Meteorites, Ice, and Antarctica: A Personal Account by William A. Cassidy

By William A. Cassidy

Antarctica is a meteorite-hunter's dream: its chilly, dry weather preserves the gap rocks, that are swept alongside in glacial flows after which gather in becalmed parts of the ice cap. during this enthusiastic yet arcane treatise, geologist and planetary scientist Cassidy, chief of many polar meteorite-hunting expeditions, has a lot to assert approximately this fascinating characteristic of the world's such a lot desolate continent. Meteorites comprise very important facts concerning the geology and background in their unique celestial our bodies; from the clues they supply, Cassidy deduces the composition of the primordial nebula from which the sunlight process condensed, reconstructs the cataclysmic meteoroid bombardment that formed the early moon and assesses the potential for historic lifestyles on Mars. Meteorites do have a story to inform; regrettably, it is informed the following via an avalanche of technical info, with lots of tables, graphs, statistical analyses and long taxonomies of mineralogical forms. Cassidy attempts to liven issues up with first-hand memories, yet anecdotes approximately logistics and climate on Antarctic expeditions, well mannered appreciations of departed colleagues and debts of his bureaucratic wrangles with investment organisations and rival scientists wanting to get a section of the distance rocks don't upload as much as a gripping narrative. Cassidy explains the technological know-how basically, yet simply die-hard rock hounds could have the endurance to go through what quantities to an undergraduate textual content in planetary geology. B&w pictures. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed enterprise info.

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The text of the agreement is included as Appendix A. As meteoriticists, we owe much to the Japanese. We are in debt to Renji Naruse, specifically, for recognizing the first Yamato meteorite. We are in debt to the Japanese meteorite collection program for adding thousands of new meteorite specimens to the world’s collections. We are in debt to our Japanese field collaborators over the years: Keizo Yanai, Kazuyuki Shiraishi, Fumihiko Nishio and Minoru Funaki for their friendship and for teaching us how to survive on the ice plateau of East Antarctica.

3 The first three years early disappointments We had lost a lot of time getting started. I was already 49 years old before I had ever been to Antarctica. Two years that I could ill afford had been wasted in fruitless attempts to convince skeptical reviewers that meteorites occur in concentrations on antarctic ice. This is not a condemnation of the system: I can always be convicted of writing unconvincing proposals. The system we have in the United States (US) for deciding whether or not to grant funds for new research is probably the best that can be designed.

In a few days we were allowed another flight, this time with Lt. Mick Brown at the controls. Mick was the most overtly competitive helicopter pilot I have met during 15 years in the antarctic research program; he knew we had found four meteorites with Mike Brinck and he was going to beat that number if he had to run out of fuel doing it. We quickly found two specimens. Hopes rose for the rest of the flight, but we saw nothing. ” It seemed to me to be a strange place for a moraine, and I asked Mick to land so we could check it out.

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