FIELD TRIPS: The Great Meteorite Hunt

Science  30 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5548, pp. 1795c
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5548.1795c

Since 1976 scientists have been scouring Antarctica to locate meteorites uncontaminated by earthly bugs and chemicals. Through the journal entries, photos, and other materials posted here, you can follow this year's Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) expedition to the frigid but meteorite-rich Darwin Glacier area, 300 kilometers from McMurdo Station. ANSMET scientists have lugged back more than 25,000 lumps of extraterrestrial rubble, and the 1984 crew returned with the controversial meteorite that some researchers claim contains traces of martian life. Members of this year's team of 10—including scientists, mountaineers, and a teacher—will start flying to the glacier on 8 December, and until late January they will be living in two-person tents and exploring on snowmobiles and on foot. Team members will send back regular dispatches and photos via satellite phone and the Iridium network.

The ANSMET journey is just one of many you can peruse at webExpeditions.net, a site that serves as a portal for scientific and adventure trips and that sells software for showcasing them on the Web. For example, check out the results of a just-completed race across Australia in solar-powered cars.

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