Dating antarcic meteorites
Müller, a contractor with research consultants Fielax from Bremerhaven, Germany, was in Antarctica as part of a polar survey conducted by the German Alfred Wegener Institute.
Six days after spotting the weird ice-ring, he and his colleagues returned and flew over the site at two different altitudes, to photograph and scan it.
Such dense, compact ice with no snow cover is a distinct pale blue colour. Ursula Marvin, Smithsonian Astrophysical Laboratory, Cambridge, Ma., U. A) This slide shows a small meteorite still embedded in Antarctica blue ice.
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Meteorites falling on the ice cap in regions of substantial accumulation are gradually buried deeper in the ice and are carried with it as it flows toward lower ground.
Although much of the ice (and the meteorites it contains) ends up in the sea, some of it comes up against natural barriers, such as a range of hills or mountains. Ablation from katabatic winds continually removes ice from the upper surface and leaves the meteorites it contained, exhumed on the surface.
The most prevalent meteorites found on Earth contain small, partly glassy spheres called chondrules, and such rocks are termed chondrites (of at least 14 different types).
Other meteorites lacking chondrules are called achondrites, and a subset of those are commonly referred to as planetary meteorites.