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. 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 Smithsonian. It is the largest collection in the world with many significant samples including lunar, 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 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 In addition, available statistics for the collection are out of date and need to be updated for the use of the community. 35 seasons of U.S. Antarctic Meteorites (1976-2011): A Pictorial Guide to the Collection is the first comprehensive volume that portrays the most updated key significant meteoritic samples from Antarctica.
35 seasons of U.S. Antarctic Meteorites 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.
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 would be of special interest to a multidisciplinary audience in meteoritics, including advanced graduate students and geoscientists specializing in mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, astronomy, near-earth object science, astrophysics, and astrobiology.