Meteorites from Antarctica are a relatively recent resource for study of the material formed early in the solar system; most are thought to come from asteroids but some may have originated on larger planets. In 1969, the Japanese discovered concentrations of meteorites in Antarctica. Most of these meteorites have fallen onto the ice sheet in the last one million years. They seem to be concentrated in places where the flowing ice, acting as a conveyor belt, runs into an obstacle and is worn away, leaving behind the meteorites. Compared with meteorites collected in more temperate regions on Earth, the Antarctic meteorites are relatively well preserved. The collection and curation of Antarctic meteorites is a cooperative effort among NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution. The meteorites are collected by NSF science teams camping on the ice. Since 1977, the still-frozen meteorites have been returned to Johnson Space Center for curation and distribution. Some of the specimens are forwarded to the Smithsonian Institution, but JSC scientists curate over 4000 meteorites for more than 250 scientists worldwide and eagerly await the arrival of the several hundred new meteorites each year.
How to Request Samples
Instructions for Returning Samples
Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter
Meteorites from Mars!
Exploring the Solar System with Meteorites from Antarctica
Antarctic Meteorite Program
ANSMET Home Page
Listing of Antarctic Meteorites in the U.S. Collection
Populations, Pairing, and Rare Meteorites in the U.S. Antarctic Meteorite Collection
Antarctic Meteorite Educational Package
Antarctic Meteorite Laboratory Contacts