January 13

Maybe lunar? That’s what the field team thinks. It’s all educated guesses until the rocks get back to the NASA Johnson Space Center where they’ll be characterized and made available for study. In the background someone (Brian Hynek?) is drilling a hole for the flag with a battery-powered drill.  For dense morainal searching, it is quick, cleaner (not many chips flying around)  and less likely to get damaged on a rock than our traditional ice chisel.

January 13,
Another good day of meteorite recovery at Davis-Ward. We started off this morning driving head on into fairly strong winds and a temperature of -6 F. By lunch time the wind had almost stopped completely and not a cloud could be seen in the sky. Today we systematically searched the smaller of the two ice tongues, along the edge of Mt. Ward. Only two more Skidoo sweeps to finish it entirely. In all we collected 33 meteorites today, bringing us close to 700 for the entire season. The ice tongue is just about a mile in width, and the whole area is just littered in terrestrial rock. This has been making our sweeps very long and intensive. Our search technique is to line up on our Skidoos, about 20 yards apart, and slowly progress forward as one unit. (Or at least that’s what we initially attempt to do). About every 30 yards or so we climb off our Skidoos and foot search the next 30 in front of us. It can become quite a tedious task, but it’s the only way to confidently search a large area with so much terrestrial rock on the surface. If all goes to plan, this may be our last full week in the field. Time has really been flying! John McBrine, Brian Hynek and I have been here for 33 days today.

As we were riding out to collect today, I took a second to remember where I actually am. In a month of being here, each day starts to become routine and you can quickly forget what an amazing adventure this truly is. It’s a humbling experience to just stop for a second and take it all in. At any moment we may be standing in a place where no other person has ever been, and quite realistically, no other person may ever be again. This has truly been the trip of a lifetime. Yesterday, we collected a meteorite that we are fairly certain was a Lunar anorthosite (see image). How amazing it was to hold a possible piece of the moon that only members of our field team has ever seen. (Don’t worry! It was in a sealed bag without any contamination) Anyway, as the days pass and our time here becomes less and less, I’m trying to enjoy every minute and not take any of it for granted. (Mostly because all the rocks here are dolerite)

Also, we would all like to wish our fellow field member, Sheridan Atkiss, a happy 40th birthday today! (Well, maybe she’s not quite that old yet!)

Until next time, Paul Scholar


-caption added by rph