Some Photos of Antarctic Meteorites

Here is a small collection of photos of Antarctic meteorites, some in the field and some in the curatorial laboratory of the astromaterials curation facility at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Most of the meteorites were collected during the 1988-89 ANSMET field season to Lewis Cliff and the MacAlpine Hills.  Note that both the field and lab photos were scanned from old slides, the original lighting was intense blue (field) or artificial (lab), and the slides have probably faded.  Another problem is that the meteorites are dark and the background is light, so most of the meteorites were underexposed in the original image.  I've done some color readjustment to increase the gamma and increase the red, magenta, and yellow.  Bottom line: the exposure and colors on these images are more true than on the original slides, but they aren't perfect.

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Searching for meteorites at Lewis Cliff. Most of the rocks in this photo are just that - rocks. We estimated that 1 in 500 to 1000 of the rocks were meteorites. That's much better odds than most other places on Earth. See ANSMET for why so many meteorites are found in Antarctica.

From the top of Lewis Cliff looking south.
The terrestrial rocks on the ice were weathered off the cliff. The South Pole is about 450 miles straight ahead.

photos by Randy Korotev

Prepared by:

Randy L. Korotev

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Washington University in St. Louis

Please don't contact me about the meteorite you think you’ve found until you read this and this.

Last revised24-Aug-2010