteorites can be seen well,’ explains Schönbächler.
Scientists have thus found several meteorites. The 7.6 kg one was sent frozen to Belgium for analysis. It will be thawed there under controlled conditions.
Meteorites indeed contain metals that rust quickly, adds Maria Schönbächler. The piece will then be dated. It could be more than four billion years old.