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Scientists find large Antarctica meteorite

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Scientists have found a large meteorite in Antarctica, two weeks after a meteor came down in Russia (above).

Scientists have found a large meteorite in Antarctica, two weeks after a meteor came down in Russia (above).

BRUSSELS: An international team of scientists at Belgium's Antarctica research station has found the largest meteorite in nearly 25 years, helping them to unlock the secrets of our solar system.

A statement on Thursday said scientists at Belgium's Princess Elisabeth Antarctic research base had found a meteorite weighing 18 kilograms on the Nansen Ice Field, part of a haul of 425 rocks with a total weight of 75 kilograms.

"This meteorite was a very unexpected find for us, not only due to its weight, but because we don't normally find such large meteorites in Antarctica," said Vinciane Debaille, a geologist from Universite Libre de Bruxelles who led the Belgian part of the team.

"This is the biggest meteorite found in East Antarctica for 25 years so it's a very special discovery for us."

Meteorites are usually small, seen as "falling stars" as they burn up in the atmosphere, but earlier this month one grabbed global headlines when it came down in Russia, causing a massive shockwave that hurt 1200 people and damaged buildings across a huge area.

AFP

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