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Meteorites - 2

Because of the environmental conditions in the Antarcticj

such as extremely low humidity and preserving cold air, the

meteorites which Cassidy's team found are thought to represent the

cleanest and least contaminated meteorites yet collected.

Cassidy had proposed the expedition to the NSF based on studies

he made and previous discoveries by the Japanese in the Yamato

Mountains that meteorites might be found in certain sections of

the TransAntarctic Range where the ice shelf pushed against barrier

mountains.

Meteorites

which

had

fallen

on

the

ice

shelf

in

millenia

past

would

be

at

some

depth

in

the

ice

shelf.

As

the

shelf moved slowly towards the sea any obstruction in its path,

such as a mountain or a sub-ice ridge, would obstruct the flow and

force

an

upwelling

of

clear

ice.

Strong

winds,

prevalent

on

the

ice shelf, would blow surface snow cover away and leave

meteorites exposed.

Cassidy's group found over 300 such meteorite fragments in a six-mile

area

during

the

two

month

search

to

test

the

hypothesis.

The

300 or so fragments represent perhaps 30 different meteorite falls.

Because of early expectations of the find, the NSF and the National

Aeronautics

and

Space

Administration,provided

Cassidy's

team

with

special lunar-type handling equipment and lunar-rock storage

boxes so any meteorite fragments which were found could be

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