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

  • Book Review: Physics and Chemistry of the Solar System, John S. Lewis

    Koeberl, C. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
  • William Lee Quaide, 1927-2004

    French, B. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
  • One year closure of the Cosmic Dust Lab at NASA Johnson Space Center

    Zolensky, Michael (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
  • Notice of Grant Funding Availability

    The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01
  • The onset of metamorphism in ordinary and carbonaceous chondrites

    Grossman, J. N.; Brearley, A. J. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
    Ordinary and carbonaceous chondrites of the lowest petrologic types were surveyed by Xray mapping techniques. A variety of metamorphic effects were noted and subjected to detailed analysis using electron microprobe, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and cathodoluminescence (CL) methods. The distribution of Cr in FeO-rich olivine systematically changes as metamorphism increases between type 3.0 and type 3.2. Igneous zoning patterns are replaced by complex ones and Cr-rich coatings develop on all grains. Cr distributions in olivine are controlled by the exsolution of a Cr-rich phase, probably chromite. Cr in olivine may have been partly present as tetrahedrally coordinated Cr3+. Separation of chromite is nearly complete by petrologic type 3.2. The abundance of chondrules showing an inhomogeneous distribution of alkalis in mesostasis also increases with petrologic type. TEM shows this to be the result of crystallization of albite. Residual glass compositions systematically change during metamorphism, becoming increasingly rich in K. Glass in type I chondrules also gains alkalis during metamorphism. Both types of chondrules were open to an exchange of alkalis with opaque matrix and other chondrules. The matrix in the least metamorphosed chondrites is rich in S and Na. The S is lost from the matrix at the earliest stages of metamorphism due to coalescence of minute grains. Progressive heating also results in the loss of sulfides from chondrule rims and increases sulfide abundances in coarse matrix assemblages as well as inside chondrules. Alkalis initially leave the matrix and enter chondrules during early metamorphism. Feldspar subsequently nucleates in the matrix and Na re-enters from chondrules. These metamorphic trends can be used to refine classification schemes for chondrites. Cr distributions in olivine are a highly effective tool for assigning petrologic types to the most primitive meteorites and can be used to subdivide types 3.0 and 3.1 into types 3.00 through 3.15. On this basis, the most primitive ordinary chondrite known is Semarkona, although even this meteorite has experienced a small amount of metamorphism. Allan Hills (ALH) A77307 is the least metamorphosed CO chondrite and shares many properties with the ungrouped carbonaceous chondrite Acfer 094. Analytical problems are significant for glasses in type II chondrules, as Na is easily lost during microprobe analysis. As a result, existing schemes for chondrule classification that are based on the alkali content of glasses need to be revised.
  • Chondrule and metal grain size sorting from jet flows

    Liffman, K. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
    We examine the size sorting of chondrules and metal grains within the context of the jet flow model for chondrule/CAI formation. In this model, chondrules, CAIs, AOAs, metal grains, and related components of meteorites are assumed to have formed in the outflow region of the innermost regions of the solar nebula and then were ejected, via the agency of a bipolar jet flow, to outer regions of the nebula. We wish to see if size sorting of chondrules and metal grains is a natural consequence of this model. To assist in this task, we used a multiprocessor system to undertake Monte Carlo simulations of the early solar nebula. The paths of a statistically significant number of chondrules and metal grains were analyzed as they were ejected from the outflow and travelled over or into the solar nebula. For statistical reasons, only distances less than or equal to 3 AU from the Sun were examined. Our results suggest that size sorting can occur provided that the solar nebula jet flow had a relatively constant flow rate as function of time. A constant flow rate outflow produces size sorting, but it also produces a sharp size distribution of particles across the nebula and a metal-rich Fe/Si ratio. When the other extreme of a fully random flow rate was examined, it was found that size sorting was removed, and the initial material injected into the flow was simply spread over most of the the solar nebula. These results indicate that the outflow can act as a size and density classifier. By simply varying the flow rate, the outflow can produce different types of proto-meteorites from the same chondrule and metal grain feed stock. As a consequence of these investigations, we observed that the number of particles that impact into the nebula drops off moderately rapidly as a function of distance r from the Sun. We also derive a corrected form of the Epstein stopping time.
  • Fragmentation model of meteoroid motion, mass loss, and radiation in the atmosphere

    Ceplecha, Z.; ReVelle, D. O. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
    We present the basic differential equations of meteor physics (the single body equations). We solve them numerically including two possible types of fragmentation: into large pieces and into a cluster of small fragments. We have written a Fortran code that computes the motion, ablation and light intensity of a meteoroid at chosen heights, and allows for the ablation and shape density coefficients sigma and K, as well as the luminous efficiency tau, to be variable with height/time. We calibrated our fragmentation model (FM) by the best fit to observational values for the motion, ablation, radiation, fragmentation and the terminal masses (recovered meteorites) for the Lost City bolide. The FM can also handle multiple and overlapping meteor flares. We separately define both the apparent and intrinsic values of sigma, K, and tau. We present in this paper values of the intrinsic luminous efficiency as function of velocity, mass, and normalized air density. Detailed results from the successful application of the FM to the Lost City, Innisfree, and Beneov bolides are also presented. Results of applying the FM to 15 bolides with very precise observational data are presented in a survey mode (Table 7). Standard deviations of applying our FM to all these events correspond to the precision of the observed values. Typical values of the intrinsic ablation coefficient are low, mostly in the range from 0.004 to 0.008 s2 km^(-2), and do not depend on the bolide type. The apparent ablation coefficients reflect the process of fragmentation. The bolide types indicate severity of the fragmentation process. The large differences of the "dynamic" and "photometric" mass from numerous earlier studies are completely explained by our FM. The fragmentation processes cannot be modeled simply by large values of the apparent ablation coefficient and of the apparent luminous efficiency. Moreover, our new FM can also well explain the radiation and full dynamics of very fast meteoroids at heights from 200 km to 130 km.
  • A new hematite formation mechanism for Mars

    Minitti, M. E.; Lane, M. D.; Bishop, J. L. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
    The origin of hematite detected in Martian surface materials is commonly attributed to weathering processes or aqueous precipitation. Here, we present a new hematite formation mechanism that requires neither water nor weathering. Glass-rich basalts with Martian meteorite-like chemistry (high FeO, low Al2O3) oxidized at high (700 and 900 degrees C) temperatures in air and CO2, respectively, form thin (<1 micrometer) hematite coatings on their outermost surfaces. Hematite is manifested macroscopically by development of magnetism and a gray, metallic sheen on the glass surface and microscopically by Fe enrichment at the glass surface observed in element maps. Visible and nearinfrared, thermal infrared, and Raman spectroscopy confirm that the Fe enrichment at the oxidized glass surfaces corresponds to hematite mineralization. Hematite formation on basaltic glass is enabled by a mechanism that induces migration of Fe2+ to the surface of an oxidizing glass and subsequent oxidation to form hematite. A natural example of the hematite formation mechanism is provided by a Hawaiian basalt hosting a gray, metallic sheen that corresponds to a thin hematite coating. Hematite coating development on the Hawaiian basalt demonstrates that Martian meteorite-like FeO contents are not required for hematite coating formation on basalt glass and that such coatings form during initial extrusion of the glassy basalt flows. If gray hematite originating as coatings on glassy basalt flows is an important source of Martian hematite, which is feasible given the predominance of igneous features on Mars, then the requirement of water as an agent of hematite formation is eliminated.
  • Infrared spectroscopic taxonomy for carbonaceous chondrites from speciation of hydrous components

    Osawa, T.; Kagi, H.; Nakamura, T.; Noguchi, T. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
    Mid-infrared absorption spectra for all types of carbonaceous chondrites were obtained in this study to establish a versatile method for spectroscopic classification of carbonaceous chondrites. Infrared spectra were measured using a conventional KBr pellet method and diamond press method. Spectra of hydrous carbonaceous chondrites exhibit intense O-H stretching vibrations. CI chondrites are identifiable by a characteristic sharp absorption band appearing at 3685 cm^(-1), which is mainly attributable to serpentine. X-ray diffraction analysis showed the presence of serpentine. However, Yamato (Y-) 82162 (C1) does not have the band at 3685 cm^(-1) because of its thermal metamorphism. CM and CR chondrites have an intense absorption band at approximately 3600 cm^(-1). This absorption tends to appear in CM chondrites more strongly than CR chondrites because the intensity ratios of an OH stretching mode at 3520 cm^(-1) compared to 3400 cm^(-1) for CM chondrites are in the range of 0.95-1.04, which is systematically higher than those of CR chondrites (0.86-0.88). Therefore, the two types of chondrites are distinguishable by their respective infrared spectra. The spectrum feature of the Tagish Lake meteorite is attributable to neither CI nor CM chondrites. CO chondrites are characterized by weak and broad absorption at 3400 cm^(-1). CV chondrites have weak or negligible absorption of water. CK chondrites also have no water-induced absorption. CH and CB chondrites have a sharp absorption at 3692 cm^(-1) indicating the presence of chrysotile, which is also supported by observations of X-ray diffraction and TEM. The combination of spectroscopic classification and the diamond press method allows classification of carbonaceous chondrites of very valuable samples with small quantities. As one example, carbonaceous chondrite clasts in brecciated meteorites were classified using our technique. Infrared spectra for a fragment of carbonaceous clasts (1 g) separated from Willard (b) and Tsukuba were measured. The 3685 cm^(-1) band found in CI chondrites was clearly detected in the clasts, indicating that they are CI-like clasts.
  • Cooling of the Kärdla impact crater: I. The mineral paragenetic sequence observation

    Versh, E.; Kirsimäe, K.; Jõeleht, A.; Plado, J. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
    The impact-induced hydrothermal system in the well-preserved, 4 km-diameter Kärdla impact crater on Hiiumaa Island, western Estonia, was investigated by means of mineralogical, chemical, and stable degrees C and O isotope studies. The mineralization paragenetic sequence, with gradually decreasing temperature, reveals at least three evolutionary stages in the development of the post-impact hydrothermal system: 1) an early vapor-dominated stage (>300 degrees C) with precipitation of submicroscopic adularia type K-feldspar; 2) the main stage (300 to 150/100 degrees C) with the development of a two-phase (vapor to liquid) zone leading to precipitation of chlorite/corrensite, (idiomorphic) euhedral K-feldspar, and quartz; and 3) a late liquid-dominated stage (<100 degrees C) with calcite I, dolomite, quartz, calcite II, chalcopyrite/pyrite, Fe-oxyhydrate, and calcite III precipitation.
  • Cooling of the Kärdla impact crater: II. Impact and geothermal modeling

    Jõeleht, A.; Kirsimäe, K.; Plado, J.; Versh, E.; Ivanov, B. (The Meteoritical Society, 2005-01-01)
    Impact and geothermal modeling was performed to explain hydrothermal alteration in a 4 km marine complex crater at Kärdla, Estonia. The impact modeling was used to simulate the formation of the crater and the post-impact temperature distribution in crater environment. The geothermal modeling accounted for coupled heat transfer and multi-phase fluid flow in a variably saturated medium. The modeling results suggest that strong convective fluid flow was initiated. During the first stage, the cooling was rapid due to the effect of the latent heat of vaporization, which efficiently decreased the temperature to the boiling point. The modeling results are consistent with geological observations.