By Eleanor

My former research group has just done something amazing…  and today, ended up on ABC news!

Meteorite-hunting_scientists_stunned_by_crowd-funding_support_after_government_grants_dry_up_-_ABC_News__Australian_Broadcasting_Corporation_

The photo above is my friend Alastair holding a particularly nice looking meteorite. Alastair and I both spent our honours year researching meteorites under the guidance of Dr Andy Tomkins at Monash University. Associated with that work, we were lucky enough to be part of several meteorite-hunting field trips to the Nullarbor Plain. These trips were not only an amazing experience (desert, flies, heat, dingoes, camels, and finding pieces of rock that record information about the earliest solar system), but they have been very successful. Over 20% of Australia’s meteorite collection has been found on the Nullarbor by the team from Monash.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
A meteorite that I found on the Nullarbor Plain in 2013. This is a chip off an asteroid that has made its way through the solar system and fallen to Earth. The small round spots on the surface are ‘chondrules’, which formed before the planet Earth even existed.

However, with limited funding, for a while it looked liked they wouldn’t be able to run the trip at all this year. So they tried something different: crowd-funding.

They launched a Pozible campaign asking for $4000 which would be enough to run one trip. Within ten days they reached that target. The campaign still has two weeks to go, and so far they have raised close to ten thousand dollars.

Here is a short update about what they plan to do with the extra funds:

I am absolutely blown away by the response and so proud of my friends for their enthusiasm and hard work in putting together such a successful campaign. I wish them the best of luck and hope they find loads of interesting meteorites!!

Check out the Pozbile campaign… and please help support space science in Australia!