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No. 50: Mar-Apr 1987

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Why are antarctic meteorites different?

Here's the problem:

"Differences exist between Antarctic and non-Antarctic meteorites, and the significance of this is only now beginning to be recognized. Dennison et al point out that relative to non-Antarctic falls, the Antarctic population is underabundant in iron and stony iron meteorites, among others."

Trace-element studies:

"...demonstrate a statistical unlikelihood that both sample populations derive from the same parent population."

One reason for the differences is that the Antarctic ice has been accumulating meteorites for many thousands of years longer than modern man has been picking up non-Antarctic meteorites.

(Lipschutz, Michael E., and Cassidy, William A.; "Antarctic Meteorites: A Progress Report," Eos, 67:1339, 1986.)

Comment. If Antarctic meteorites differ because they impacted the earth over a longer span of time, it must be that the meteor population in the vicinity of the earth has been changing. Why?

From Science Frontiers #50, MAR-APR 1987. 1987-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987