10 December, 2001
"My First Meteorite Find!"
We woke to a beautiful day--perfect meteorite hunting weather! Our first journey was about 45 minutes away (by skidoo) to a moraine area near a ridge. This was to be our "practice field".
Our first lesson was to identify the indigenous rocks in the area: dolorite, shale, etc. In addition, as we walkd the field becoming "acquainted" with the terrestrial rocks, we were to see if we could find anything "out of the ordinary".
Within 5 minutes, Ralp (our PI) discovered a meteorite! To me, it was "picture perfect"--just what I expected a meteorite to look like. It had approximately 40% fusion crust and the glint of metal.
The picture taking, bagging, and tagging procedures were explained and completed efficiently, and we all set off again to find a meteorite of our own! No luck!
We moved on skidoo to a yet unsearched ice field area. Flags marking the area still remained from last season. (I was amazed that they were still standing.)
We spread out on skidoos until we were 25-35 feet apart and slowly taversed the area searching for any rock. At first (while still near the moraine area) terrestrial rocks littered the ice field. As we traveled farther over the ice field, we found fewer and fewer rocks. It came to a point where we were told that *any* rock we found on top of the ice would more than likely be a meteorite!
Maggie made the first "find" in the ice field. Cheers and high 5's all around. After properly bagging the "find", we continued our traverse across the field. Thirty or so minutes later (time flies out here) a large black rock "appeared" in my path. My first meteorite find! My hands shook as the meteorite was photographed, bagged, and tagged. Once, again, it was cheers and high 5's all around.
As the search continued, the third discovery was made by Matt, and Maggie added a second to her "catch". Before we knew it, it was time to return to camp. On our way back, both Cari and John each found a meteorite, and I "discovered" two "false alarms".
Seven meteorites discovered on our first attempt! It was time to celebrate. Steaks for dinner!
**Special note: Now that our team is "out in the field", daily journal entries may not be possible. Photos may also be difficult to send, but they will be loaded once I return to McMurdo in about two weeks. You can also check for entries at: www.webExpeditions.net/ansmet. E-mail can be sent to me through: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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