Meteoritics & Planetary Science is an international monthly journal of the Meteoritical Society—a scholarly organization promoting research and education in planetary science. Topics include the origin and history of the solar system, planets and natural satellites, interplanetary dust and interstellar medium, lunar samples, meteors and meteorites, asteroids, comets, craters, and tektites.

Meteoritics & Planetary Science was first published in 1935 under the title Contributions of the Society for Research on Meteorites. In 1947, the publication became known as Contributions of the Meteoritical Society and continued through 1951. From 1953 to 1995, the publication was known as Meteoritics, and in 1996, the journal's name was changed to Meteoritics & Planetary Science or MAPS. The journal was not published in 1952 and from 1957 to 1964.

This archive provides access to Meteoritics & Planetary Science Volumes 37-44 (2002-2009).

Visit Wiley Online Library for new and retrospective Meteoritics & Planetary Science content (1935-present).

ISSN: 1086-9379


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Recent Submissions

  • TEM investigations on the monomict ureilites Jalanash and Hammadah al Hamra 064

    Weber, I.; Bischoff, A.; Weber, D. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
    We studied the petrography and mineralogy of two monomict ureilites, Hammadah al Hamra 064 (HH064) and Jalanash, by using reflected light and scanning electron microscopy. Quantitative analyses were performed by electron microprobe and the microstructures were investigated with transmission electron microscopy (TEM). HH064 features two different textures, a poikilitic and a typical one, whereas Jalanash shows only the typical ureilite texture. Our synergetic chemical and microstructural investigations reveal a complex cooling history for both ureilites. The temperature for the first equilibrium deduced from the pigeonite-augite assemblage in HH064 is ~1200 degrees C. The presence of antiphase domains in low-Ca pyroxenes proves that they are clearly pigeonite. The occurrences of tweed microstructure and orthopyroxene lamellae, which are incompletely developed, imply a faster cooling rate from the first equilibrium with a sudden end. Although both ureilites contain shock induced diamonds, dislocations in silicates are rare. This observation suggests that the meteorites were hot at the time of strong shock metamorphism or that they were heated after strong shock metamorphism. After this event, new microstructural features were generated by different cooling processes and were frozen by a final rapid decrease in temperature possibly due to excavation from the ureilite parent body, or bodies.
  • TOF-SIMS analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Allan Hills 84001

    Stephan, T.; Jessberger, E. K.; Heiss, Ch. H.; Rost, D. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
    The presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Martian meteorite Allan Hills 84001 (ALH 84001) was considered to be a major sign of ancient biogenic activity on planet Mars (McKay et al. 1996). An asserted spatial association of PAHs with carbonates, carriers of so- called nanofossils, was crucial for their suggested connection to early life forms. Although both observations can be explained individually without employing living organisms, a lateral correlation of PAHs and carbonates would suggest a genetic link between PAHs and the microstructures, favoring a biogenic explanation. On the other hand, without such a correlation, a biogenic or even a Martian origin of the PAHs cannot be inferred. Here we show that there is no correlation of PAHs and carbonates in ALH 84001. Furthermore, a general trend of high PAH concentrations at locations where terrestrial lead is present obviously suggests a terrestrial origin for PAHs in ALH 84001.
  • Mn-Cr chronology of five IIIAB iron meteorites

    Sugiura, N.; Hoshino, H. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
    Mn-Cr systematics in phosphates (sarcopside, graftonite, beusite, galileiite, and johnsomervilleite) in IIIAB iron meteorites were investigated by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). In most cases, excesses in delta-53Cr are found and 53Cr is well correlated with Mn/Cr ratios, suggesting that 53Mn was alive at the time of IIIAB iron formation. The inferred Mn-Cr "ages" are different for different phosphate minerals. This is presumably due to a combined effect of the slow cooling rates of IIIAB iron meteorites and the difference in the diffusion properties of Cr and Mn in the phosphates. The ages of sarcopside are the same for the IIIAB iron meteorites. Johnsomervilleite shows apparent old ages, probably because of a gain of Cr enriched in 53Cr during the closure process. Apparently, old Mn-Cr ages reported in previous studies can also be explained in a similar way. Therefore, the IIIAB iron meteorites probably experienced identical thermal histories and thus derived from the core of a parent body. Thermal histories of the parent body of IIIAB iron meteorites that satisfy the Mn-Cr chronology and metallographic cooling rates were constructed by computer simulation. The thermal history at an early stage (<10 Ma after CAI formation) is well determined,though later history may be more model-dependent. It is suggested that relative timing of various events in the IIIAB parent body may be estimated with the aid of the thermal history. There is a systematic difference in Mn and Cr concentrations in various minerals (phosphates, sulfide, etc.) among the IIIAB iron meteorites, which seems to be mainly controlled by redox conditions.
  • Notice of Grant Funding Availability

    The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01
  • Noble gases and cosmogenic radionuclides in the Gold Basin L4-chondrite shower: Thermal history, exposure history, and pre-atmospheric size

    Welten, K. C.; Caffee, M. W.; Leya, I.; Masarik, J.; Nishiizumi, K.; Wieler, R. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
    We measured the concentrations of the cosmogenic radionuclides 10Be, 26Al, 36Cl, and 41Ca in the stone and metal fractions of 15 fragments of the Gold Basin L4 chondrite shower, as well as noble gases in 18 Gold Basin fragments. A comparison of 10Be, 26Al, and 41Ca concentrations with calculated production rates from two different models indicates that the Gold Basin samples came from depths of about 10 cm to more than 150 cm in an object with a radius of 3-5 m. As was predicted by recent model calculations, the noble gases show a reversal of the 22Ne/21Ne ratio at very high shielding. The 21Ne/10Be and 21Ne/26Al ratios in most samples are constant and correspond to a 4 exposure age of 18 +/- 2 Myr. However, three Gold Basin samples show a 30-120% excess of 21Ne implying that they were previously exposed close to the surface of the parent body, whereas the other samples were buried several meters deeper. Concentrations of neutron-capture 36Ar in most samples are consistent with measured concentrations of neutron-capture 36Cl and an exposure age of 18 Myr. Large excesses of neutron-capture 36Ar were found in those samples with an excess of 21Ne, providing additional evidence of a first-stage exposure on the parent body. The excess of spallation-produced 21Ne and neutron-capture-produced 36Ar in these samples indicate a first-stage exposure of 35-150 Myr on the parent body. The radiogenic 4He and 40Ar concentrations indicate a major impact on the parent body between 300 and 400 Myr ago, which must have preceded the impacts that brought the Gold Basin meteoroid to the surface of the parent body and then expelled it from the parent body 18 Myr ago.
  • Early petrologic processes on the ureilite parent body

    Singletary, S. J.; Grove, T. L. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
    We present a petrographic and petrologic analysis of 21 olivine-pigeonite ureilites, along with new experimental results on melt compositions predicted to be in equilibrium with ureilite compositions. We conclude that these ureilites are the residues of a partial melting/smelting event. Textural evidence preserved in olivine and pigeonite record the extent of primary smelting. In pigeonite cores, we observe fine trains of iron metal inclusions that formed by the reduction of olivine to pigeonite and metal during primary smelting. Olivine cores lack metal inclusions but the outer grain boundaries are variably reduced by a late-stage reduction event. The modal proportion of pigeonite and percentage of olivine affected by late stage reduction are inversely related and provide an estimation of the degree of primary smelting during ureilite petrogenesis. In our sample suite, this correlation holds for 16 of the 21 samples examined. Olivine-pigeonite-liquid phase equilibrium constraints are used to obtain temperature estimates for the ureilite samples examined. Inferred smelting temperatures range from ~1150 degrees C to just over 1300 degrees C and span the range of estimates published for ureilites containing two or more pyroxenes. Temperature is also positively correlated with modal percent pigeonite. Smelting temperature is inversely correlated with smelting depth--the hottest olivine-pigeonite ureilites coming from the shallowest depth in the ureilite parent body. The highest temperature samples also have oxygen isotopic signatures that fall toward the refractory inclusion-rich end of the carbonaceous chondrite- anhydrous mineral (CCAM) slope 1 mixing line. These temperature-depth variations in the ureilite parent body could have been created by a heterogeneous distribution of heat producing elements, which would indicate that isotopic heterogeneities existed in the material from which the ureilite parent body was assembled.
  • Opaque minerals in chondrules and fine-grained chondrule rims in the Bishunpur (LL3.1) chondrite

    Lauretta, D. S.; Buseck, P. R. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
    We present a detailed petrographic and electron microprobe study of metal grains and related opaque minerals in the chondrule interiors and rims of the Bishunpur (LL3.1) ordinary chondrite. There are distinct differences between metal grains that are completely encased in chondrule interiors and those that have some portion of their surface exposed outside of the chondrule boundary, even though the two types of metal grains can be separated by only a few microns. Metal grains in chondrule interiors exhibit minor alteration in the form of oxidized P-, Cr-, and Si-bearing minerals. Metal grains at chondrule boundaries and in chondrule rims are extensively altered into troilite and fayalite. The results of this study suggest that many metal grains in Bishunpur reacted with a type-I chondrule melt and incorporated significant amounts of P, Cr, and Si. As the system cooled, some metal oxidation occurred in the chondrule interior, producing metal-associated phosphate, chromite, and silica. Metal that migrated to chondrule boundaries experienced extensive corrosion as a result of exposure to the external atmosphere present during chondrule formation. It appears that chondrule- derived metal and its corrosion products were incorporated into the fine-grained rims that surround many type-I chondrules, contributing to their Fe-rich compositions. We propose that these fine- grained rims formed by a combination of corrosion of metal expelled from the chondrule interior and accretion of fine-grained mineral fragments and microchondrules.
  • Experimental study and TEM characterization of dusty olivines in chondrites: Evidence for formation by in-situ reduction

    Leroux, H.; Libourel, G.; Lemelle, L.; Guyot, F. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
    An analytical transmission electron microscopy (ATEM) study was undertaken in order to better understand the formation conditions of dusty olivines (i.e., olivines containing abundant tiny inclusions of Fe-Ni metal) in primitive meteorites. Dusty olivines from type I chondrules in the Bishunpur chondrite (LL3.1) and from synthetic samples obtained by reduction of San Carlos olivines were examined. In both natural and experimental samples, micron size metal blebs observed in the dusty region often show preferential alignments along crystallographic directions of the olivine grains, have low Ni contents (typically <2 wt%), and are frequently surrounded by a silica-rich glass layer. These features suggest that dusty olivines are formed by a sub-solidus reduction of initially fayalitic olivines according to the following reaction: Fe2SiO4 in olivine = 2Fe metal + xSiO2 in melt + (1-x) SiOin gas + (3-x)/2O2 in gas Some volatilization of SiOgas may account for the apparent excess of metal relative to silica-rich glass observed in both experimental and natural samples. Comparison with experimentally produced dusty olivines suggests that time scales of the order of minutes usually inferred for chondrule formation are also adequate for the formation of dusty olivines. These observations are in agreement with the hypothesis that at least part of the metal phase in chondrites originated from reduction during chondrule formation.
  • Al-Mg systematics of CAIs, POI, and ferromagnesian chondrules from Ningqiang

    Hsu, W.; Huss, G. R.; Wasserburg, G. J. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
    We have made aluminum-magnesium isotopic measurements on 4 melilite-bearing calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs), 1 plagioclase-olivine inclusion (POI), and 2 ferromagnesian chondrules from the Ningqiang carbonaceous chondrite. All of the CAIs measured contain clear evidence for radiogenic 26Mg* from the decay of 26Al ( = 1.05 Ma). Although the low Al/Mg ratios of the melilites introduce large uncertainties, the inferred initial 26Al/27Al ratios for the CAIs are generally consistent with the value of 5 x 10^(-5). There is clear evidence of 26Al* in one POI and two chondrules, but with considerable uncertainties in the value of (26Al/27Al)0. The (26Al/27Al)0 ratios for the POI and the chondrules are 0.3-0.6 x 10^(-5), roughly an order of magnitude lower than the canonical value. Ningqiang shows very little evidence of metamorphism as a bulk object and the (26Al/27Al)0 ratios in its refractory inclusions and chondrules are consistent with those found in other unmetamorphosed chondrites of several different classes. Our observations and those of other workers support the view that 26Al was widely and approximately homogeneously distributed throughout the condensed matter of the solar system. The difference in (26Al/27Al)0 between CAIs and less refractory materials seems reasonably interpreted in terms of a ~2 million year delay between the formation of CAIs and the onset of formation of less refractory objects. The POI shows clear differences in 25Mg/24Mg between its constituent spinels and olivine, which confirms that they are partially reprocessed material from different sources that were rapidly quenched.
  • Demonstration of crystalline forsterite grain formation due to coalescence growth of Mg and SiO smoke particles

    Kaito, C.; Ojima, Y.; Kamitsuji, K.; Kido, O.; Kimura, Y.; Suzuki, H.; Sato, T.; Nakada, T.; Saito, Y.; Koike, C. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
    Experimental studies of coalescence between Mg grains and SiO grains in smoke reveal the direct production of crystalline forsterite grains. The present results also show that different materials can be produced by grain­grain collisions, which have been considered one of the models of grain formation in the interstellar medium. The fundamentals of coalescence growth in smoke, which have been developed in our series of experiments, are presented in this paper. Mg2Si polyhedral grains were obtained in a Mg grain-rich atmosphere. Mg2SiO4 polyhedral grains were obtained in a SiO grain-rich atmosphere. The IR spectra of the resultant grains showed the characteristics of crystalline forsterite.
  • 26Mg-excess in hibonites of the Rumuruti chondrite Hughes 030

    Bischoff, A.; Srinivasan, G. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
    The Rumuruti chondrites (R chondrites) constitute a new, well-established, chondrite group different from carbonaceous, ordinary, and enstatite chondrites. Most samples of this group are gas-rich regolith breccias showing the typical light/dark structure and consist of abundant fragments of various parent body lithologies embedded in a fine-grained, olivine-rich matrix. Most R chondrites contain the typical components of primitive chondrites including chondrules, chondrule and mineral fragments, sulfides, and rare calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs). In Hughes 030, an interesting CAI consisting of abundant hibonite and spinel was found. Mg isotopic analyses revealed excess 26Mg in components of R chondrites for the first time. The hibonite grains with high Al/Mg values (~1500 to 2600) show resolved 26Mg excess. The slope of the correlation line yields an initial 26Al/ 27Al = (1.4 +/- 0.3) x 10^(-6), which is ~40 times lower than the initial value measured in CAIs from primitive meteorites. The inferred difference in 26Al abundance implies a time difference of ~4 million years for the closure of the Al-Mg system between CAIs from primitive chondrites and the Hughes 030 CAI. Based on mineralogy and the petrographic setting of the hibonite-rich CAI, it is suggested that 4 million years reflect the time interval between the formation of the CAI and the end of its secondary alteration. It is also suggested that most of this alteration may have occurred in the nebula (e.g. Zn- and Fe-incorporation in spinels). However, the CAI could not have survived in the nebula as a\ free floating object for a long period of time. Therefore, the possibility of storage in a precursor planetesimal for a few million years, resetting the magnesium-aluminum isotopic system, prior to impact brecciation, excavation, and accretion of the final R chondrite parent body cannot be ruled out.
  • On estimating contributions of basin ejecta to regolith deposits at lunar sites

    Haskin, L. A.; Moss, W. E.; McKinnon, W. B. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)
    We have developed a quantitative model for predicting characteristics of ejecta deposits that result from basin-sized cratering events. This model is based on impact crater scaling equations (Housen, Schmitt, and Holsapple 1983; Holsapple 1993) and the concept of ballistic sedimentation (Oberbeck 1975), and takes into account the size distribution of the individual fragments ejected from the primary crater. Using the model, we can estimate, for an area centered at the chosen location of interest, the average distribution of thicknesses of basin ejecta deposits within the area and the fraction of primary ejecta contained within the deposits. Model estimates of ejecta deposit thicknesses are calibrated using those of the Orientale Basin (Moore, Hodges, and Scott 1974) and of the Ries Basin (Hörz, Ostertag, and Rainey 1983). Observed densities of secondary craters surrounding the Imbrium and Orientale Basins are much lower than the modeled densities. Similarly, crater counts for part of the northern half of the Copernicus secondary cratering field are much lower than the model predicts, and variation in crater densities with distance from Copernicus is less than expected. These results suggest that mutual obliteration erases essentially all secondary craters associated with the debris surge that arises from the impacting primary fragments during ballistic sedimentation; if so, a process other than ballistic sedimentation is needed to produce observable secondary craters. Regardless, our ejecta deposit model can be useful for suggesting provenances of sampled lunar materials, providing information complementary to photogeological and remote sensing interpretations, and as a tool for planning rover traverses (e.g., Haskin et al. 1995, 2002).
  • From the Editor

    Jull, A. J. T. (The Meteoritical Society, 2003-01-01)