05/19/2017

Prospecting For Martian Gold In Antarctica

7:17 minutes

Two ANSMET scientists in the field. Credit: Nina Lanza

Nina Lanza has one of those jobs you probably wish you had: She shoots lasers at Mars rocks from the “head” of NASA’s Curiosity rover to determine what they’re made of. But in December 2015, she found herself focused on another alien landscape, right here on Earth: Antarctica. Lanza had signed up to comb the blue ice sheets there for meteorites—including, perhaps, a chunk of Mars.

[What’s it really like to be in the field in Antarctica?]

In the latest episode of SciFri’s new spinoff podcast, “Undiscovered,” co-hosts Annie Minoff and Elah Feder tell Lanza’s story, and trace the journey of mystery rock 23042, from its recovery in Antarctica to a space-rock CSI lab at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Subscribe here to listen to the full episode.

Segment Guests

Annie Minoff

Annie Minoff is co-host and producer of Undiscovered. She also plays the banjo.

Elah Feder

Elah Feder is co-host and producer of Undiscovered. She’s also Science Friday’s resident Canadian.

Meet the Producer

About Christopher Intagliata

Christopher Intagliata is Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.

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From Undiscovered: The Meteorite Hunter

From our new podcast Undiscovered: Deep in Antarctica, a rookie meteorite hunter helps collect a mystery rock. Could it be a little piece of Mars?

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