Meteoritics

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Soils of the 62cm deep Apollo 16 double drive tube 60013/14 are mature at the top and submature at the bottom. Modal anlayses of 5529 grains from the 90-150 μm and the 500-1000 μm fractions from 12 levels of the cores show that, in general, agglutinate abundance increases somewhat monotonically to the top and mimics the Is/FeO profile. It is concluded that the soils in this core are products of mixing along soil evolution Path 2 of McKay et al (1974). Superimposed on that soil column is the reworking of the upper part, which has evolved more recently along Path 1. This core thus represent a consanguineous column of the lunar regolith with an upper reworked segment. -from Authors
 
The mid-infrared (4000-450 cm-1; 2.5-22.2 micrometers) transmission spectra of seven Antarctic ureilites and 10 Antarctic H-5 ordinary chondrites are presented. The ureilite spectra show a number of absorption bands, the strongest of which is a wide, complex feature centered near 1000 cm-1 (10 micrometers) due to Si-O stretching vibrations in silicates. The profiles and positions of the substructure in this feature indicate that Mg-rich olivines and pyroxenes are the main silicates responsible. The relative abundances of these two minerals, as inferred from the spectra, show substantial variation from meteorite to meteorite, but generally indicate olivine is the most abundant (olivine:pyroxene = 60:40 to 95:5). Both the predominance of olivine and the variable olivine-to-pyroxene ratio are consistent with the known composition and heterogeneity of ureilites. The H-5 ordinary chondrites spanned a range of weathering classes and were used to provide a means of addressing the extent to which the ureilite spectra may have been altered by weathering processes. It was found that, while weathering of these meteorites produces some weak bands due to the formation of small amounts of carbonates and hydrates, the profile of the main silicate feature has been little affected by Antarctic exposure in the meteorites studied here. The mid-infrared ureilite spectra provide an additional means of testing potential asteroidal parent bodies for the ureilites. At present, the best candidates include the subset of S-type asteroids having low albedos and weak absorption features in the near infrared.
 
Isotopic analysis of nesquehonite recovered from the surface of the LEW 85320 H5 ordinary chondrite shows that the delta 13C and delta 18O values of the two generations of bicarbonate (Antarctic and Texas) are different: delta 13C = +7.9% and +4.2%; delta 18O = +17.9% and 12.1% respectively. Carbon isotopic compositions are consistent with equilibrium formation from atmospheric carbon dioxide at -2 +/- 4 degrees C (Antarctic) and +16 +/- 4 degrees C (Texas). Oxygen isotopic data imply that the water required for nesquehonite precipitation was derived from atmospheric water vapour or glacial meltwater which had locally exchanged with silicates, either in the meteorite or in underlying bedrock. Although carbonates with similar delta 13C values have been identified in the SNC meteorites EETA 79001 and Nakhla, petrographic and temperature constraints argue against their simply being terrestrial weathering products.
 
Total sulfur abundances have been measured for 48 achondrites. For twenty eucrites they ranged from 370 to 3700 micrograms S/g with a median sulfur content of 1180 micrograms S/g. Sulfur abundances for howardites ranged from 1490 to 3240 micrograms S /g and had a median sulfur concentration of 2340 micrograms S/g. Diogenites' sulfur abundances ranged from 130 to 3170 micrograms S/g, with a median value of 1280 micrograms S/g. Four shergottites had a median sulfur content of 1940 micrograms S/g and ranged from 740 to 2540 micrograms S/g. Enstatite achondrites contained the greatest sulfur abundances of any achondrite group. They ranged from 2450 to 8580 micrograms S/g and had a median sulfur content of 6020 micrograms S/g and had a median sulfur content of 6020 micrograms S/g. A single Chassignite had a sulfur concentration of 360 micrograms S/g. The wide variations in sulfur concentrations for the achondrites reflect the small scale heterogeneous nature of these unique extraterrestrial materials due in large part to discrete sulfide mineral grains.
 
Compositions and morphologies of dolomites, breunnerites, Ca-carbonates, Ca-sulfates and Mg, Ni, Na-sulfates, and their petrologic interrelations, in four CI chondrites are consistent with their having been formed by aqueous activity on the CI parent body. Radiochronometric data indicate that this activity took place very early in Solar-System history. No evidence for original ("primitive") condensates seems to be present. However, alteration apparently took place without change in bulk meteorite composition.
 
Considerable evidence points to a martian origin of the SNC meteorites. Noble gas isotopic compositions have been measured in most SNC meteorites. The 129Xe/132Xe vs, 84Kr/132Xe ratios in Chassigny, most shergottites, and lithology C of EETA 79001 define a linear array. This array is thought to be a mixing line between martian mantle and martian atmosphere. One of the SNC meteorites, Nakhla, contains a leachable component that has an elevated 129Xe/132Xe ratio relative to its 84Kr/132Xe ratio when compared to this approximately linear array. The leachable component probably consists in part of iddingsite, an alteration product produced by interaction of olivine with aqueous fluid at temperatures lower than 150 degrees C. The elevated Xe isotopic ratio may represent a distinct reservoir in the martian crust or mantle. More plausibly, it is elementally fractionated martian atmosphere. Formation of sediments fractionates the noble gases in the correct direction. The range of sediment/atmosphere fractionation factors is consistent with the elevated 129Xe/132Xe component in Nakhla being contained in iddingsite, a low temperature weathering product. The crystallization age of Nakhla is 1.3 Ga. Its low-shock state suggests that it was ejected from near the surface of Mars. As liquid water is required for the formation of iddingsite, these observations provide further evidence for the near surface existence of aqueous fluids on Mars more recently than 1.3 Ga.
 
The Nova 001 (= Nuevo Mercurio (b)) and Nullarbor 010 meteorites are ureilites, both of which contain euhedral graphite crystals. The bulk of the meteorites are olivine (Fo79) and pyroxenes (Wo9En73Fs18, Wo3En77Fs20), with a few percent graphite and minor amounts of troilite, Ni-Fe metal, and possibly diamond. The rims of olivine grains are reduced (to Fo91) and contain abundant blebs of Fe metal. Silicate mineral grains are equant, anhedral, up to 2 mm across, and lack obvious preferred orientations. Euhedral graphite crystals (to 1 mm x 0.3 mm) are present at silicate grain boundaries, along boundaries and protruding into the silicates, and entirely within silicate mineral grains. Graphite euhedra are also present as radiating clusters and groups of parallel plates grains embedded in olivine; no other ureilite has comparable graphite textures. Minute lumps within graphite grains are possible diamond, inferred to be a result of shock. Other shock effects are limited to undulatory extinction and fracturing. Both ureilites have been weathered significantly. Considering their similar mineralogies, identical mineral compositions, and identical unusual textures, Nova 001 and Nullarbor 010 are probably paired. Based on olivine compositions, Nova 001 and Nullarbor 010 are in Group 1 (FeO-rich) of Berkley et al. (1980). Silicate mineral compositions are consistent with those of others known ureilites. The presence of euhedral graphite crystals within the silicate minerals is consistent with an igneous origin, and suggests that large proportions of silicate magma were present locally and crystallized in situ.
 
A search of active deflation basins near Jal, Lea County, New Mexico resulted in the discovery of two meteorites, Lea County 001 and 002. Lea County 001 has mean olivine and low-Ca pyroxene compositions of Fa(19) and Fs(17), respectively. These and all other mineralogical and petrological data collected indicate a classification of H5 for this stone. Lea County 002 has mean olivine and low-Ca pyroxene compositions of Fa(2) and Fs(4), and is unequilibrated. Although it is mineralogically most similar to Kakangari and chondritic clasts within Cumberland Falls, the high modal amount of forsterite makes Lea County a unique type 3 chondrite. Oxygen isotope data for Lea County 002 fall on an 0-16-mixing line through those of the enstatite meteorites and IAB irons, a feature shared by Kakangari.
 
A new meteorite find from the Nullarbor Plain in Australia was studied using optical, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and electron microprobe techniques. The meteorite, Nullarbor 018, is an orthodox L6 chondrite that experienced minor-to-moderate alteration of metal during terrestrial weathering (grade A-B to B). During weathering, trolite was preferentially altered, and roughly 20% of the original complement of S in the meteorite was removed. Shock metamorphic effects corresponding to shock stage S4 (or shock facies d) are found, including the presence of some diaplectic feldspar (maskelynite). The meteorite is not obviously paired with other finds from the Nullarbor region, but the possibility that it is paired cannot be excluded.
 
The RC027 lightly-shocked ureilite contains less than 1 percent of a fine-grained interstitial silicate that has an igneous texture indicating crystallization from an interstitial liquid. RC027 is also noted to exhibit the strongest olivine preferred-orientation thus far observed in a ureilite; its fabric is characteristic of fabrics formed by tabular minerals in a fluid laminar flow regime, and is unlike those formed by synectonic recrystallization and plastic flow. The elemental and isotopic compositions of noble gases in RC027 are typical of previously analyzed ureilites.
 
Apollo 11 and 12 fines cosmogenic He, Ne and Ar radionuclides composition determination, using electron microprobe analysis
 
As reported in medieval chronicles, on the evening of June 18, 1178, the upper horn of a new moon split, and from the division a flaming torch sprang up. We interpret this observation in terms of a large impact event which formed the 20-km-diameter crater, Giordano Bruno.
 
Rock 12039 belongs to the olivine-depleted group of magmatic rocks characterized by normative and modal SiO2, absence or very low abundance of olivine, and high FeO/(FeO + MgO), Ti/Cr, and CaO/MgO ratios. Clinopyroxenes in this rock show a complex, essentially continuous, compositional zonation from augite cores through ferroaugite to ferrohedenbergite with an abrupt discontinuity at the pyroxferroite contact and, thus, are different from pyroxene in most other Apollo 12 rocks. Two grains contain thin subcalcic pigeonite zones. Texture, presence of very fine (less than 1 micron) exsolution lamallae, and pyroxene zoning indicate a relatively rapid cooling history and pronounced in situ chemical fractionation.
 
Niobian rutile was found in a KREEP lithic fragment of basaltic texture. The niobian rutile contains 85.3% TiO2, 7.1% Nb2O5, 2.65% Cr2O3, 0.70% ZrO2, 0.61% SiO2, 0.82% Al2O3 0.61% FeO, 0.52% CaO, 0.22% V2O3 in addition to minor amounts of MnO, MgO, and CeO2. Rare-earth elements were not detected, in contrast with lunar niobian rutile of Marvin (1971). Coexisting minerals in the KREEP fragment are major amounts of plagioclase and orthopyroxene, and minor amounts of olivine, ilmenite, augite, barian K-feldspar, whitlockite, troilite, Ni-Fe, zirkelite, and chromite.
 
A relationship is noted between the natural thermoluminescence (TL) levels and the C-14-derived terrestrial ages for meteorite finds from the U.S. Prairie States and Roosevelt County, NM; those in the Sahara are also in accord with calculated TL decay curves, for 'storage' temperatures equal to the approximate average annual temperatures at individual sites. This discussion is limited to the empirical correspondence between the two methodologies, and to theoretical decay curves for a single 'average' ordinary chondrite.
 
We report on a series of 27 C-14 terrestrial ages of meteorites from four states in the central and southwestern U.S. These results were compared to the earlier work of Boeckl (1972). Our results showed that the weathering rate for destruction of meteorites is lower than suggested by Boeckl. We estimate a 'half-life' for removal of meteorites of about 10 to 15 ka, similar to that derived for Roosevelt County meteorites. We also studied the weathering of these meteorites compared to terrestrial age. Only a weak correlation was observed, and for these meteorites the degree of weathering can only be taken as a weak indicator of terrestrial residence time. We also measured the delta-C-13 and C-14 and amount of weathering-product carbonates which show some interesting variations with the length of time the meteorites have been exposed to weathering.
 
We report on a series of measurements of C-14 in samples of the L-chondrite Knyahinya, as a function of depth. The results show C-14 concentrations ranging from 37 to 58 dpm/kg. These measurements are compared to the levels of Ne-21, Be-10 and noble-gas ratios in this meteorite reported by Graf et al (1990). We also compare the C-14 data to the expected profile based on two sets of model calculations. The behavior of this radioisotope with depth is similar to that expected from the models, and good agreement with the profiles of other nuclides is also observed.
 
Abstract— On November 7, 1492, a 127-kg stony meteorite fell at Ensisheim in Alsace after a fireball explosion that was heard for a distance of 150 km over the upper Rhineland. Today, a 56-kg specimen of the stone, an LL6 chondrite with large patches of fusion crust, remains on display in the Hotel de Ville at Ensisheim. This was the earliest witnessed meteorite fall in the West from which pieces are preserved. Initially, the stone's survival depended on the presence of a magistrate at Ensisheim who forbade the removal of pieces, which had begun apace as soon as a crowd gathered and pulled the stone out of a 1-m hole in a wheat field. He ordered the stone brought into the city to await the arrival of King Maximilian, son of the Holy Roman Emperor Friedrich III, who was approaching with his army. In nearby Basel, broadsheets were printed within weeks bearing the story in Latin and German verses by the eminent poet, Sebastian Brant, who turned the sheets into propaganda tracts by claiming the stone as a portent of victory and admonishing Maximilian to make war on the French without delay. Maximilian declared the stone to be a sign of divine favor and ordered it to be preserved in the Ensisheim parish church. The stone grew in fame when Maximilian won his impending battle with the French, but strange new elements entered the story as it was repeated over the years in books and chronicles. Through centuries of battle and political changes, the stone remained in the church until 1793 when French revolutionaries transferred it to a new National Museum in Colmar. There, many pieces were taken for chemical analyses during the birth of the meteoritics at the turn of the 19th century. In 1803 the stone was returned to the Ensisheim church where it outlasted the structure itself which collapsed in 1854. This paper traces the history of the stone itself and people's responses to it through the 500 years since the fall at Ensisheim.
 
We have classified 1858 lithic and vitreous fragments from the Luna 16 core-tube sample. They were taken from the soil fractions ranging in size from 150 to 425 μ, at levels A and G (γ). No important differences are observed between the proportions of particle types in levels A and G, nor between the soils of Luna 16 and those from the Apollo 11 landing site in the nearby Mare Tranquillitatis. Luna 16 basalts are texturally and mineralogically similar to Apollo 11 basalts, though the former are characterized by more Fe-rich olivines and pyroxenes and by lower ilmenite contents than are Apollo 11 basalts. The atomic ratio Al/Ti in Luna 16 basalt pyroxenes in about 1.5; Apollo 11 basalt pyroxenes have Al/Ti = 2.0, indicating the possibility of a lower mean valence for Ti in the Luna 16 material than in the Apollo 11 material. Most light-colored lithic fragments are anorthositic rather than noritic in character and are comparable to Apollo 11 anorthosites in mineral chemistry. We believe they are samples of terra regions to the north of the Luna 16 landing site. Triangular diagrams plotting normative plagioclase, normative mafics plus oxides, and normative orthoclase plus apatite neatly separate the three major types of lunar materials — mare basalts, anorthosites, and noritic rocks — and reveal that the Luna 16 regolith is composed of mare basalt and anorthosite, with very little norite component. Colorless-to-greenish glass occurs in the Luna 16 sample, which has high Fe and low Ti; it may represent gabbroic rock related to the anorthosites
 
A fragment of basalt picked from the drive tube collected at Van Serg crater at the Apollo 17 landing site has a bulk chemistry more primitive than that of other high-titanium mare basalt groups collected at the site. The sample has a fine-grained olivine phyric, subophitic texture that is distinct from that of other high-titanium basalt samples. The grain size and texture suggest that the sample has a composition close to that of a magma. The crystallization sequence, with appearance of oxide minerals later than in other groups, and other petrographic features such as more-calcic plagioclase and early pigeonite rather than augite, are consistent with this sample representing a distinct variant of Apollo 17 high-titanium basalts. It is not related through closed-system igneous processes to any of the other mare basalt groups identified among Apollo 17 samples. Its characters emphasize the complexity of contemporaneous magma processes on the moon and the heterogeneity of that part of the mantle that was melted.
 
Seventeen trace elements (Ag, Au, Bi, Br, Cd, Cs, Ge, In, Ir, Rb, Re, Sb, Se, Te, Tl, U, and Zn) were measured by neutron activation analysis in eight C1 samples (1 Alais, 3 Ivuna, 4 Orgueil and in three C2 samples (one each of Mighei, Murchison, Murray). The results show far less scatter than earlier literature data. The standard deviation of a single measurement from the mean of eight C1 samples lies between 2 and 14%, except for the following four elements: Au, Ag, Rb, and Br. The first two probably reflect contamination and sample heterogeneity, the last two, analytical error. Apparently C1 chondrites have a far more uniform composition than some authors have claimed.
 
Brownell is a new moderately shocked L6 chondrite from Ness County, KS, that is petrologically distinct from the other L6 chondrites from Ness County. These latter meteorites, Wellmanville, Franklinville, and Ness County (1894), are very similar in their olivine and low-Ca pyroxene compositional distributions, kamacite Co contents, modal abundances of metallic Fe, Ni, and presence of martensitic metallic Fe, Ni (about 14 wt pct Ni). However, their silicates indicate that they have been shocked to different extents. It is suggested that all three probably represent a single heterogeneously-shocked L6 fragmental breccia that fell over a large area over 30 km in length.
 
Holbrook chondrite specimen, discussing effects of weathering, leeching and trace elements enrichment over period of time before recovery
 
Basic petrographic, mineralogic, and chemical descriptions are given for all eleven meteorites recovered by the U.S.-Japan team in Antarctica during the austral summer 1976-1977. The meteorites are: Mt. Baldr a (H6), Mt. Baldr b (H6), Allan Hills 1 (L6), Allan Hills 2 (coarsest octahedrite, chemical group IA), Allan Hills 3 (L6), Allan Hills 4 (LL3), Allan Hills 5 (eucrite), Allan Hills 6 (H6), Allan Hills 7 (L6), Allan Hills 8 (H6), and Allan Hills 9 (L6).
 
The orbital evolution of asteroidal fragments injected into the 3-1 Kirkwood gap resonance at 2.5 AU is investigated on the basis of a Monte Carlo simulation. The diameters of the fragments in the simulation were between 10 cm and 20 km, and it was assumed that the fragments cross the orbital path of the earth every one million years. The effects of close encounter planetary perturbations, the nu dot 6 secular resonance, and the ablative effects of the earth atmosphere were also taken into account. It is found that: (1) the predicted meteorite orbits closely matched the known orbits of ordinary chondrites; and (2) the total flux was in approximate agreement with the observed fall rate of ordinary chondrites. About 90 percent of the predicted impacting bodies were created by fragmentation of larger earth crossing asteroidal fragments, the largest of which were observed in the vicinity of the Apollo-Amor objects. The numerical results are presented in a series of graphs.
 
Natural and induced thermoluminescence (TL) data are reported for 12 meteorites recovered from the Allan Hills region of Antarctica by the European field party during the 1988/1989 field season. The samples include one with extremely high natural TL, ALH88035, suggestive of exposure to unusually high radiation doses (i.e., low degrees of shielding), and one, ALH88034, whose low natural TL suggests reheating within the last 100,000 years. The remainder have natural TL values suggestive of terrestrial ages similar to those of other meteorites from Allan Hills. ALH88015 (L6) has induced TL data suggestive of intense shock. TL sensitivities of these meteorites are generally lower than observed falls of their petrologic types, as is also observed for Antarctic meteorites in general. Acid-washing experiments indicate that this is solely the result of terrestrial weathering rather than a nonterrestrial Antarctic-non-Antarctic difference. However, other TL parameters, such as natural TL and induced peak temperature-width, are unchanged by acid washing and are sensitive indicators of a meteorite's metamorphic and recent radiation history.
 
The Meteoritical Bulletin number 76 contains a list of all classified meteorites collected by the United States' Antarctic meteroite program as of the summer of 1993. The compilation includes available information on classification, mass, weathering, olivine and pyroxene composition, Al-26 activities, natural thermoluminescence levels, pairing, collection location and references to published descriptions for 5537 meteorite specimens. A list of the properties of metallic meteorites and a list of the most significant meteorites by class are also included.
 
Several authors have proposed that australites fell less than 20,000 years ago. We searched for microtektites in the tops of 46 deep-sea cores and were unable to find evidence for a microtektite layer less than 20,000 years old. Either the australite fall was not accompanied by microtektites, or the strewnfield did not extend into the area searched, or the australites fell about 0.77 Ma ago as indicated by their radiometric ages.
 
The theory of He-3-rich flares by Colgate et al. (1977) implies that the composition of the solar cosmic ray-event associated with a He-3-rich flare is grossly nonsolar. The relative abundances (relative to hydrogen) of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen, as well as those of heavier elements are significantly reduced, and the isotopic compositions of virtually all elements are bound to be strongly anomalous. In addition, the abundances of Na-22, Al-26, and Be-10 (of which there are approximately 10 to the 25th power atoms each in a He-3-rich flare) are at least comparable to the abundances of stable isotopes of these elements. Conditions for the detectability of the three radioactive species are discussed.
 
We have analyzed by RNAA 3 EH and 3 EL chondrites for 20 trace elements. Interelement correlations were examined visually and by factor analysis, to assess the effects of nebular fractionation and metamorphism.Refractory siderophiles (Ir, Os, Re) correlate with “normal siderophiles” (Ni, Pd, Au, Sb, and Ge) in EL's but not EH's; presumably these two element groups originally condensed on separate phases (CAI and metal), but then concentrated in metal during metamorphism. Sb and Ge are more depleted than the other three elements of the “normal” group, presumably by volatilization during chondrule formation.Volatiles are consistently more depleted in EL's than EH's, by factors >10× for the more volatile elements. Some of the stronger correlations are found for In-Tl, Tl-Bi, and Zn-Cd-In. These correlations are about equally consistent with predicted condensation curves for the solar nebula (especially for host phases with negative heats of solution, or for P = 0.1−1 atm) and with volatilization curves for artificially heated Abee, as determined by M E. Lipschutz and coworkers at Purdue. No decisive test between these alternatives is available at present, but the close correlation of Zn, Cd, In may eventually provide a crucial test.Factor analysis shows that 3 factors account for 93% of the variance; they seem to reflect volatile (F1), siderophile (F2), and chalcophile (F3) behavior. The element groupings agree largely with those recognized visually; they are listed with the inferred host phases. F1 (minor sulfide, probably ZnS): Zn, Cd, In, Br; F2 (CAI, later metal): Ir, Os. Re; F1, F2 (metal): Ni, Pd, Au, Ge, Sb; F3, F1 (FeS): Se, Te, Bi, Tl. These correlations differ to some extent from those obtained by Shaw (1974) in an earlier factor analysis, presumably because the new data are more homogeneous and extensive, especially for siderophiles. The new correlations also show that the cosmochemical behavior of some volatiles in E-chondrites differs from that predicted for ordinary chondrites, so that condensation curves for the latter are not strictly applicable.
 
We have analyzed by RNAA 25 aubrite and 9 diogenite samples for 13 to 29 siderophile, volatile, and lithophile trace elements. Both meteorite classes show a typically igneous siderophile element pattern, with Ir, Os, Re, Ge more depleted than Au, Ni, Pd, Sb. But aubrites tend to have about 10 × higher abundances (10⁻³ − 10 − 4 × Cl for the first 4 and 10⁻²−10⁻³ × Cl for the last 4 siderophiles), apparently reflecting smaller metal/silicate distribution coefficients at lowerf(O2), or less complete segregation of metal. Se is surprisingly abundant in aubrites (up to 0.4 × Cl), but Te is less so ( ), apparently due to its stronger siderophile character. Other volatiles (Ag, Zn, In, Cd, Bi, T1) show depletions intermediate between lunar dunite and the Earth's mantle.
 
A high-resolution mosaic of Ida shows a highly irregular body (roughly 56 km long), heavily covered with craters, with many interesting geological features, including grooves, blocks, chutes, dark-floored craters, and crater chains. A satellite of Ida, with a preliminary designation of 1993 (243) 1, was discovered in orbit around Ida. It is approximately 1.5 km in diameter, has an albedo and spectral reflectance not grossly different from Ida, and orbits Ida in a prograde direction with a period of roughly 20 hr. No other comparable-sized satellites have been found near Ida. New pictures of the opposite side of Ida reveal an irregular, dog-bone shape, with a prominent gouge that seems to separate Ida into two chief components. A V-shaped valley, well shown in the highest-resolution view of Ida returned in April, may mark a modest expression on the September face of the more dramatic feature on the back side. Ida's dense population of craters shows a wide diversity of morphologies, consistent with the surface having been subjected to saturated bombardment by smaller projectiles. Assuming the same projectile flux applies to Ida was used in deriving Gaspra's cratering age of about 200 m.y., and assuming that Gaspra and Ida both have the same impact strength, then the age of Ida's surface is calculated to be 1-2 b.y. This is considerably older than expected from other evidence concerning the Koronis family. Our favored explanation of Ida's satellite is that it (or a precursor satellite from which the present satellite was derived) formed during the catastrophic disruption event that formed Ida itself and formed the Koronis family of asteroids. Perhaps, instead, the satellite is a block ejected from a cratering impact. In any case, smaller blocks visible on some parts of Ida are more certain to be crater ejecta, whether or not they were ever temporary satellites.
 
Possible evidence for the presence of Cm-248 in the early solar system was reported from fission gas studies (Rao and Gopalan, 1973) and recently from studies of very high nuclear track densities (not less than 5 x 10 exp 8/sq cm) in the merrillite of the H4 chondrite Forest Vale (F.V.) (Pellas et al., 1987). We report here an analysis of the isotopic abundances of xenon in F.V. phosphates and results of track studies in phosphate/pyroxene contacts. The fission xenon isotopic signature clearly identifies Pu-244 as the extinct progenitor. We calculate an upper limit Cm-248/Pu-244 to be less than 0.0015 at the beginning of Xe retention in F.V. phosphates. This corresponds to an upper limit of the ratio Cm-248/U-235 of not greater than 5 x 10 exp -5 further constraining the evidence for any late addition of freshly synthesized actinide elements just prior to solar system formation. The fission track density observed after annealing the phosphates at 290C (1 hr, which essentially erases spallation recoil tracks) is also in agreement with the Pu-244 abundance inferred from fission Xe. The spallation recoil tracks produced during the 76 Ma cosmic-ray exposure account for the very high track density in merrillites.
 
The results of thermal model calculations which assume Al-26 as a heat source are presented. The relation between Al-26 content, the maximum central temperature obtained, and the time interval after formation until central cooling commences is elucidated. Because of the heating times required, these results constrain maximum permissible planetoid dimensions more severely than do previous calculations which assume a high initial temperature.
 
We present data for the cosmogenic nuclides Be-10 and A-26 in a suite of 24 extraterrestrial spherules, collected from Antarctic moraines and deep sea sediments. All of the 10 large spherules collected in glacial till at Lewis Cliff are extraterrestrial. As in earlier work, the great majority of particles show prominent solar cosmic-ray (SCR) production of Al-26, indicating bombardment ages on the order of 106 years or even longer. These long ages are in direct contradiction to model ages for small particles in the inner Solar System and may require reconsideration of models of small particle lifetimes. A small fraction of the particles so far measured (6/42) possess cosmogenic radionuclide patterns consistent with predictions for meteoroid spall droplets. We believe that most of the spherules were bombarded in space primarily as bodies not much larger than their present size. The content of in situ produced Be-10 and Al-26 in quartz pebbles in the same moraine suggests that these spherules may have on average a significant terrestrial age.
 
Neutron activation analysis of 15 samples from widely separated locations on the surface of the 28-t Armanty (Xinjiang) group-IIIE iron meteorite showed no compositional variations attributable to magmatic fractionation processes such as fractional crystallization. The homogeneity contrasts with that observed in the Cape York IIIAB iron, in keeping with the idea that the latter is an exceptional case. From the maximum compositional gradients the radius of the IIIE core is estimated at greater than 1 km. One sample taken from a surface formed by fracture associated with its fall to Earth is slightly anomalous in composition. It is suggested that this region is near the border between two parental gamma crystals and has a high content of minor phases.
 
Asteroids 387 Aquitania and 980 Anacostia are anomalous members of the S-class. Their reflectance spectra exhibit a strong broad absorption feature longwards of 1.5 micron and no significant feature near 1 micron. Their spectra indicate the presence of spinel, an aluminum-magnesium oxide mineral commonly present in inclusions in CV3 and CO3 meteorites. Spinel probably makes up only a small percentage of the surface assemblages of these asteroids, but its spectral effect may be enhanced by its presence in fine-grained white inclusions in immature asteroid regoliths. It is speculated that Aquitania and Anacostia represent material formed in the same nebular zone as the CV3 and CO3 chondrites but either: (A) at an earlier time in the nebula when such inclusions might have been a relatively larger fraction of the nebular grain population; or (B) in local regions where nebular processes (e.g., settling to the midplane) had concentrated such inclusions. The close similarity of two orbital elements (a, i) suggests that Aquitania and Anacostia may be members of a partially dispersed asteroid family produced by the early disruption of a spinel-bearing parent body.
 
Neutron activation data on 14 elements in eight enstatite-chondrite falls are reported. These and literature data on an additional 28 elements show that intragroup elemental fractionations generally fall into one of three basic patterns: 1.(1) siderophilic- and chalcophilic-element abundances are about 1.5 times greater in E4-5 than in E6 chondrites;2.(2) non-volatile lithophile-element abundances in E4-5 chondrites are generally about 1.0–1.2 times those in E6 chondrites;3.(3) highly volatile elements are higher in E4-5 chondrites than in E6 chondrites by factors of 6–50. In addition, abundances (relative to Si) of most refractory and volatile elements are lower (by factors of 0.5–0.9) in E4 chondrites than in C1 chondrites. Because of the compositional hiatus often observed between E4-5 and E6 chondrites, there exists the distinct possibility that they are separate groups which were stored in different parent bodies. However, because of their close similarity in oxidation state, it seems likely that they originated at the same nebular location, far removed from the formation locations of the other, much more oxidized groups of chondrites. The E-group fractionation patterns can be plausibly explained in terms of four fractionation processes: 1.(1) loss of oxidizing agents (i.e. H2O) and refractory materials from starting materials of solar composition:2.(2) partial loss of moderately volatile elements, perhaps as a result of gradual loss of nebular gas during condensation;3.(3) more efficient agglomeration of metal particles than silicate particles; and4.(4) increase of nebular temperatures during agglomeration-accretion resulting in the loss of volatile-rich late condensates from E6 chondrites. The low degree of oxidation of enstatite chondrite materials is best understood in terms of a fractionated nebula. At a pressure of 10−4 atm the Si content of E4 metal can be produced at 1350°K if the ratio is 5 times lower than that in unfractionated solar-system material. A nebula-wide fractionation process involving radial transport of refractories and H2O is indicated, and a suitable model in which the nebula-wide mixing of the gas phase continues during condensation is proposed.
 
Samples of matrix and melt glass from the shocked L6 chondrite Peace River have been subjected to 40Ar-39Ar analysis using both stepped heating and localised outgassing by a laser probe. Stepped heating studies of three distinct samples of matrix gave indistinguishable and unusually well-defined low temperature (40Ar/39Ar) plateaux, corresponding to an age of 450 ± 30 Ma.In an attempt to investigate whether or not this plateau age is meaningful (i.e. the time of a major collision event involving the parent body) or is an artefact resulting from partial degassing, during the fragmentation of the parent body which commenced the exposure of Peace River to cosmic rays 40 Ma ago, we have used a laser probe to analyse Ar from single 80 μm diameter laser pits which release gas from a few micrograms of sample. On this scale no areas have ages younger than the plateau age, supporting the view that it is not an artefact.Measurements on the melt glass gave variable and meaningless ages, in some cases greater than the age of the solar system, due to retention of 40Ar and loss of K during melting followed by rapid quenching. This observation indicates the danger of attempts to date impact melt glass directly. The observation that argon has been retained by the glass and lost by the matrix can be understood in terms of a range of plausible annealing histories.
 
C3(O) chondrites comprise a metamorphic sequence. The following order reflects increasing grade: Kainsaz. Felix. Ornans. Lance. Isna, Warrenton. Assignment of Karoonda to the Ornans subtype is uncertain, but it is certainly of higher petrologic type than C3. Average olivine and pyroxene compositions in the metamorphic sequence change progressively from Fo12. Fs3 to Fo34, Fs11, respectively, and per cent mean deviation decreases. Kamacite and taenite change composition with increasing grade, reflecting higher equilibration temperatures. Blurring of textural features and Fe/Mg exchange between matrix and inclusions are also evident. As in the ordinary chondrites. contents of rare gases and possibly volatiles correlate with degree of metamorphism, but the effects are small. The meteorite Ornans presents an intriguing paradox. Observed chemical enrichment and depletion patterns reflect a higher metamorphic grade than do petrographic properties. The data suggest that abundance patterns of volatile components were not generated by metamorphism, but may represent primary differences. Strong correlations present in other C3(O) chondrites indicate some genetic link between metamorphism and composition, although the relationship is probably not causal. The autometamorphism model of Larimer and Anders (1967) appears to be the most straightforward explanation, but an observed negative correlation between the amount of matrix and content of volatiles suggests a re-examination of the two-component model. The decoupling mechanism required for Ornans is uncertain.
 
Impact craters and shock effects, chondrite formation and evolution, meteorites, chondrules, irons, nebular processes and meteorite parent bodies, regoliths and breccias, antarctic meteorite curation, isotopic studies of meteorites and lunar samples, organics and terrestrial weathering, refractory inclusions, cosmic dust, particle irradiations before and after compaction, and mineralogic studies and analytical techniques are discussed.
 
The cosmogenic 53Mn activity was measured in samples from cores of four chondrites, Madhipura, Udaipur, Bansur and St. Severin. A simultaneous study of cosmic ray tracks established the pre-atmospheric size of these meteorites and the shielding depth of the samples. The four chondrites are found to have had effective radii, RE, of 6.5, 9, 15 and 25 cm, respectively, in space. The experimental depth profiles of the 53Mn activity indicate that, (1) the production rate, at any given depth, increases with size of the meteorite up to RE ∼ 25cm; (2) the activity profile for RE ⩽ 15cm is nearly flat for shielding depths greater than 3 cm, the increase being less than 10%; and (3) for RE ∼ 25cm the increase from the near-surface region to the centre is about 40% indicating that the cascade of secondaries becomes very important for RE > 15cm.These profiles are used to determine the spectral hardness parameter, α, as a function of depth in the meteoroid which, in turn, can be used to calculate the production profiles of other low-energy nuclides. Calculations for 26Al show agreement with observations within 20%.
 
We have studied the Cr isotopic composition of early solar system samples to search for anomalies caused by either the decay of extinct radio-nuclide 53Mn or the nucleosynthetic heterogeneities in Cr itself. The samples are spinels from five Allende inclusions, one “chromite carbon” Allende residue, and olivines from both Eagle Station pallasite and Angra dos Reis pyroxenite. We have also analyzed silicates from five Allende inclusions which are known to have a variety of anomalies. Our detection limits are 0.6%. and 1.4%. for fractionation corrected and , respectively. No isotopic effects beyond these limits were found among the samples studied. The limits for for Allende Cr-rich phases, Eagle Station, and Angra dos Reis are inferred to be 85, 11, and 2.8 × 10−6 at their respective formation times. The lack of detectable 53Mn effects could be due to late formation of the high phases and heterogeneity in the 53Mn distribution for the low samples. It may also be caused by unusually large dilution factor for Mn. The lack of 53Cr effect does not support models in which the pre-solar source for the 26Al was a massive star. Neither does it support a proton irradiation production for 26Al. Our relatively poor detection limit on 54Cr does not permit verification of small (≲.8%.) effects reported recently by Birck and Allègre (1984).
 
The Sr and Nd isotopic composition was analyzed for samples from the Late Eocene tektite material from DSDP site 612 off the New Jersey coast, to determine whether these tektites may be assigned to the North-American-tektite group. It was found that the ranges of the Sr-87/Sr-86 and the Nd-143/Nd-144 ratios were much wider than in the 612-tectite material than in the tightly constrained group of North American tektites and microtektites and were significantly different from ratios in other groups of tektites. Results indicate that the DSDP tektites were formed from a chemically and isotopically heterogeneous material, in a regime that was different from that of other groups of tektites. It is suggested that the 612-tectites and the North American tektites were either formed by impacts of several bolides in the same general area or by a single impact event that sampled different layers.
 
Noble gases and N were analyzed in handpicked metal separates from lunar soil 68501 by a combination of step-wise combustions and pyrolyses. It is possible to reconcile the data from these gases if significant loss of solar wind Ar, Kr and presumably Xe has occurred relative to the SEP component, most likely by erosive processes that are mass independent, although mass-dependent losses (Ar > Kr > Xe) cannot be excluded. If such losses did occur, the SEP contribution to the solar implanted gases must have been no more than a few percent. Nitrogen is a mixture of indigenous meteoritic N, whose isotopic composition is inferred to be relatively light, and implanted solar N, which has probably undergone diffusive redistribution and fractionation. -from Authors
 
A cube-like fragment with an approximately 4 mm edge was taken from the Yamato-74659 meteorite for the mineralogical and crystallographic examination discussed in the present paper. An analysis of powdered fragments by a standard wet chemical method showed that it matched to weathered ureilite. The chemical composition was found to differ from other ureilites in that the FeO content (8.83 wt%) is the lowest among known ureilites and it is richer in SiO2 contents (42.91 wt%).
 
ALHA 76005 is a basaltic achondrite containing few. if any, orthopyroxenes. Its bulk major and trace element composition is like that of a non-cumulate eucrite, and unlike that of a howardite. It contains a variety of igneous clasts which differ in their textures, pyroxene/plagioclase ratios and pyroxene and plagioclase compositions. One clast, No. 4, was found to have the REE pattern of a cumulate eucrite and an oxygen isotopic composition different from that of the bulk meteorite. Both the chemical and oxygen isotopic composition of clast No. 4 suggest that it was derived from a source different from its host. These observations lead to the conclusion that ALHA 76005 is a polymict eucrite.
 
ALH 84001, a ferroan martian orthopyroxenite, originally consisted of three petrographically defined components: a cumulus assemblage of orthopyroxene + chromite, a trapped melt assemblage of orthopyroxene(?) + chromite + maskelynite + apatite + augite +/- pyrite, and a metasomatic assemblage of carbonate +/- pyrite. We present the results of Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) study of five bulk samples of ALH 84001, combined with Scanning Ion Mass Spectrometer (SIMS) data on the orthopyroxene, in order to attempt to set limits on the geochemical characteristics of the latter two components, and therefore on the petrogenesis of ALH 84001. The INAA data support the petrographic observations, suggesting that there are at least three components in ALH 84001. We will assume that each of the three geochemically required components can be equated with one of the petrographically observed components. Both trapped melt and metasomatic components in ALH 84001 have higher Na than orthopyroxene based on compositions of maskelynite, apatite, and carbonate. For the metasomatic component, we will assume its Na content is that of carbonate, while for a trapped melt component, we will use a typical Na content inferred for martian meteorite parent melts, approximately 1 wt% Na2O. Under these assumptions, we can set limits on the Light Rare Earth Elements/Heavy Rare Earth Elements (LREE/HREE) ratios of the components, and use this information to compare the petrogenesis of ALH 84001 with other martian meteorites. The above calculations assume that the bulk samples are representative of different portions of ALH 84001. We will also evaluate the possible heterogeneous distribution of mineral phases in the bulk samples as the cause of compositional heterogeneity in our samples.
 
ALH 84001 has recently been reclassified as a meteorite from Mars (SNC) and contains more than 90% orthopyroxene with minor chromite and accessory phases of augite, maskelynite, and carbonate. This meteorite represents a new class of igneous material from Mars. We have measured reflectance spectra of ALH 84001 as a chip as a powder, dry sieved to less than 125 microns to compare with previous spectral analyses of SNCs and remote observations of Mars. Spectra of the chip and powder in the visible-to-near-infrared region are shown. These spectra are composites of data measured with the RELAB bidirectional spectrometer from 0.3 to 2.55 microns and a Nicolet FTIR for longer wavelengths. As expected, the spectra of the chip have negative slopes and are significantly darker than the spectrum of the particulate sample, which has a positive slope. The strong absorptions near 1 micron and 2 microns are characteristic of low-Ca pyroxene and have band rninima of 0.925 microns and 1.930 microns. The strong absorption near 3 microns is characteristic of water. There is a distinct flattening in the spectrum between 1.0 and 1.5 microns indicating the presence of an additional absorption. This is interpreted to be the result of Fe(2+) in the M1 site of low-Ca pyroxene. Mid-infrared spectra showing the Christiansen feature and the reststrahlen bands are shown for spectra of the powder and of three different locations on the chip. These spectra exhibit several features in this range, some of which are associated with a specific region on the chip. Each of the spectra includes a doublet reststrahlen peak near 1100/cm, and peaks near 880 and 500/cm, which are typical for low-Ca pyroxenes. Weaker features at 940-1000/cm, 600-750/cm, and 530-560/cm are present in spectra from some locations on the chip, but not others, implying compositional and textural variation.
 
Top-cited authors
K. Keil
  • University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Dieter Stöffler
  • Museum für Naturkunde - Leibniz Institute for Research on Evolution and Biodiversity
Harry McSween
  • University of Tennessee
H. Palme
  • Senckenberg Research Institute
Alan Rubin
  • University of California, Los Angeles