Novosibirsk State University Student Receives Russian Academy of Science Medal for Rare Meteorite Study

Denis Ponomarev, a student in NSU’s Geology and Geophysics Department received the Russian Academy of Science prize for young researchers.  He was in a group of scientists that is exploring a rare meteorite that was found in the Novosibirsk region 26 years ago. 


The Medal and a 25,000 ruble award in the field of geology, geophysics, geochemistry and mining sciences, went to 4th year student Denis Ponomarev. He received it for his work "Mineralogical and Geochemical Research and Classification Characteristics of the Iron Meteorite Maslyanino".

The meteorite was found in 1992 in the area of ​​the town in the Novosibirsk Region for which it was named. It has not been studied in detail until now. The simplest classification relates it to a fairly rare type of iron meteorite that contains silicate minerals olivine, pyroxenes, and feldspar. To more accurately classify the meteorite, it was necessary to study its chemical and trace element composition in detail.  

 "The main purpose of my work was to study in detail the chemical and mineralogical composition of the meteorite in order to supplement its classification and put forward assumptions about the model of its formation" said Ponomarev.  

He went on to explain that studying meteorites is interesting because there are practically no rocks on Earth of the same mineralogical composition.  In addition, meteorite research is always relevant, as these celestial bodies preserve information about the early stages of the evolution of the planets and the solar system. In the future, cosmic geochemistry will have increasing importance for the economics of technologically developed countries.

As a result of the research, it was concluded that the meteorite belongs to a certain subgroup within a large group of iron meteorites IAB.  Work on the Maslyanino meteorite is part of a larger project conducted by the Laboratory of Theoretical and Experimental Research of High-Barometric Mineral Formations at the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy SB RAS. The goal of this research is to investigate iron meteorites with silicate inclusions to trace the processes of interaction between the metallic and silicate components, to supplement or modify existing models of their formation, to expand the classification and, if possible, to single out common parent asteroids for such meteorites. Based on the results of the work, an article was submitted to the journal Geology and Geophysics.

Competitions for Russian Academy of Sciences Medals for young scientists and students are held annually in 19 key areas of research in the field of natural, technology and human sciences. The goal of the competitions is to identify and support talented young researchers.