2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Sampling comet dust from Antarctic air
Dr. Susan Taylor
Supporting Stations: South Pole Station
Analyses of interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) collected in the stratosphere by aircraft have shown that some of these particles, the chondritic porous IDPs (CP-IDPs), are primitive materials. They contain vapor-deposited silicates thought to be preserved interstellar materials transported to the inner solar system by comets. Past researchers have collected rare ultra-carbonaceous micrometeorites and particles indistinguishable from CP-IDPs from melted Antarctic snow. These particles have shown affinities to CP-IDPs and grains of the Wild 2 comet. This project aims to collect samples to analyze the isotopic and elemental composition and describe their microstructure. The results will be used to catalog the diversity of the primitive materials, origin of the comets, and increase the permanent collection for the extraterrestrial materials community.
Field Season Overview
In the 2018-19 season, the support contractor research associate (RA) will assist Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) personnel to decommission the collector for return shipment. All researcher-owned items will be removed from station. The building will be relocated to the portable building line and the cable removed.
Deploying Team Members