Antarctica: Turkish scholar collects 10,000+ meteoroids

Alaturka Ekonomi Haberleri

By Dilara Zengin

ANKARA (AA) – A Turkish scientist has collected over 10,000 micrometeoroids in Antarctica for astronomical research.

Working from the Belgian Antarctica base, Mehmet Yesiltas told Anadolu Agency that he focused on micrometeoroids with his Belgian and Japanese counterparts.

Yesiltas said researchers first began to collect micrometeoroids this year, with samples from mountains in the continent's east.

"According to preliminary reviews, the number of Antarctic micrometeorites we collected is over 10,000," he said

Micrometeoroids are cosmic spalls of up to 2 millimeters (0.08 inches), said Yesiltas, a lecturer at Turkey's northwestern Kirklareli University.

"Micrometeoroids differ from meteorites in terms of their chemical content. For this reason, micrometeoroid research has great importance to understand our solar system," he said.

Yesiltas noted that the conditions on Antarctica were ideal for meteoroids and micrometeoroids as the cold weather and climatic conditions protect samples.

Some meteoroids contain carbon and organic molecules, Yesiltas said.

He said they collected 66 rare meteoroids in the Nansen Glacier area at an altitude of 3.1 kilometers (1.9 miles), where the air temperature reaches minus 49F (minus 45C).

These meteoroids are mostly from a space field located between Mars and Jupiter, and finding them can yield knowledge on a variety of topics, Yesiltas highlighted.

*Writing by Gokhan Ergocun from Istanbul