MetSoc Days 1 and 2

The Meteoritical Society meeting got underway on Monday morning. A wide range of reasearch has already been presented to an audience of around 550 scientists from all around the world.

The Japanese teams working on samples of asteroid Itokawa presented their preliminary findings at LPSC in March. Unfortunately the devastating earthquake hit Japan the following day, so naturally their research has been somewhat delayed. But they have persevered, and presented new findings on Monday afternoon. The samples from Itokawa have the same mineralogy as LL chondrites, a primitive group of meteorites which are low in iron and low in metal.

Earlier this afternoon the Dawn team reported that the spacecraft is in its survey orbit around Vesta, with data collection due to begin in 2 days (Thursday 11th August). The spacecraft survived its journey intact, bar the lost of 1 (spare) reaction wheel. Dawn will spend the next year at Vesta, determining its physical parameters and mapping the surface. Early images show a large mountain close to the south pol and numerous craters marking the surface. Higher resolution images (up to 25m per pixel) are expected over the coming months…

About Sarah Crowther

I'm a Post Doc in the Isotope Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry group. I study xenon isotope ratios using the RELAX mass spectrometer, to try to learn more about the origins and evolution of our solar system. I look at a wide range of samples from solar wind returned by NASA's Genesis mission to zircons (some of the oldest known terrestrial rocks), from meteorites to presolar grains.
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