ABOUT THIS COLLECTION

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

  • The Dar al Gani meteorite field (Libyan Sahara): Geological setting, pairing of meteorites, and recovery density

    Schlüter, J.; Schultz, L.; Thiedig, F.; Al-Mahdi, B. O.; Abu Aghreb, A. E. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
    As of July 2001, 1238 Libyan meteorites have been reported. Most were found in two areas called Dar al Gani and Hamadah al Hamra. Dar al Gani is located on a plateau of marine carbonate rocks with marly components. Eight-hundred and sixty-nine meteorites between 6 g and 95 kg totalling 687 kg have been found here but the calculated mean recovery density is comparatively low with one meteorite on 6.5 km2. Dar al Gani is a perfect site for the recognition and preservation of meteorites. The existence of meteorites is the result of a combination of specific geological and geomorphological conditions: there is a bright-colored, old limestone plateau (<2 Ma), under arid weather, conditions over long periods of time, with rapid elimination of surface water if present and low erosion rates. The preservation of meteorites is guaranteed through the absence of quartz sand on the plateau, strongly reducing wind erosion and a basic environment emerging from the carbonate ground retards rusting of metallic meteorite components. A supposed soil cover during pluvial times has probably protected older meteorites and led to a concentration of meteorites of different periods. An evaluation of Dar al Gani meteorites suggests the existence of at least 26 strewnfields and 26 meteorite pairs reducing the number of falls to, at most, 534. Shock and weathering grades as a tool for the recognition of pairings turned out to be problematic, as several strewnfields showed paired meteorites which had been classified to different shock and weathering grades.
  • Impact cratering: Bridging the gap between modeling and observations, Houston, Texas, USA 2003 February 7-9

    The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01
    Announcement: Impact cratering: Bridging the gap between modeling and observations.
  • Spaceborne ultraviolet 251-384 nm spectroscopy of a meteor during the 1997 Leonid shower

    Jenniskens, P.; Tedesco, E.; Murthy, J.; Laux, C. O.; Price, S. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
    We used the ultraviolet to visible spectrometers onboard the midcourse space experiment to obtain the first ultraviolet spectral measurements of a bright meteor during the 1997 Leonid shower. The meteor was most likely a Leonid with a brightness of about -2 magnitute at 100 km altitude. In the region between 251 and 310 nm, the two strongest emission lines are from neutral and ionized magnesium. Ionized Ca lines, indicative of a hot T roughly equal to 10 000 K plasma, are not detected. The Mg and Mg+ line intensity ratio alone does not yield the ionization temperature, which can be determined only by assuming the electron density. A typical air plasma temperature of T = 4400 K would imply a very high electron density: ne = 2.2 x 10^18 m-3, but at chondritic abundances of Fe/Mg and Si/Mg which equals approximately 1. For a more reasonable local-thermodynamic-equilibrium (LTE) air plasma electron density, the Mg and Mg+ line ratio implies a less than chondritic Fe/Mg = 0.06 abundance ratio and a cool non-LTE T = 2830 K ionization temperature for the ablation vapor plasma. The present observations do not permit a choice between these two alternatives. The new data provide also the first spectral confirmation of the presence of molecular OH and NO emission in meteor spectra.
  • Queen Alexandra Range 93148: A new type of pyroxene pallasite?

    Floss, Christine (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
    Trace elements, including the rare earth elements, were measured in olivine and orthopyroxene from Queen Alexandra Range (QUE) 93148, and in olivine from two main group pallasites, Springwater and Mount Vernon. Although QUE 93148 was originally classified as a lodranite, a variety of data including oxygen isotopic compositions (Goodrich and Righter, 2000), preclude a genetic relationship with the acapulcoites/lodranites. Incompatible trace element (e.g., Ti, Zr) distributions in orthopyroxene do indicate large amounts of melting and are consistent with the ultramafic assemblage observed in this meteorite. Trace element abundances in olivine are consistent with suggestions that QUE 93148 may be related to the main group pallasites (Goodrich and Righter, 2000), although there are some inconsistencies. Its trace element distributions are most like those of the pyroxene pallasites, suggesting that it may have formed in a similar manner. QUE 93148 may represent a new type of pyroxene pallasite with links to the main group pallasites.
  • Ponded deposits on asteroid 433 Eros

    Cheng, A. F.; Izenberg, N.; Chapman, C. R.; Zuber, M. T. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
    In late January 2001 the NEAR-Shoemaker spacecraft performed low-altitude passes over the surface of 433 Eros. Coordinated observations of the asteroid surface were obtained at submeter resolution by the NEAR laser rangefinder and the multispectral imager. This paper presents three independent, coordinated observations of a 90 m pond adjacent to a granular debris flow, including the highest resolution altimetric measurements of ponded deposits on Eros. The ponded deposits appear to have been emplaced by fluid-like motion of dry asteroidal regolith. A simple model of seismic agitation from impacts is developed to account for pond formation on Eros. The model predicts that ponds should form readily on Eros but not on the Moon, where ponds are not observed. The model also suggests that the absence of observable ponds in the largest craters of Eros, as well as on Phobos and Deimos, may be related to regolith depth.
  • Martian meteorite Dhofar 019: A new shergottite

    Taylor, L. A.; Nazarov, M. A.; Shearer, C. K.; McSween, H. Y.; Cahill, J.; Neal, C. R.; Ivanova, M. A.; Barsukova, L. D.; Lentz, R. C.; Clayton, R. N.; et al. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
    Dhofar 019 is a new martian meteorite found in the desert of Oman. In texture, mineralogy, and major and trace element chemistry, this meteorite is classified as a basaltic shergottite. Olivine megacrysts are set within a groundmass composed of finer grained olivine, pyroxene (pigeonite and augite), and maskelynite. Minor phases are chromite-ulvspinel, ilmenite, silica, K-rich feldspar, merrillite, chlorapatite, and pyrrhotite. Secondary phases of terrestrial origin include calcite, gypsum, celestite, Fe hydroxides, and smectite. Dhofar 019 is most similar to the Elephant Moraine (EETA) 79001 lithology A and Dar al Gani (DaG) 476/489 shergottites. The main features that distinguish Dhofar 019 from other shergottites are lack of orthopyroxene; lower Ni contents of olivine; the heaviest oxygen-isotopic bulk composition; and larger compositional ranges for olivine, maskelynite, and spinel, as well as a wide range for pyroxenes. The large compositional ranges of the minerals are indicative of relatively rapid crystallization. Modeling of olivine chemical zonations yield minimum cooling rates of 0.5-0.8 degrees C/h. Spinel chemistry suggests that crystallization took place under one of the most reduced conditions for martian meteorites, at an oxygen fugacity of 3 log units below the quartz-fayalite-magnetite (QFM) buffer. The olivine megacrysts are heterogeneously distributed in the rock. Crystal size distribution analysis suggests that they constitute a population formed under steady-state conditions of nucleation and growth, although a few grains may be cumulates. The parent melt is thought to have been derived from partial melting of a light rare earth element- and platinum group element-depleted mantle source. Shergottites, EETA79001 lithology A, DaG 476/489, and Dhofar 019, although of different ages, comprise a particular type of martian rocks. Such rocks could have formed from chemically similar source(s) and parent melt(s), with their bulk compositions affected by olivine accumulation.
  • Nitrogen in diamond-free ureilite Allan Hills 78019: Clues to the origin of diamond in ureilites

    Rai, V. K.; Murty, S. V. S.; Ott, U. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
    Nitrogen and noble gases were measured in a bulk sample and in acid-resistant carbon-rich residues of the ureilite Allan Hills (ALH) 78019 which has experienced low shock and is free of diamond. A small amount of amorphous carbon combusting at less than or equal to 500 degrees C carries most of the noble gases, while the major carbon phase consisting of large crystals of graphite combusts at greater than or equal to 800 degrees C, and is almost noble-gas free. Nitrogen on the other hand is present in both amorphous carbon and graphite, with different 15N signatures of -21 ppm and +19 ppm, respectively, distinctly different from the very light nitrogen (about -100 ppm) of ureilite diamond. Amorphous carbon in ALH 78019 behaves similar to phase Q of chondrites with respect to noble gas release pattern, behavior towards oxidizing acids as well as nitrogen isotopic composition. In situ conversion of amorphous carbon or graphite to diamond through shock would require an isotopic fractionation of 8 to 12% for nitrogen favoring the light isotope, an unlikely proposition, posing a severe problem for the widely accepted shock origin of ureilite diamond.
  • Boltysh, another end-Cretaceous impact

    Kelley, S. P.; Gurov, E. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
    The Chixculub impact occurred at the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary, and although several other Late Cretaceous and Paleogene impact craters have, at times, been linked with the K/T boundary, isotope geochronology has demonstrated that all have significantly different ages. The currently accepted age of the 24 km diameter Boltysh crater, a K-Ar whole-rock age, places it in the Coniacian at 88 +/- 3 Ma. However, comprehensive Ar-Ar dating of a range of melt samples yields a mean age of 65.17 +/- 0.64 Ma, within errors of the K/T boundary. Several of the fresh samples exhibit signs of excess argon, but this seems to be concentrated in rapidly crystallized glass-rich samples. The Ar-Ar age confirms an earlier fission track measurement and thus two dating techniques have yielded an age within errors of the K/T boundary for this crater. Crucially, although the ages of Boltysh and Chixculub are within errors, they may not have formed synchronously. Craters of 24 km diameter occur much more commonly than impacts of Chixculub dimensions, but their proximity does raise the important question of how many impacts there might have been close to the K/T boundary.
  • Nannobacterial alteration of pyroxenes in martian meteorite Allan Hills 84001

    Folk, Robert L.; Taylor, Lawrence A. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
    In martian meteorite Allan Hills (ALH) 84001, this scanning electron microscope study was focused on the ferromagnesian minerals, which are extensively covered with nanometer-size bodies mainly 30-100 nm in diameter. These bodies range from spheres to ovoids to caterpillar shapes and resemble, both in size and shape, nannobacteria that attack weathered rocks on Earth and that can be cultured. Dense colonies alternate with clean, smooth cleavage surfaces, possibly formed later. Statistical study shows that the distribution of presumed nannobacteria is very clustered. In addition to the small bodies, there are a few occurrences of ellipsoidal 200-400 nm objects, that are within the lower size range of "normal" earthly bacteria. We conclude that the nanobodies so abundant in ALH 84001 are indeed nannobacteria, confirming the initial assertion of McKay et al. (1996). However, whether these bodies originated on Mars or are Antarctic contamination remains a valid question.