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The US Antarctic meteorite collection exists due to a cooperative program involving the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Smithsonian Institution (SI). Since 1976, meteorites have been collected by a NSF-funded field team, shipped for curation, characterization, distribution, and storage at NASA, and classified and stored for long term at the SI. It is the largest collection in the world (>20 000 out of ~50 000 from Antarctica), with many significant samples including 24 lunar, 12 martian, many interesting chondrites and achondrites, and even several unusual one-of-a-kind meteorites from as yet unidentified parent bodies. Many Antarctic meteorites have helped to define new meteorite groups.
No previous formal publication (only preliminary documentation in newsletters, reports) has covered the entire collection, and an overall summary of its impact and significant samples has been lacking. In addition, available statistics for the collection are out of date and need to be updated for the use of the community.
Volume highlights include:
- Overview of the history, field practices, curation approaches
- Special focus on specific meteorite types and the impact of the collection on understanding these groups (primitive chondrites, differentiated meteorites, lunar and martian meteorites).
- Role of Antarctic meteorites in influencing the determination of space and terrestrial exposure ages for meteorites
- Statistical summary of the collection by year, region, meteorite type, as well as a comparison to modern falls and hot desert finds
- The central portion of the book features 80 color plates each of which highlights more influential and interesting samples from the collection
35 seasons of U.S. Antarctic Meteorites (1976-2011) presents a broad overview of the program and collection nearly four decades after its beginnings. The collection has been a consistent and reliable source of astromaterials for a large, diverse, and active scientific community. This book would be of special interest to a multidisciplinary audience in meteoritics, including mineralogists, petrologists, geochemists, geochronologists, stable and radiogenic isotope geochemists, planetary astronomers, NEO scientists, astrophysicists, and astrobiologists. 35 Seasons of U.S. Antarctic Meteorites (1976-2010) is appropriate for a range of levels from undergraduate to graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and advanced researchers and professors.
Chapter 1: The Origin and Early History of the United States Search for Antarctic Meteorites (ANSMET). U. Marvin
Chapter 2: Fieldwork methods of the US Antarctic Search for Meteorites program. R.P. Harvey, J. Schutt, J. Karner
Chapter 3: Curation and allocation of samples in the US Antarctic meteorite collection. K. Righter, C.E. Satterwhite, K.M. McBride, C.M. Corrigan, and L.C. Welzenbach
Pictorial guide to selected meteorites (heart of book in 75 color plates)
Chapter 4: Primitive Asteroids; Expanding the Range of Known Primitive Materials. M. K. Weisberg and K. Righter
Chapter 5 : Achondrites and Irons:Products of Magmatism on Strongly Heated Asteroids. D.W. Mittlefehldt and T.J. McCoy
Chapter 6: ANSMET Meteorites from the Moon. R.L. Korotev and R.A. Zeigler
Chapter 7: Meteorites from Mars, via Antarctica. H.Y. McSween Jr., R.P. Harvey, and C.M. Corrigan
Chapter 8: Meteorite misfits: Fuzzy clues to Solar System processes. T.J. McCoy
Chapter 9: Cosmogenic nuclides in Antarctic meteorites. G.F. Herzog, M.W. Caffee and A.J.T. Jull
Chapter 10: A Statistical Look at the US Antarctic Meteorite Collection. C.M. Corrigan, L.C. Welzenbach, K. Righter, K. McBride, T.J. McCoy, R.P. Harvey and C. Satterwhite