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Space

Impact zone of giant meteorite confirmed

meteor

(DR Online) -- Following microscopic analysis of snow-samples taken last week, the impact zone of the giant meteorite that hit southern Greenland last December has been located.

Last week, astronomer Holger Pedersen and geophysicist Torben Risbo of the University of Copenhagen conducted a preliminary field investigation on the southwestern Greenland ice cap.

Collecting snow samples by helicopter, they hoped to find traces of meteorite dust left in the snow covering the glaciers. Some 40 samples were taken along 3 different lines giving a very preliminary profile of the snow-masses covering the glacier, where they scientists hope to find the meteorite -- If it did not evaporate during entry into the.

The samples were taken to the Laboratory of the Arctic Station at Qeqertarsuaq, Greenland, for microscopic analysis by Risbo and revealed definite signs of meteoritic substance. Sub-millimeter size particles that look like round brown glass, with little tails of glass trailing behind them, were found. Other particles seem to give clues as to the crystal-structure of the meteorite, but this can't be confirmed until analysis has been conducted with an electron microscope.

A major field expedition on foot and by helicopter into the impact zone planned for the end of this month may have to be pushed forward. It now seems important to collect a much bigger amount of snow samples in order to narrow down the area to be investigated. Also it can't be ruled out that the meteorite, big as it was, completely evaporated during entry, and therefore the only traces will be just dust.

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