Scientists to look for remnants of meteorite in Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary

PORT ANGELES — An underwater search is planned for remnants of a large meteorite that exploded over the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary in March.

The expedition will take place about 14 miles off the Washington coast Monday, July 2 and Tuesday, July 3. It will be streamed live at www.nautiluslive.org.

“You’ll see what we find as soon as we do,” said Jenny Waddell, research coordinator at Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.

Marc Fries, cosmic dust curator at the NASA Johnson Space Center, will help conduct the search from the expedition vessel Nautilus. He will discuss the findings in a public presentation at Peninsula College on Thursday, July 5. The presentation will begin at 6 p.m. in Room M125 in Keegan Hall.

The Ocean Exploration Trust’s EV Nautilus is equipped with state-of-the-art robots that are normally used to study underwater organisms and geological features.

Next week, the Nautilus crew will search for a minivan-sized meteorite that lit up the skies of Grays Harbor County, exploded and fell into the 3,188-square-mile sanctuary at about 7:10 p.m. March 7.

Scientists used weather radar to help predict where the heaviest concentrations of the meteorite landed. In addition to the Nautilus expedition, Fries will discuss the scientific importance of meteorite falls, how they occur and when and where they happen, according to an announcement.

The presentation is titled “How to Find Meteorite Falls with a Laptop Computer and a Desk: Scientific Exploration in the Age of Open Data.”

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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