Planetary Science Research Discoveries

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Remembering William A. Cassidy


PSRD sadly marks the passing this month of a remarkable man, William A. Cassidy, who, during his distinguished scientific career had an almost incalculable influence on the study of meteorites—except that more than 22,000 meteorites recovered from Antarctic ice are rock-solid evidence.

Photo of William A. Cassidy's book cover.

Bill began and led the Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) program from 1976 to 1995, which is ongoing and widely regarded as resulting in the single most important collection of research meteorites in the world. Extraordinary discoveries enabled by ANSMET include meteorites from the Moon and Mars and asteroid Vesta, meteorites with diamonds, with salt as old as our Solar System, with boron, with carbonate minerals, with amino acids, oh just take a read through our PSRD archive of meteorite articles. We share additional resources, below, as further evidence of how a single individual can start a program and inspire others to seek, discover, and study the bulding blocks of our Solar System. Thank you Bill Cassidy.

Current NASA support for ANSMET comes from the Near-Earth Object Observations program. Curation and characterization of the recovered meteorites (at NASA Johnson Space Center and the National Museum of Natural History) are supported by a partnership between NASA and the Smithsonian Institution. ANSMET's Co-Principal Investigators are Professor Ralph Harvey (Dept. of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Science, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH) and Research Associate Professor James Karner, Dept. of Geology and Geophysics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT).

Additional Resources   Links open in a new window.

  — Linda M. V. Martel

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MARCH 2020