Scientists Are Hunting for Meteorite Fragments Off the Coast of Washington

Date:4 July 2018 Author: Asheeqah Howa Tags:,

A few months ago, a small meteorite entered the atmosphere and plunged into the Pacific Ocean about 16 miles off the coast of Washington. The meteorite broke apart and now sits in pieces at the bottom of the ocean, Now, one group is working to find those pieces and bring them back to the surface.

Finding meteor fragments scattered on the seafloor might seem like trying to find a needle in a haystack, but the scientists participating in this hunt have a few advantages. For one, meteorite fragments tend to be almost black, making them easier to pick out against the lighter-colored seafloor.

But perhaps the biggest advantage is the presence of a scientific survey ship, the Nautilus. The Nautilus was already in the region as part of a research mission and, with some input from NASA and scientists from the University of Washington and the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, the researchers will take some time out of their schedule to look for meteorites.

Using remote-operated submarines, the researchers on board the Nautilus will survey the region where the meteorite went down and attempt to find as many meteorite samples as they can. Any samples they find will wind up at the Smithsonian Institution.

The hunt is also being livestreamed, and you can watch it on YouTube or on the Nautilus website.

Source: Digital Trends

Previously published by: Popular Mechanics USA

 

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