Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation, January 18, 2016 (Newswire.com) - The members of the first Russian Meteorite Expedition to Antarctic, organized by Ural Federal University, have brought to Ekaterinburg two samples of meteorite and some more samples that bear structural resemblance to meteorites.
“The samples, each about 3 cm in diameter, will allow Russian researchers to learn new information about the origin of our universe and the future of the Earth”, says the field commander of the expedition, UrFU postgraduate student Ruslan Kolunin. “Ural Federal University will thus acquire the status of the Center for Meteoritic Matter Research”.
The expedition began on December 16. During two weeks the scientists collected over 300 samples in the region of the Lomonosov Mountains at the South Pole. The meteoritic origin for two of the samples was confirmed immediately in the field.
The meteorites found by the expedition will be studied in one of the UrFU laboratories under the guidance of Professor Viktor Grokhovsky, who was the initiator of the expedition. The other samples and cubes of blue ice will be shipped to Ekaterinburg from Novolazarevskaya station in April.
The blue ice will be studied by the scientists of St. Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute, Ural Federal University, and their French colleagues. Since the Antarctic is a unique place of extraterrestrial material concentration, the blue ice is of great interest to the scientists: by melting the ice one can get the cosmic dust contained by it.
UrFU meteorite expedition to Antarctic took place in the framework of the 61stRussian Antarctic Expedition. The author of the expedition project is UrFU professor Viktor Grokhovsky.
UrFU Antarctic Meteorite Expedition has been the first scientific project in the history of modern Russia aimed at search of meteoritic matter on the southernmost continent. It became possible thanks to the participation of the university in the “Project 5-100”. The budget of the expedition is estimated at about 12.8 million rubles, most of the sum being provided by Ural Federal University. Thanks to the efforts of the UrFU Students’ Union, 500 thousand rubles were collected by means of crowdfunding, some part was invested by sponsors. For example, Ekaterinburg Engineering Company Plana invested 1 million rubles. The clothes for the members of the expedition were prepared by the local company Discovery, while the food supply was provided by NL International.