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

  • Low-temperature crystallization of MgSiO3 glasses under electron irradiation: Possible implications for silicate dust evolution in circumstellar environments

    Carrez, Philippe; Demyk, Karine; Leroux, Hugues; Cordier, Patrick; Jones, Anthony P.; D'Hendecourt, Louis (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
    Synthetic MgSiO3 glasses were irradiated at room temperature by 300 keV electrons in a transmission electron microscope. One of the samples had been previously irradiated by 50 keV He+ ions. Electron irradiation induces the nucleation and growth of randomly oriented nanometer-sized crystallites. The crystallites first consist of MgO and subsequently of forsterite (Mg2SiO4). Both are seen to form within an amorphous SiO2 matrix. The rate of crystallisation of the samples has been monitored by conventional TEM imaging and electron diffraction. The sample that had been pre-irradiated with He+ ions is found to transform faster than the as-quenched glass. The crystallization of metastable MgSiO3 glasses is explained by ionising radiation-induced elemental diffusion which allows the reorganization of matter into a more favourable thermodynamic state. These results show that ionizing radiation interactions could account for crystal formation as observed in IR spectroscopy in some young stellar environments.
  • Low-energy helium ion irradiation-induced amorphization and chemical changes in olivine: Insights for silicate dust evolution in the interstellar medium

    Carrez, Philippe; Demyk, Karine; Cordier, Patrick; Gengembre, Léon; Grimblot, Jean; D'Hendecourt, Louis; Jones, Anthony P.; Leroux, Hugues (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
    We present the results of irradiation experiments aimed at understanding the structural and chemical evolution of silicate grains in the interstellar medium (ISM). A series of He+ irradiation experiments have been performed on ultra-thin olivine, (Mg,Fe)2SiO4, samples having a high surface/volume (S/V) ratio, comparable to the expected S/V ratio of interstellar dust. The energies and fluences of the helium ions used in this study have been chosen to simulate the irradiation of interstellar dust grains in supernovae shock waves. The samples were mainly studied using Analytical Transmission Electron Microscopy (ATEM). Our results show that olivine is amorphized by low-energy ion irradiation. Changes in composition are also observed. In particular, irradiation leads to a decrease of the atomic ratios O/Si and Mg/Si as determined by X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and by X-ray Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS). This chemical evolution is due to the differential sputtering of atoms near the surfaces. We also observe a reduction process resulting in the formation of metallic iron. The use of very thin samples emphasizes the role of surface/volume ratio and thus the importance of the particle size in the irradiation-induced effects. These results allow us to account qualitatively for the observed properties of interstellar grains in different environments, i.e., at different stages of their evolution : chemical and structural evolution in the interstellar medium, from olivine to pyroxene-type and from crystalline to amorphous silicates, porosity of cometary grains as well as the formation of metallic inclusions in silicates
  • Production, processing and characterization techniques for cosmic dust analogues

    Rotundi, A.; Brucato, J. R.; Colangeli, L.; Ferrini, G.; Mennella, V.; Palomba, E.; Palumbo, P. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
    The laboratory analyses of cosmic dust analogues--that in the context of this paper include interstellar, circumstellar as well as cometary dust--have a critical role in the study of circumstellar and cometary dust. The morphological, structural and chemical characterisation of these analogues are critical for comparisons of their IR and UV spectra with those obtained by astronomical observations, as well as for modelling purposes. Besides, the results from these laboratory studies are important to the success of space missions to comets when testing and calibrating the payload instruments. The interpretations of returned scientific data would benefit from the comparison with data recorded by the instruments in a laboratory setting for different classes of previously characterised analogues. We produced various types of condensed samples: (1) Mg,Fe-silicates, (olivine; pyroxene), (2) carbon-rich dust and (3) mixed carbon-silicate dust. The samples were prepared using different techniques, viz. (1) laser bombardment of solid targets in an Ar and O2 atmosphere, (2) arc discharge in an Ar and H2 atmosphere, and (3) grinding powders of natural minerals. We simulated various post-condensation processes, such as thermal annealing, UV irradiation, ion bombardment and exposure to atomic hydrogen. These processes produced compound samples of a wide range of physico-chemical properties. To identify their textures, morphologies, grain compositions and crystallographic properties we used electron microscopy and far-ultraviolet to far-infrared (millimiter range) spectroscopy.
  • Thermoluminescence of forsterite and fused quartz as a candidate for the extended red emission

    Koike, C.; Chihara, H.; Koike, K.; Nakagawa, M.; Okada, M.; Tsuchiyama, A.; Aok, M.; Awata, T.; Atobe, K (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
    Thermoluminescence of silicates interesting in interstellar and circumstellar medium after irradiation of gamma-rays and fast neutron is investigated in detail. The silicates are forsterite, orthoenstatite, olivine, quartz, and crystalline silicon. The irradiated enstatite shows weak and broad peaks at 545 and 760 nm. On the contrary, irradiated bulk and powder samples of forsterite show strong and broad peak at 640-660 nm. Although thermoluminescence of bulk-forsterite is very similar to ERE of Red Rectangle, iradiated powdered-forsterite did not reveal any sharp emission features over broad band. Further, possibility of thermoluminescence of crystalline silicon is investigated, which luminescence scarcely appears. It is emphasized that the prominent carrier of ERE is forsterite and fused quartz.
  • Comets, meteors, and eclipses: Art and science in early Renaissance Italy

    Olson, R. J. M.; Pasachoff, J. M. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
    We discuss eight trecento (fourteenth century) paintings containing depictions of astronomical events to reveal the revolutionary advances made in both astronomy and naturalistic painting in early Renaissance Italy, noting that an artistic interest in naturalism predisposed these pioneering painters to make their scientific observations. In turn, the convincing representations of their observations of astronomical phenomena in works of art rendered their paintings more believable, convincing. Padua was already a renowned center for mathematics and nascent astronomy (which was separating from astrology) when Enrico Scrovegni commissioned the famous Florentine artist Giotto di Bondone to decorate his lavish family chapel (circa 1301-1303). Giotto painted a flaming comet in lieu of the traditional Star of Bethlehem in the Adoration of the Magi scene. Moreover, he painted a historical apparition that he recently had observed with a great accuracy even by modern standards. Halley's Comet of 1301 (Olson, 1979). While we do not know the identity of the artist's theological advisor, we discuss the possibility that Pietro d'Abano, the Paduan medical doctor and "astronomer" who wrote on comets, might have been influential. We also compare Giotto's blazing comet with two others painted by the artist's shop in San Francesco at Assisi (before 1316) and account for the differences. In addition, we discuss Giotto's pupil, Taddeo Gaddi, reputed to have been partially blinded by a solar eclipse, whose calamity may find expression in his frescoes in Santa Croce, Florence (1328-30; 1338?). Giotto also influenced the Sienese painter Pietro Lorenzetti, two of whose Passion cycle frescoes at Assisi (1316-20) contain dazzling meteor showers that reveal the artist's observed astronomical phenomena, such as the "radiant" effect of meteor showers, first recorded by Alexander von Humboldt in 1799 and only accepted in the nineteenth century. Lorenzetti also painted sporadic, independent meteors, which do not emanate from the radiant. It is also significant that these artists observed differences between comets and meteors, facts that were not absolutely established until the eighteenth century. In addition we demonstrate that artistic and scientific visual acuity were part of the burgeoning empiricism of the fourteenth century, which eventually yielded modern observational astronomy.
  • Condensation processes in astrophysical environments: The composition and structure of cometary grains

    Nuth, Joseph A.; Rietmeijer, Frans J. M.; Hill, Hugh G. M. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
    We review the results of our recent experimental studies of astrophysical dust analogs. We discuss the condensation of amorphous silicates from mixed metal vapors, including evidence that such condensates form with metastable eutectic compositions. We consider the spectral evolution of amorphous magnesium silicate condensates as a function of time and temperature. Magnesium silicate smokes anneal readily at temperatures of about 1000-1100 K. In contrast we find that iron silicates require much higher temperatures (~1300 K) to bring about similar changes on the same timescale (days to months). We first apply these results to ISO observations of crystalline magnesium silicate grains around high-mass-outflow AGB stars in order to demonstrate their general utility in a rather simple environment. Finally, we apply these experimental results to infrared observations of comets and protostars in order to derive some interesting conclusions regarding large-scale nebular dynamics, the natural production of organic molecules in protostellar nebulae and the use of crystalline magnesium silicates as a relative indicator of a comet's formation age.
  • Laser-fusion 40Ar/39Ar Ages of Darwin Impact Glass

    Lo, Ching-Hua; Howard, Kieren T.; Chung, Sun-Lin; Meffre, Sebastien (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
    Three samples of Darwin Glass, an impact glass found in Tasmania, Australia at the edge of the Australasian tektite strewn field were dated using the 40Ar/39Ar single-grain laser fusion technique, yielding isochron ages of 796-815 ka with an overall weighted mean of 816 +/- 7 ka. These data are statistically indistinguishable from those recently reported for the Australasian tektites from Southeast Asia and Australia (761-816 ka; with a mean weighted age of 803 +/- 3 ka). However, considering the compositional and textural differences and the disparity from the presumed impact crater area for Australasian tektites, Darwin Glass is more likely to have resulted from a distinct impact during the same period of time.
  • The effects of nebula surface density profile and giant-planet eccentricities on planetary accretion in the inner solar system

    Chambers, J. E.; Cassen, P. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
    We describe results of 32 N‐body planetary accretion simulations that investigate the dependence of terrestrial‐planet formation on nebula surface density profile sigma and evolution of the eccentricities of Jupiter and Saturn ej,s. Two surface density profiles are examined: a decaying profile with sigma as directly proportional to 1/a, where a is orbital semi‐major axis, and a peaked profile in which sigma increases for a < 2 AU and decreases for a > 2 AU. The peaked profiles are generated by models of coagulation in an initially hot nebula. Models with initial ej,s = 0.05 (the current value) and 0.1 are considered. Simulations using the decaying profile with ej,s = 0.1 produce systems most like the observed planets in terms of mass‐weighted mean a and the absence of a planet in the asteroid belt. Simulations with doubled sigma produce planets roughly twice as massive as the nominal case. Most initial embryos are removed in each simulation via ejection from the solar system or collision with the Sun. The asteroid belt is almost entirely cleared on a timescale of 10–100 Ma that depends sensitively on ej,s. Most initial mass with a < 2 AU survives, with the degree of mass loss increasing with a. Mass loss from the terrestrial region occurs on a timescale that is long compared to the mass loss time for the asteroid belt. Substantial radial mixing of material occurs in all simulations, but is greater in simulations with initital ej,s = 0.05. The degree of mixing is equivalent to a feeding zone of half width 1.5 and 0.9 AU for an Earth mass planet at 1 AU for the cases ej,s = 0.05 and 0.1, respectively. In simulations with ej,s = 0.05, roughly one‐third and 5-10% of the mass contained in final terrestrial planets originated in the region a > 2.5 AU for the decaying and peaked profiles, respectively. In the case ej,s = 0.1, the median mass accreted from a > 2.5 AU is zero for both profiles.
  • Experimental approach to generate shock veins in single-crystal olivine by shear melting

    Langenhorst, F.; Poirier, J.-P.; Deutsch, A.; Hornemann, U. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
    A shock experiment has been devised to produce large shear in a single crystal sample of olivine. The recovered sample exhibits macroscopic shear faults resembling shock veins in ordinary chondrites. Examination with transmission electron microscopy reveals a high density of dislocations in the bulk olivine. The shear faults appear as thin veins containing small grains of olivine and pockets of glass. The microstructure and composition of the material in the veins point to fractional crystallization of a melt. An order of magnitude calculation is consistent with the idea that the veins were produced by shear melting. These results support the view that shock veins in meteorites are the result of shear heating rather than of pressure heterogeneities.
  • The Sirente crater field, Italy

    Ormö, J.; Rossi, A. P.; Komatsu, G. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
    We propose the Sirente crater field to be the first discovered impact craters in Italy. They are located in the Sirente plain within the mountains of the Abruzzo region, central Italy. The craters are distributed in a field 450 m long and 400 m wide. This field consists of ~17 smaller craters close to a larger main crater. The main crater is located in the southern end of the crater field and is 140 m long and 115 m wide, measured rim-to-rim. It has a well-developed, saddle-shaped rim that rises at a maximum 2.2 m above the surrounding plain. Radiocarbon dating of the target surface preserved below the rim gave a calibrated age of formation at about 412 A.D. (1650 +/- 40 radiocarbon years B.P.). This young age is consistent with the apparent little modification of the rim. The morphology of the main crater and its relation to a crater field strongly points to its origin by impact from a projectile that broke up during its passage through the atmosphere. Quartz is very rare in the target and no planar deformation features (PDFs) have been found so far. The rim material and the upper 4 m of the main crater infill are impregnated with ferric oxides, which gives a more reddish colour compared to the other sediments of the plain. Rusty crusts with high Fe and Mn content occur in the rim material, but have not been found in the plain's sediments. Some of these crusts can be separated by magnet, and have sporadic micron-sized Ni-rich granules. The main crater is in the size range of craters with explosive dispersion of the projectile and has many features comparable to both large experimental and meteoritic impact craters formed in loose sediments. We suggest that this crater represents a rare example of well-preserved, small impact craters formed in unconsolidated target materials.
  • Opportunities for the stratospheric collection of dust from short-period comets

    Messenger, S. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
    We have identified four comets which have produced low velocity Earth-crossing dust streams within the past century: 7P/Pons-Winnecke, 26P/Grigg-Skjellerup, 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3, and 103P/Hartley 2. These comets have the rare characteristics of low eccentricity, low inclination orbits with nodes very close to 1 AU. Dust from these comets is directly injected into Earth-crossing orbits by radiation pressure, unlike the great majority of interplanetary dust particles collected in the stratosphere which spend millennia in space prior to Earth-encounter. Complete dust streams from these comets form within a few decades, and appreciable amounts of dust are accreted by the Earth each year regardless of the positions of the parent comets. Dust from these comets could be collected in the stratosphere and identified by its short space exposure age, as indicated by low abundances of implanted solar wind noble gases and/or lack of solar flare tracks. Dust from Grigg-Skjellerup probably has the highest concentration at Earth orbit. We estimate that the proportion of dust from this comet reaches at least several percent of the background interplanetary dust flux in the >40 micrometer size range during April 23-24 of 2003.
  • The CR chondrite clan: Implications for early solar system processes

    Krot, A. N.; Meibom, A.; Weisberg, M. K.; Keil, K. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
    In this paper, we review the mineralogy and chemistry of Ca, Al-rich inclusions (CAIs), chondrules, FeNi-metal, and fine-grained materials of the CR chondrite clan, including CR, CH, and the metal-rich CB chondrites QUE 94411, Hammadah al Hamra 237, Bencubbin, Gujba, and Weatherford. The members of the CR chondrite clan are among the most pristine early solar system materials, which largely escaped thermal processing in an asteroidal setting (Bencubbin, Weatherford, and Gujba may be exceptions) and provide important constraints on the solar nebula models. These constraints include: (i) multiplilicity of CAI formation; (ii) formation of CAIs and chondrules in spatially separated nebular regions; (iii) formation of CAIs in gaseous reservoir(s) having 16O-rich isotopic compositions; chondrules appear to have formed in the presence of 16O-poor nebular gas; (iv) isolation of CAIs and chondrules from nebular gas at various ambient temperatures; (v) heterogeneous distribution of 26Al in the solar nebula; (vi) absence of matrix material in the regions of CAI and chondrule formation.