Katherine Joy: Searching for the Lost Meteorites of Antarctica

Katherine Joy obtained her PhD in studies of lunar evolution and was involved in the European Space Agency’s SMART-1 mission to the Moon. She held postdoctoral research positions at Birkbeck College where she studied data from the Indian Chandrayaan-1 mission, and at the Lunar and Planetary Institute and NASA Johnson Space Centre is the US where she worked with lunar samples. In 2012 Katherine returned to the UK to work at the University of Manchester where she studies rock and soil returned by the Apollo missions in order to study the Moon’s impact and volcanic record. She recently co-led the first UK team to recover meteorite samples from Antarctica, working with the British Antarctic Survey to recover rocks from space.

Talk: Searching for the Lost Meteorites of Antarctica

Meteorites provide us with samples of the Moon, Mars and many different types of asteroids. Studying them has revealed the origin and evolution of the Solar System and the complexities of planetary differentiation and modification. Many thousands of meteorites have now been collected in Antarctica, and most have been found in concentrations at in blue icefields alongside mountain ranges. There is, however, an interesting statistical variation between the types of meteorites we find in Antarctica compared with the rest of the world and we have been seeking to understand the reasons for this difference. This talk will discuss the first UK-led meteorite hunting expedition to Antarctica, which took place over Christmas 2018 working with the British Antarctic Survey, which seeks to investigate the ‘Lost Meteorites of Antarctica’ hypothesis.

Dot Talks, Star Pavilion Sunday 2019

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