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

  • Petrology and mineralogy of the Ningqiang carbonaceous chondrite

    Wang, Y.; Hsu, W. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
    We report detailed chemical, petrological, and mineralogical studies on the Ningqiang carbonaceous chondrite. Ningqiang is a unique ungrouped type 3 carbonaceous chondrite. Its bulk composition is similar to that of CV and CK chondrites, but refractory lithophile elements (1.01 CI) are distinctly depleted relative to CV (1.29 CI) and CK (1.20 CI) chondrites. Ningqiang consists of 47.5 vol% chondrules, 2.0 vol% Ca,Al-rich inclusions (CAIs), 4.5 vol% amoeboid olivine aggregates (AOAs), and 46.0 vol% matrix. Most chondrules (95%) in Ningqiang are Mgrich. The abundances of Fe-rich and Al-rich chondrules are very low. Al-rich chondrules (ARCs) in Ningqiang are composed mainly of olivine, plagioclase, spinel, and pyroxenes. In ARCs, spinel and plagioclase are enriched in moderately volatile elements (Cr, Mn, and Na), and low-Ca pyroxenes are enriched in refractory elements (Al and Ti). The petrology and mineralogy of ARCs in Ningqiang indicate that they were formed from hybrid precursors of ferromagnesian chondrules mixed with refractory materials during chondrule formation processes. We found 294 CAIs (55.0% type A, 39.5% spinel-pyroxene-rich, 4.4% hibonite-rich, and several type degrees C and anorthite-spinelrich inclusions) and 73 AOAs in 15 Ningqiang sections (equivalent to 20 cm^2 surface area). This is the first report of hibonite-rich inclusions in Ningqiang. They are texturally similar to those in CM, CH, and CB chondrites, and exhibit three textural forms: aggregates of euhedral hibonite single crystals, fine-grained aggregates of subhedral hibonite with minor spinel, and hibonite Al,Ti-diopside spinel spherules. Evidence of secondary alteration is ubiquitous in Ningqiang. Opaque assemblages, formed by secondary alteration of pre-existing alloys on the parent body, are widespread in chondrules and matrix. On the other hand, nepheline and sodalite, existing in all chondritic components, formed by alkali-halogen metasomatism in the solar nebula.
  • Expanding the application of the Eu-oxybarometer to the lherzolitic shergottites and nakhlites: Implications for the oxidation state heterogeneity of the Martian interior

    McCanta, M. C.; Elkins-Tanton, L.; Rutherford, M. J. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
    Experimentally rehomogenized melt inclusions from the nakhlite Miller Range 03346 (MIL 03346) and the lherzolitic shergottite Allan Hills 77005 (ALH 77005) have been analyzed for their rare earth element (REE) concentrations in order to characterize the early melt compositions of these Martian meteorites and to calculate the oxygen fugacity conditions they crystallized under. D(Eu/Sm)pyroxene/melt values were measured at 0.77 and 1.05 for ALH 77005 and MIL 03346, respectively. These melts and their associated whole rock compositions have similar REE patterns, suggesting that whole rock REE values are representative of those of the early melts and can be used as input into the pyroxene Eu-oxybarometer for the nakhlites and lherzolitic shergottites. Crystallization fO2 values of IW + 1.1 (ALH 77005) and IW + 3.2 (MIL 03346) were calculated. Whole rock data from other nakhlites and lherzolitic shergottites was input into the Eu-oxybarometer to determine their crystallization fO2 values. The lherzolitic shergottites and nakhlites have fO2 values that range from IW + 0.4 to 1.6 and from IW + 1.1 to 3.2, respectively. These values are consistent with some previously determined fO2 estimates and expand the known range of fO2 values of the Martian interior to four orders of magnitude. The origins of this range are not well constrained. Possible mechanisms for producing this spread in fO2 values include mineral/melt fractionation, assimilation, shock effects, and magma ocean crystallization processes. Mineral/melt partitioning can result in changes in fO2 from the start to the finish of crystallization of 2 orders of magnitude. In addition, crystallization of a Martian magma ocean with reasonable initial water content results in oxidized, water-rich, late-stage cumulates. Sampling of these oxidized cumulates or interactions between reduced melts and the oxidized material can potentially account for the range of fO2 values observed in the Martian meteorites.
  • On the origin of shocked and unshocked CM clasts in H-chondrite regolith breccias

    Rubin, A. E.; Bottke, W. F. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
    CM chondrite clasts that have experienced different degrees of aqueous alteration occur in H-chondrite and HED meteorite breccias. Many clasts are fragments of essentially unshocked CM projectiles that accreted at low relative velocities to the regoliths of these parent bodies. A few clasts were heated and dehydrated upon impact; these objects most likely accreted at higher relative velocities. We examined three clasts and explored alternative scenarios for their formation. In the first scenario, we assumed that the H and HED parent bodies had diameters of a few hundred kilometers, so that their high escape velocities would effectively prevent soft landings of small CM projectiles. This would imply that weakly shocked CM clasts formed on asteroidal fragments (family members) associated with the H and HED parent bodies. In the second scenario, we assumed that weakly shocked CM clasts were spall products ejected at low velocities from larger CM projectiles when they slammed into the H and HED parent bodies. In both cases, if most CM clasts turn out to have ancient ages (e.g., ~3.4-4.1 Ga), a plausible source for their progenitors would be outer main belt objects, some which may have been dynamically implanted 3.9 Ga ago by the events described in the so-called Nice model. On the other hand, if most CM clasts have recent ages (<200 Ma), a plausible source location for their parent body would be the inner main belt between 2.1-2.2 AU. In that case, the possible source of the CM-clasts progenitors parent fragments would be the breakup ~160 Ma ago of the parent body 170 km in diameter of the Baptistina asteroid family (BAF).
  • 40Ar-39Ar ages of H-chondrite impact melt breccias

    Swindle, T. D.; Isachsen, C. E.; Weirich, J. R.; Kring, D. A. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
    40Ar-39Ar analyses of a total of 26 samples from eight shock-darkened impact melt breccias of H-chondrite affinity (Gao-Guenie, LAP 02240, LAP 03922, LAP 031125, LAP 031173, LAP 031308, NWA 2058, and Ourique) are reported. These appear to record impacts ranging in time from 303 +/- 56 Ma (Gao-Guenie) to 4360 +/- 120 Ma (Ourique) ago. Three record impacts 300-400 Ma ago, while two others record impacts 3900-4000 Ma ago. Combining these with other impact ages from H chondrites in the literature, it appears that H chondrites record impacts in the first 100 Ma of solar system history, during the era of the lunar cataclysm and shortly thereafter (3500-4000 Ma ago), one or more impacts ~300 Ma ago, and perhaps an impact ~500 Ma ago (near the time of the L chondrite parent body disruption). Records of impacts on the H chondrite parent body are rare or absent between the era of planetary accretion and the lunar cataclysm (4400-4050 Ma), during the long stretch between heavy bombardment and recent breakup events (3500-1000 Ma), or at the time of final breakup into meteorite-sized bodies (<50 Ma).
  • Characterization of Antarctic micrometeorites by thermoluminescence

    Sedaghatpour, F.; Sears, D. W. G. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
    In order to explore the nature and history of micrometeorites, we have measured the thermoluminescence (TL) properties of four micrometeorites, three cosmic spherules, and one irregular scoriaceous particle, that we found in a survey of 17 micrometeorites. These micrometeorites have TL sensitivities ranging from 0.017 +/- 0.002 to 0.087 +/- 0.009 (on a scale normalized to 4 mg of the H3.9 chondrite Dhajala). The four micrometeorites have very similar TL peak temperatures and TL peak widths, and these distinguish them from CI, most CM, CV, CO, and ordinary chondrites. However, the TL properties of these micrometeorites closely resemble those of the unusual CM chondrite MacAlpine Hills (MAC) 87300 and terrestrial forsterites. Heating experiments on submillimeter chips of a CM chondrite and a H5 chondrite suggest that these TL properties are have not been significantly affected by atmospheric passage. Thus we suggest that there is no simple linkage between these micrometeorites and the established meteorite classes, and that forsterite is an important component of these micrometeorites, as it is in many primitive solar system materials.
  • The role of massive AGB stars in the early solar system composition

    Trigo-Rodríguez, J. M.; García-Hernández, D. A.; Lugaro, M.; Karakas, A. I.; Van Raai, M.; Lario, P. G.; Manchado, A. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
    We demonstrate that a massive asymptotic giant branch (AGB) star is a good candidate as the main source of short-lived radionuclides in the early solar system. Recent identification of massive (48 M) AGB stars in the galaxy, which are both lithium- and rubidium-rich, demonstrates that these stars experience proton captures at the base of the convective envelope (hot bottom burning), together with high-neutron density nucleosynthesis with 22Ne as a neutron source in the He shell and efficient dredge-up of the processed material. A model of a 6.5 Mʘ star of solar metallicity can simultaneously match the abundances of 26Al, 41Ca, 60Fe, and 107Pd inferred to have been present in the solar nebula by using a dilution factor of 1 part of AGB material per 300 parts of original solar nebula material, and taking into account a time interval between injection of the short-lived nuclides and consolidation of the first meteorites equal to 0.53 Myr. Such a polluting source does not overproduce 53Mn, as supernova models do, and only marginally affects isotopic ratios of stable elements. It is usually argued that it is unlikely that the short-lived radionuclides in the early solar system came from an AGB star because these stars are rarely found in star forming regions, however, we think that further interdisciplinary studies are needed to address the fundamental problem of the birth of our solar system.
  • The formation of boundary clinopyroxenes and associated glass veins in type B1 CAIs

    Paque, J. M.; Beckett, J. R.; Ishii, H. A.; Aléon-Toppani, A.; Burnett, D. S.; Teslich, N.; Dai, Z. R.; Bradley, J. P. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
    We used focused ion beam thin section preparation and scanning transmission electron microscopy (FIB/STEM) to examine the interfacial region between spinel and host melilite for spinel grains in type B1 inclusions from the Allende and Leoville carbonaceous chondrites. Boundary clinopyroxenes decorating spinel surfaces have compositions similar to those of coarser clinopyroxenes from the same region of the inclusion, suggesting little movement after formation. Host melilite displays no anomalous compositions near the interface and late-stage minerals are not observed, suggesting that boundary pyroxenes did not form by crystallization of residual liquid. Allende spinels display either direct spinel-melilite contact or an intervening boundary clinopyroxene between the two phases. Spinel-melilite interfacial regions in a Leoville B1 are more complex, with boundary clinopyroxene, as observed in Allende, but also variable amounts of glass, secondary calcite, perovskite, and an Mg-, Al-, OH-rich and Ca-, Si-poor crystalline phase that may be a layered double hydrate. One possible scenario of formation for the glass veins is that open system alteration of melilite produced a porous, hydrated aggregate of Mg-carpholite or sudoite + aluminous diopside that was shock melted and quenched to a glass. The hydrated crystalline phase we observed may have been a shocked remnant of the precursor phase assemblage, but is more likely to have formed later by alteration of the glass. In the mantle, boundary clinopyroxenes may have been crystallized from Ti-rich liquids formed by the direct dissolution of perovskite and an associated Sc-Zr-rich phase or as a reaction product between dissolving perovskite and liquid. In the core, any perovskite and associated Ti-enriched liquids that may have originally been present disappeared before the growth of boundary clinopyroxene, and the observed boundary clinopyroxene may have nucleated and grown from the liquid, along with the larger core clinopyroxene.
  • The fine-grained matrix of the Semarkona LL3.0 ordinary chondrite: An induced thermoluminescence study

    Craig, J. P.; Sears, D. W. G. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
    To investigate the nature, origin, and history of the fine-grained matrix in Semarkona and develop techniques suitable for small samples, we have measured the induced thermoluminescence properties of six matrix samples 10 m to 400 m in size. The samples had TL sensitivities comparable with 4 mg of bulk samples of type 3.2-3.4 ordinary chondrites, which is very high relative to bulk Semarkona. The other induced TL properties of these samples, TL peak temperatures, and TL peak widths distinguish them from other ordinary chondrite samples where the TL is caused by feldspar. Cathodoluminescence images and other data suggest that the cause of the luminescence in the Semarkona fine-grained matrix is forsterite. In some respects the matrix TL data resemble that of Semarkona chondrules, in which the phosphor is forsterite and terrestrial forsterites from a variety of igneous and metamorphic environments. However, differences in the TL peak temperature versus TL peak width relationship between the matrix samples and the other forsterites suggest a fundamentally different formation mechanism. We also note that forsterite appears to be a major component in many primitive materials, such as nebulae, cometary dust, and Stardust particles.
  • Outward transport of CAIs during FU-Orionis events

    Wurm, G.; Haack, H. (The Meteoritical Society, 2009-01-01)
    Evidence from meteorites shows that the first solids to form in the solar system, calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs), were transported outward from the Sun by several AU in the early solar system. We introduce a new concept of levitation and outward transport of CAIs at the surface of protoplanetary disks. Thermal radiation from the disk and the Sun can cause particles to levitate above the disk and drift outward through a process known as photophoresis. During normal conditions this process only works for dust-sized particles but during high luminosity events like FU-Orionis outbursts, the process can provide an efficient lift and transport of CAIs from within the inner 1 AU to a distance of several AU from the Sun. This might explain why CAIs, believed to have formed close to the Sun, are common in meteorites believed to come from the outer asteroid belt but are rare or absent in samples from the inner solar system. Since the process only works during the FU-Orionis event and only for particles up to cm-size, it may also explain why the CAIs we find in meteorites appear to have formed within a short period of time and why they rarely exceed cm size.