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Sample records for martian meteorite alh

  1. Antarctic Martian Meteorites at Johnson Space Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, R. C.; Satterwhite, C. E.; Righter, K.; Harrington, R.

    2018-01-01

    This past year marked the 40th anniversary of the first Martian meteorite found in Antarctica by the ANSMET Antarctic Search for Meteorites) program, ALH 77005. Since then, an additional 14 Martian meteorites have been found by the ANSMET program making for a total of 15 Martian meteorites in the U. S. Antarctic meteorite collection at Johnson Space Center (JSC). Of the 15 meteorites, some have been paired so the 15 meteorites actually represent a total of approximately 9 separate samples. The first Martian meteorite found by ANSMET was ALH 77005 (482.500 g), a lherzolitic shergottite. When collected, this meteorite was split as a part of the joint expedition with the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR) Japan. Originally classified as an "achondrite-unique", it was re-classified as a Martian lherzolitic shergottite in 1982. This meteorite has been allocated to 137 scientists for research and there are 180.934 g remaining at JSC. Two years later, one of the most significant Martian meteorites of the collection at JSC was found at Elephant Moraine, EET 79001 (7942.000 g), a shergottite. This meteorite is the largest in the Martian collection at JSC and was the largest stony meteorite sample collected during the 1979 season. In addition to its size, this meteorite is of particular interest because it contains a linear contact separating two different igneous lithologies, basaltic and olivine-phyric. EET 79001 has glass inclusions that contain noble gas and nitrogen compositions that are proportionally identical to the Martian atmosphere, as measured by the Viking spacecraft. This discovery helped scientists to identify where the "SNC" meteorite suite had originated, and that we actually possessed Martian samples. This meteorite has been allocated to 205 scientists for research and 5,298.435 g of sample is available.

  2. Pigeonholing planetary meteorites: The lessons of misclassification of EET87521 and ALH84001

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, M. M.; Treiman, A. H.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.

    1994-01-01

    The last few years have provided two noteworthy examples of misclassifications of achondritic meteorites because the samples were new kinds of meteorites from planetary rather than asteroidal parent bodies. Basaltic lunar meteorite EET87521 was misclassified as a eucrite and SNC (martian) orthopyroxenite ALH84001 was misclassified as a diogenite. In classifying meteorites we find what we expect: we pigeonhole meteorites into known categories most of which were derived from the more common asteroidal meteorites. But the examples of EET8752 and ALH84001 remind us that planets are more complex than asteroids and exhibit a wider variety of rock types. We should expect variety in planetary meteorites and we need to know how to recognize them when we have them. Our intent here is to show that our asteroidal perspective is inappropriate for planetary meteorites.

  3. Geochemical evidence for mixing of three components in martian orthopyroxenite ALH 84001. [Abstract only

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Lindstrom, M. M.

    1994-01-01

    ALH 84001, a ferroan martian orthopyroxenite, originally consisted of three petrographically defined components: a cumulus assemblage of orthopyroxene + chromite, a trapped melt assemblage of orthopyroxene(?) + chromite + maskelynite + apatite + augite +/- pyrite, and a metasomatic assemblage of carbonate +/- pyrite. We present the results of Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) study of five bulk samples of ALH 84001, combined with Scanning Ion Mass Spectrometer (SIMS) data on the orthopyroxene, in order to attempt to set limits on the geochemical characteristics of the latter two components, and therefore on the petrogenesis of ALH 84001. The INAA data support the petrographic observations, suggesting that there are at least three components in ALH 84001. We will assume that each of the three geochemically required components can be equated with one of the petrographically observed components. Both trapped melt and metasomatic components in ALH 84001 have higher Na than orthopyroxene based on compositions of maskelynite, apatite, and carbonate. For the metasomatic component, we will assume its Na content is that of carbonate, while for a trapped melt component, we will use a typical Na content inferred for martian meteorite parent melts, approximately 1 wt% Na2O. Under these assumptions, we can set limits on the Light Rare Earth Elements/Heavy Rare Earth Elements (LREE/HREE) ratios of the components, and use this information to compare the petrogenesis of ALH 84001 with other martian meteorites. The above calculations assume that the bulk samples are representative of different portions of ALH 84001. We will also evaluate the possible heterogeneous distribution of mineral phases in the bulk samples as the cause of compositional heterogeneity in our samples.

  4. Nature of Reduced Carbon in Martian Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Everett K., Jr.; McKay, D. S.; Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Clemett, S. J.; White, L. M.

    2012-01-01

    Martian meteorites provide important information on the nature of reduced carbon components present on Mars throughout its history. The first in situ analyses for carbon on the surface of Mars by the Viking landers yielded disappointing results. With the recognition of Martian meteorites on Earth, investigations have shown carbon-bearing phases exist on Mars. Studies have yielded presence of reduced carbon, carbonates and inferred graphitic carbon phases. Samples ranging in age from the first approximately 4 Ga of Mars history [e.g. ALH84001] to nakhlites with a crystallization age of 1.3 Ga [e.g. Nakhla] with aqueous alteration processes occurring 0.5-0.7 Ga after crystallizaton. Shergottites demonstrate formation ages around 165-500 Ma with younger aqueous alterations events. Only a limited number of the Martian meteorites do not show evidence of significance terrestrial alterations. Selected areas within ALH84001, Nakhla, Yamato 000593 and possibly Tissint are suitable for study of their indigenous reduced carbon bearing phases. Nakhla possesses discrete, well-defined carbonaceous phases present within iddingsite alteration zones. Based upon both isotopic measurements and analysis of Nakhla's organic phases the presence of pre-terrestrial organics is now recognized. The reduced carbon-bearing phases appear to have been deposited during preterrestrial aqueous alteration events that produced clays. In addition, the microcrystalline layers of Nakhla's iddingsite have discrete units of salt crystals suggestive of evaporation processes. While we can only speculate on the origin of these unique carbonaceous structures, we note that the significance of such observations is that it may allow us to understand the role of Martian carbon as seen in the Martian meteorites with obvious implications for astrobiology and the pre-biotic evolution of Mars. In any case, our observations strongly suggest that reduced organic carbon exists as micrometer- size, discrete structures

  5. What Were the Major Factors That Controlled Mineralogical Similarities and Differences of Basaltic, Lherzolitic and Clinopyroxentic Martian Meteorites Within Each Group

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikouchi, T.; Miyamoto, M.; McKay, G. A.

    1998-01-01

    Twelve martian meteorites that have been re- covered so far are classified into five groups (basalt, lherzolite, clinopyroxenite, dunite, and orthopyroxenite) mainly from petrology and chemistry. Among them, the dunite and orthopyroxenite groups consist of only one meteorite each (dunite: Chassigny, orthopyroxenite: ALH 84001). The basalt group is the largest group and consists of four meteorites (Shergotty, Zagani, EETA 79001, and QUE 94201). The lherzolitic and clinopyroxenitic groups include three meteorites each (Lherzolite: ALH 77005, LEW 88516, and Y793605, clinopyroxenite: Nakhla, Governador Valadares, and Lafayette). These meteorites within each group are generally similar to the others, but none of them is paired with the others. In this abstract, we discuss the major factors that controlled mineralogical similarities and differences of basaltic, lherzolitic, and clinopyroxenitic meteorites within each group. This may help in understanding their petrogenesis and original locations on Mars in general.

  6. Curation of US Martian Meteorites Collected in Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, M.; Satterwhite, C.; Allton, J.; Stansbury, E.

    1998-01-01

    To date the ANSMET field team has collected five martian meteorites (see below) in Antarctica and returned them for curation at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) Meteorite Processing Laboratory (MPL). ne meteorites were collected with the clean procedures used by ANSMET in collecting all meteorites: They were handled with JSC-cleaned tools, packaged in clean bags, and shipped frozen to JSC. The five martian meteorites vary significantly in size (12-7942 g) and rock type (basalts, lherzolites, and orthopyroxenite). Detailed descriptions are provided in the Mars Meteorite compendium, which describes classification, curation and research results. A table gives the names, classifications and original and curatorial masses of the martian meteorites. The MPL and measures for contamination control are described.

  7. Life on Mars: Evidence from Martian Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, David S.; Thomas-Keptra, Katie L.; Clemett, Simon J.; Gibson, Everett K., Jr.; Spencer, Lauren; Wentworth, Susan J.

    2009-01-01

    New data on martian meteorite 84001 as well as new experimental studies show that thermal or shock decomposition of carbonate, the leading alternative non-biologic explanation for the unusual nanophase magnetite found in this meteorite, cannot explain the chemistry of the actual martian magnetites. This leaves the biogenic explanation as the only remaining viable hypothesis for the origin of these unique magnetites. Additional data from two other martian meteorites show a suite of biomorphs which are nearly identical between meteorites recovered from two widely different terrestrial environments (Egyptian Nile bottomlands and Antarctic ice sheets). This similarity argues against terrestrial processes as the cause of these biomorphs and supports an origin on Mars for these features.

  8. What we have learned about Mars from SNC meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcsween, Harry Y., Jr.

    1994-01-01

    The SNC meteorites are thought to be igneous martian rocks, based on their young crystallization ages and a close match between the composition of gases implanted in them during shock and the atmosphere of Mars. A related meteorite, ALH84001, may be older and thus may represent ancient martian crust. These petrologically diverse basalts and ultramafic rocks are mostly cumulates, but their parent magmas share geochemical and radiogenic isotopic characteristics that suggest they may have formed by remelting the same mantle source region at different times. Information and inferences about martian geology drawn from these samples include the following: Planetary differentiation occured early at approximately 4.5 GA, probably concurrently with accretion. The martian mantle contains different abundances of moderately volatile and siderophile elements and is more Fe-rich than that of the Earth, which has implications for its mineralogy, density, and origin. The estimated core composition has a S abundance near the threshold value for inner core solidification. The former presence of a core dynamo may be suggested by remanent magnetization in Shergottite-Nakhlite-Chassignite (SNC) meteorites, although these rocks may have been magnetized during shock. The mineralogy of martian surface units, inferred from reflectance spectra, matches that of basaltic shergottites, but SNC lithologies thought to have crystallized in the subsurface are not presently recognized. The rheological properties of martian magmas are more accurately derived form these metorites than from observations of martian flow morphology, although the sampled range of magma compositions islimited. Estimates of planetary water abundance and the amount of outgassed water based on these meteorites are contridictory but overlap estimates based on geological observations and atmospheric measurements. Stable isotope measurements indicate that the martian hydrosphere experienced only limited exchange with the

  9. SNC meteorites: Clues to martian petrologic evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McSween, H.Y. Jr.

    1985-01-01

    The shergottites, nakhlites, and Chassigny (SNC meteorites) are apparently cumulate mafic and ultramafic rocks that crystallized at shallow levels in the crust of their parent body. The mineralogy and chemistry of these meteorites are remarkably like equivalent terrestrial rocks, although their ratios of Fe/(Fe+Mg) and certain incompatible elements and their oxygen isotopic compositions are distinctive. All have crystallization ages of 1.3 b.y. or younger and formed from magmas produced by partial melting of previously fractionated source regions. Isotope systematics suggest that the SNC parent body had a complex and protracted thermal history spanning most of geologic time. Some meteorites have been severely shock metamorphosed, and all were ejected from their parent body at relatively recent times, possibly in several impact events. Late crystallization ages, complex petrogenesis, and possible evidence for a large gravitational field suggest that these meteorites are derived from a large planet. Trapped gases in shergottite shock melts have compositions similar to the composition measured in the Martian atmosphere. Ejection of Martian meteorites may have been accomplished by acceleration of near-surface spalls or other mechanisms not fully understood. If SNC meteorites are of Martian origin, they provide important information on planetary composition and evolution. The bulk composition and redox state of the Martian mantle, as constrained by shergottite phase equilibria, must be more earthlike than most current models. Planetary thermal models should benefit from data on the abundances of radioactive heat sources, the melting behavior of the mantle, and the timing of planetary differentiation

  10. Physical properties of Martian meteorites: Porosity and density measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulson, Ian M.; Beech, Martin; Nie, Wenshuang

    Martian meteorites are fragments of the Martian crust. These samples represent igneous rocks, much like basalt. As such, many laboratory techniques designed for the study of Earth materials have been applied to these meteorites. Despite numerous studies of Martian meteorites, little data exists on their basic structural characteristics, such as porosity or density, information that is important in interpreting their origin, shock modification, and cosmic ray exposure history. Analysis of these meteorites provides both insight into the various lithologies present as well as the impact history of the planet's surface. We present new data relating to the physical characteristics of twelve Martian meteorites. Porosity was determined via a combination of scanning electron microscope (SEM) imagery/image analysis and helium pycnometry, coupled with a modified Archimedean method for bulk density measurements. Our results show a range in porosity and density values and that porosity tends to increase toward the edge of the sample. Preliminary interpretation of the data demonstrates good agreement between porosity measured at 100× and 300× magnification for the shergottite group, while others exhibit more variability. In comparison with the limited existing data for Martian meteorites we find fairly good agreement, although our porosity values typically lie at the low end of published values. Surprisingly, despite the increased data set, there is little by way of correlation between either porosity or density with parameters such as shock effect or terrestrial residency. Further data collection on additional meteorite samples is required before more definitive statements can be made concerning the validity of these observations.

  11. Martian meteorites and Martian magnetic anomalies: a new perspective from NWA 7034 (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gattacceca, J.; Rochette, P.; Scozelli, R. B.; Munayco, P.; Agee, C. B.; Quesnel, Y.; Cournede, C.; Geissman, J. W.

    2013-12-01

    The magnetic anomalies observed above the Martian Noachian crust [1] require strong crustal remanent magnetization in the 15-60 A/m range over a thickness of 20-50 km [2,3]. The Martian rocks available for study in the form of meteorites do contain magnetic minerals (magnetite and/or pyrrhotite) but in too small amount to account for such strong remanent magnetizations [4]. Even though this contradiction was easily explained by the fact that Martian meteorites (mostly nakhlites and shergottites) are not representative of the Noachian Martian crust, we were left with no satisfactory candidate lithology to account for the Martian magnetic anomalies. The discovery in the Sahara of a new type of Martian meteorite (NWA 7034 [5] and subsequent paired stones which are hydrothermalized volcanic breccia) shed a new light on this question as it contains a much larger amount of ferromagnetic minerals than any other Martian meteorite. We present here a study of the magnetic properties of NWA 7034, together with a review of the magnetic properties of thirty other Martian meteorites. Magnetic measurements (including high and low temperature behavior and Mössbauer spectroscopy) show that NWA 7034 contains about 15 wt.% of magnetite with various degrees of substitution and maghemitization up to pure maghemite, in the pseudo-single domain size range. Pyrrhotite, a common mineral in other Martian meteorites is not detected. Although it is superparamagnetic and cannot carry remanent magnetization, nanophase goethite is present in significant amounts confirming that NWA 7034 is the most oxidized Martian meteorite studied so far, as already indicated by the presence of maghemite (this study) and pyrite [5]. These magnetic properties show that a kilometric layer of a lithology similar to NWA 7034 magnetized in a dynamo field would be enough to account for the strongest Martian magnetic anomalies. Although the petrogenesis of NWA 7034 is still debated, as the brecciation could be either

  12. Biomimetic magnetite mediated by magnetosome proteins vs. ALH84001 meteorite magnetite: Are both comparable?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barry-Sosa, A.; Jimenez-Lopez, C.

    2016-07-01

    The suggestion in 1996 that the Martian meteorite ALH84001 could contain proof of possible biologic activity in the past have generated a huge controversy that last until today. One of the most discussed evidence is the presence of magnetite crystals that resemble those produced by a particular group of bacteria, the so called magnetotactic bacteria (MTB). These microorganisms are the only known example of biologically controlled biomineralization among the prokaryotes and exert an exquisite control over the biomineralization process of intracellular magnetite that result in crystals with very unique features that, so far, cannot be replicated by inorganic means. These unique features have been used to recognize the biological origin of natural terrestrial magnetites, but the problem arises when those same biogenecity criteria are applied to extraterrestrial magnetites. Most of the problems are caused by the fact that it is not clear whether or not some of those characteristics can be reproduced inorganically. Magnetosome protein mediated magnetite synthesis seems to be the best approach to obtain magnetosome-like magnetites, and such strategy may help clarify what is the specific biosignature of magnetotactic bacteria. (Author)

  13. The Origin of Magnetite Crystals in ALH84001 Carbonate Disks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Clemett, S. J.; Wentworth, S. J.; McKay, D. S.; Gibson, E. K., Jr.

    2012-01-01

    Martian meteorite ALH84001 preserves evidence of interaction with aqueous fluids while on Mars in the form of microscopic carbonate disks believed to have formed approx 3.9 Ga ago at beginning of the Noachian epoch. Intimately associated within and throughout these carbonate disks are nanocrystal magnetites (Fe3O4) with unusual chemical and physical properties, whose origins have become the source of considerable debate. One group of hypotheses argues that these magnetites are the product of partial thermal decomposition of the host carbonate. Alternatively, the origins of magnetite and carbonate may be unrelated; that is, from the perspective of the carbonate the magnetite is allochthonous. We have sought to resolve between these hypotheses through the detailed characterized of the compositional and structural relationships between the carbonate disks, their associated magnetites and the orthopyroxene matrix in which they are embedded. Comparison of these results with experimental thermal decomposition studies of sideritic carbonates conducted under a range of heating scenarios suggests that the magnetite nanocrystals in the ALH84001 carbonate disks are not the products of thermal decomposition.

  14. Martian Pyroxenes in the Shergottite Meteorites; Zagami, SAU005, DAG476 and EETA79001

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephen, N.; Benedix, G. K.; Bland, P.; Hamilton, V. E.

    2010-12-01

    The geology and surface mineralogy of Mars is characterised using remote sensing techniques such as thermal emission spectroscopy (TES) from instruments on a number of spacecraft currently orbiting Mars or gathered from roving missions on the Martian surface. However, the study of Martian meteorites is also important in efforts to further understand the geological history of Mars or to interpret mission data as they are believed to be the only available samples that give us direct clues as to Martian igneous processes [1]. We have recently demonstrated that the spectra of Martian-specific minerals can be determined using micro-spectroscopy [2] and that these spectra can be reliably obtained from thin sections of Martian meteorites [3]. Accurate modal mineralogy of these meteorites is also important [4]. In this study we are using a variety of techniques to build upon previous studies of these particular samples in order to fully characterise the nature of the 2 common pyroxenes found in Martian Shergottites; pigeonite and augite [5], [6]. Previous studies have shown that the Shergottite meteorites are dominated by pyroxene (pigeonite and augite in varying quantities) [4], [5], commonly but not always olivine, plagioclase or maskelynite/glass and also hydrous minerals, which separate the Martian meteorites from other achondrites [7]. Our microprobe study of meteorites Zagami, EETA79001, SAU005 and DAG476 in thin-section at the Natural History Museum, London shows a chemical variability within both the pigeonite and augite composition across individual grains in all thin sections; variation within either Mg or Ca concentration varies from core to rim within the grains. This variation can also be seen in modal mineralogy maps using SEM-derived element maps and the Photoshop® technique previously described [4], and in new micro-spectroscopy data, particularly within the Zagami meteorite. New mineral spectra have been gathered from the Shergottite thin-sections by

  15. Water in Pyroxene and Olivine from Martian Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peslier, A. H.

    2012-01-01

    Water in the interior of terrestrial planets can be dissolved in fluids or melts and hydrous phases, but can also be locked as protons attached to structural oxygen in lattice defects in nominally anhydrous minerals (NAM) like olivine, pyroxene, or feldspar [1-3]. Although these minerals contain only tens to hundreds of ppm H2O, this water can amount to at least one ocean in mass when added at planetary scales because of the modal dominance of NAM in the mantle and crust [4]. Moreover these trace amounts of water can have drastic effects on melting temperature, rheology, electrical and heat conductivity, and seismic wave attenuation [5]. There is presently a debate on how much water is present in the martian mantle. Secondary ionization mass spectrometry (SIMS) studies of NAM [6], amphiboles and glass in melt inclusions [7-10], and apatites [11, 12] from Martian meteorites report finding as much water as in the same phases from Earth's igneous rocks. Most martian hydrous minerals, however, generally have the relevant sites filled with Cl and F instead of H [13, 14], and experiments using Cl [15] in parent melts can reproduce Martian basalt compositions as well as those with water [16]. We are in the process of analyzing Martian meteorite minerals by Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR) in order to constrain the role of water in this planet s formation and magmatic evolution

  16. Evidence for methane in Martian meteorites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blamey, Nigel J F; Parnell, John; McMahon, Sean; Mark, Darren F; Tomkinson, Tim; Lee, Martin; Shivak, Jared; Izawa, Matthew R M; Banerjee, Neil R; Flemming, Roberta L

    2015-06-16

    The putative occurrence of methane in the Martian atmosphere has had a major influence on the exploration of Mars, especially by the implication of active biology. The occurrence has not been borne out by measurements of atmosphere by the MSL rover Curiosity but, as on Earth, methane on Mars is most likely in the subsurface of the crust. Serpentinization of olivine-bearing rocks, to yield hydrogen that may further react with carbon-bearing species, has been widely invoked as a source of methane on Mars, but this possibility has not hitherto been tested. Here we show that some Martian meteorites, representing basic igneous rocks, liberate a methane-rich volatile component on crushing. The occurrence of methane in Martian rock samples adds strong weight to models whereby any life on Mars is/was likely to be resident in a subsurface habitat, where methane could be a source of energy and carbon for microbial activity.

  17. Review of the Sayh al Uhaymir (SaU 005, Plus Pairings, Martian Meteorite from Al Wusta, Oman

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arshad Ali

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Al Wusta is a desert area in the Sultanate of Oman which is famous due to the discovery of a number of Martian and Lunar meteorites since the start of the present millennium. According to the Meteoritical Bulletin database, 137 approved Martian meteorites have been found worldwide, including 17 from Oman (4 from Zufar, 13 from Al Wusta region. Interestingly 11 finds in the last 15 years have been of Sayh al Uhaymir (SaU 005 and its pairings. These finds (estimated mass = 11.2 kg are linked to 10 search expeditions carried out between November 26, 1999 and March 2, 2014 by the Swiss group from the University of Bern and several anonymous meteorite hunters. The bulk of these meteorites (~97% is in the possession of anonymous collectors, negatively affecting Oman’s natural heritage and denying further research opportunities, given their associated scientific value. SaU 005 and its pairings belong to the shergottite group of the Shergotty-Nakhla-Chassigny (SNC meteorites, originating from various depths within the Martian mantle. We discuss the recently published oxygen isotope data of bulk and mineral fractions of SaU 008 recovered during the very first expedition in 1999 in the context of other shergottites found in Oman. The bulk oxygen isotope data of SaU 008 and Dhofar 019, another Martian meteorite from Oman, show a narrow range in δ18O values. Their Δ17O values are remarkably close to identical and fall linearly on a Martian fractionation line above the terrestrial fractionation line (TFL by + 0.32‰, suggesting that Mars’ mantle is homogeneous in oxygen isotopes. Petrographic and mineralogical data of SaU 005 and other pairings published in the Meteoritical Bulletin are compiled, and it is noted that all the meteorites are identical and are likely paired. The story behind these rare extra-terrestrial specimens demands a local meteorite museum and preliminary testing laboratory at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU to protect this treasure

  18. Micro-Raman spectroscopy of plagioclase and maskelynite in Martian meteorites: Evidence of progressive shock metamorphism

    OpenAIRE

    Fritz,Jorg; Greshake,Ansgar; Stoffler,Dieter

    2005-01-01

    We present the first systematic Micro-Raman spectroscopic investigation of plagioclase of different degree of shock metamorphism in Martian meteorites. The equilibrium shock pressure of all plagioclase phases of seventeen unpaired Martian meteorites was determined by measuring the shock-induced reduction of the refractive index. Systematic variations in the recorded Raman spectra of the plagioclase phases correlate with increasing shock pressure. In general, the shock induced deformation of t...

  19. Alteration of Sedimentary Clasts in Martian Meteorite Northwest Africa 7034

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, F. M.; Tartese, R.; Santos, A. R.; Domokos, G.; Muttik, N.; Szabo, T.; Vazquez, J.; Boyce, J. W.; Keller, L. P.; Jerolmack, D. J.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The martian meteorite Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034 and pairings represent the first brecciated hand sample available for study from the martian surface [1]. Detailed investigations of NWA 7034 have revealed substantial lithologic diversity among the clasts [2-3], making NWA 7034 a polymict breccia. NWA 7034 consists of igneous clasts, impact-melt clasts, and "sedimentary" clasts represented by prior generations of brecciated material. In the present study we conduct a detailed textural and geochemical analysis of the sedimentary clasts.

  20. Magnesium isotope systematics in Martian meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magna, Tomáš; Hu, Yan; Teng, Fang-Zhen; Mezger, Klaus

    2017-09-01

    Magnesium isotope compositions are reported for a suite of Martian meteorites that span the range of petrological and geochemical types recognized to date for Mars, including crustal breccia Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034. The δ26Mg values (per mil units relative to DSM-3 reference material) range from -0.32 to -0.11‰; basaltic shergottites and nakhlites lie to the heavier end of the Mg isotope range whereas olivine-phyric, olivine-orthopyroxene-phyric and lherzolitic shergottites, and chassignites have slightly lighter Mg isotope compositions, attesting to modest correlation of Mg isotopes and petrology of the samples. Slightly heavier Mg isotope compositions found for surface-related materials (NWA 7034, black glass fraction of the Tissint shergottite fall; δ26Mg > -0.17‰) indicate measurable Mg isotope difference between the Martian mantle and crust but the true extent of Mg isotope fractionation for Martian surface materials remains unconstrained. The range of δ26Mg values from -0.19 to -0.11‰ in nakhlites is most likely due to accumulation of clinopyroxene during petrogenesis rather than garnet fractionation in the source or assimilation of surface material modified at low temperatures. The rather restricted range in Mg isotope compositions between spatially and temporally distinct mantle-derived samples supports the idea of inefficient/absent major tectonic cycles on Mars, which would include plate tectonics and large-scale recycling of isotopically fractionated surface materials back into the Martian mantle. The cumulative δ26Mg value of Martian samples, which are not influenced by late-stage alteration processes and/or crust-mantle interactions, is - 0.271 ± 0.040 ‰ (2SD) and is considered to reflect δ26Mg value of the Bulk Silicate Mars. This value is robust taking into account the range of lithologies involved in this estimate. It also attests to the lack of the Mg isotope variability reported for the inner Solar System bodies at current

  1. The provenance, formation, and implications of reduced carbon phases in Martian meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, Andrew; McCubbin, Francis M.; Fries, Marc D.

    2016-11-01

    This review is intended to summarize the current observations of reduced carbon in Martian meteorites, differentiating between terrestrial contamination and carbon that is indigenous to Mars. Indeed, the identification of Martian organic matter is among the highest priority targets for robotic spacecraft missions in the next decade, including the Mars Science Laboratory and Mars 2020. Organic carbon compounds are essential building blocks of terrestrial life, so the occurrence and origin (biotic or abiotic) of organic compounds on Mars is of great significance; however, not all forms of reduced carbon are conducive to biological systems. This paper discusses the significance of reduced organic carbon (including methane) in Martian geological and astrobiological systems. Specifically, it summarizes current thinking on the nature, sources, and sinks of Martian organic carbon, a key component to Martian habitability. Based on this compilation, reduced organic carbon on Mars, including detections of methane in the Martian atmosphere, is best described through a combination of abiotic organic synthesis on Mars and infall of extraterrestrial carbonaceous material. Although conclusive signs of Martian life have yet to be revealed, we have developed a strategy for life detection on Mars that can be utilized in future life-detection studies.

  2. Olivine in Martian Meteorite Allan Hills 84001: Evidence for a High-Temperature Origin and Implications for Signs of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shearer, C. K.; Leshin, L. A.; Adcock, C. T.

    1999-01-01

    Olivine from Martian meteorite Allan Hills (ALH) 84001 occurs as clusters within orthopyroxene adjacent to fractures containing disrupted carbonate globules and feldspathic shock glass. The inclusions are irregular in shape and range in size from approx. 40 microns to submicrometer. Some of the inclusions are elongate and boudinage-like. The olivine grains are in sharp contact with the enclosing orthopyroxene and often contain small inclusions of chromite The olivine exhibits a very limited range of composition from Fo(sub 65) to Fo(sub 66) (n = 25). The delta(sup 18)O values of the olivine and orthopyroxene analyzed by ion microprobe range from +4.3 to +5.3% and are indistinguishable from each other within analytical uncertainty. The mineral chemistries, O-isotopic data, and textural relationships indicate that the olivine inclusions were produced at a temperature greater than 800 C. It is unlikely that the olivines formed during the same event that gave rise to the carbonates in ALH 84001, which have more elevated and variable delta(sup 18)O values, and were probably formed from fluids that were not in isotopic equilibrium with the orthopyroxene or olivine The reactions most likely instrumental in the formation of olivine could be either the dehydration of hydrous silicates that formed during carbonate precipitation or the reduction of orthopyroxene and spinel If the olivine was formed by either reaction during a postcarbonate beating event, the implications are profound with regards to the interpretations of McKay et al. Due to the low diffusion rates in carbonates, this rapid, high-temperature event would have resulted in the preservation of the fine-scale carbonate zoning' while partially devolatilizing select carbonate compositions on a submicrometer scale. This may have resulted in the formation of the minute magnetite grains that McKay et al attributed to biogenic activity.

  3. Constraining the Source Craters of the Martian Meteorites: Implications for Prioritiziation of Returned Samples from Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herd, C. D. K.; Tornabene, L. L.; Bowling, T. J.; Walton, E. L.; Sharp, T. G.; Melosh, H. J.; Hamilton, J. S.; Viviano, C. E.; Ehlmann, B. L.

    2018-04-01

    We have made advances in constraining the potential source craters of the martian meteorites to a relatively small number. Our results have implications for Mars chronology and the prioritization of samples for Mars Sample Return.

  4. LEW 88180, LEW 87119, and ALH 85119: New EH6, EL7, and EL4 Enstatite Chondrites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Y.; Benoit, P. H.; Sears, D. W. G.

    1993-07-01

    The EH and EL chondrites formed in a uniquely reducing environment, containing low-Fe pyroxene, abundant metal, and a number of unusual sulphides and other minerals [1]. An important aspect of their history is that while the EL chondrites consist predominantly of metamorphosed meteorites, the EH consist primarily of little-metamorphosed meteorites (e.g., [2]), and yet EL chondrites have lower equilibrium temperatures than EH chondrite [3,4]. To help understand this observation and its implication for the history of the classes, we have been searching for new enstatite chondrites, looking especially for meteorites of previously unknown chemical-petrologic class. Using our normal INAA methods [5] and sample splits of 100-200 mg, the bulk composition of nine Antarctic enstatite chondrites and one fall were determined. The data were used to assign the meteorites to chemical classes, the Ni/Ir vs. Al/V plot (Fig. 1) being especially useful since it uses the refractory element difference between EH and EL chondrites and is insensitive to metal-silicate heterogeneity. The well-analyzed Qingzhen was included to check our method. ALH84170, ALH84206, and EET87746, which Mason described as E3, E4, and E4 were all found to be EH chondrites [6]. Our data for the three paired EL3 chondrites were discussed earlier (MAC88136, 88180, and 88184) [7,8]. LEW88180, LEW87119, and ALH85119, which Mason described as type E6, E6, and E4 respectively [6], are EH, EL, and EL; thus LEW88180 and ALH85119 appear to be the first EH6 and EL4 chondrites. The compositions of kamacite, phosphide, and niningerite-alabandite (Fig. 2) for ALH84170, ALH84206, EET87746, LEW88180, and ALH85119 are consistent with Mason's petrologic type assignments [6]. The mineral composition of LEW88180 (2.7% Si and 9.4% Ni in the kamacite, 7.8% Ni in the phosphide, and 60% FeS in the niningerite) confirms our classification of this meteorite as EH6. ALH85119 contains kamacite with 0.5% Si and 7% Ni, phosphide with 46

  5. Cryogenic Calcite: A Morphologic and Isotopic Analog to the ALH84001 Carbonates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niles, P. B.; Leshin, L. A.; Socki, R. A.; Guan, Y.; Ming, D. W.; Gibson, E. K.

    2004-01-01

    Martian meteorite ALH84001 carbonates preserve large and variable microscale isotopic compositions, which in some way reflect their formation environment. These measurements show large variations (>20%) in the carbon and oxygen isotopic compositions of the carbonates on a 10-20 micron scale that are correlated with chemical composition. However, the utilization of these data sets for interpreting the formation conditions of the carbonates is complex due to lack of suitable terrestrial analogs and the difficulty of modeling under non-equilibrium conditions. Thus, the mechanisms and processes are largely unknown that create and preserve large microscale isotopic variations in carbonate minerals. Experimental tests of the possible environments and mechanisms that lead to large microscale isotopic variations can help address these concerns. One possible mechanism for creating large carbon isotopic variations in carbonates involves the freezing of water. Carbonates precipitate during extensive CO2 degassing that occurs during the freezing process as the fluid s decreasing volume drives CO2 out. This rapid CO2 degassing results in a kinetic isotopic fractionation where the CO2 gas has a much lighter isotopic composition causing an enrichment of 13C in the remaining dissolved bicarbonate. This study seeks to determine the suitability of cryogenically formed carbonates as analogs to ALH84001 carbonates. Specifically, our objective is to determine how accurately models using equilibrium fractionation factors approximate the isotopic compositions of cryogenically precipitated carbonates. This includes determining the accuracy of applying equilibrium fractionation factors during a kinetic process, and determining how isotopic variations in the fluid are preserved in microscale variations in the precipitated carbonates.

  6. A Search for Amino Acids and Nucleobases in the Martian Meteorite Roberts Massif 04262 Using Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callahan, Michael P.; Burton, Aaron S.; Elsila, Jamie E.; Baker, Eleni M.; Smith, Karen E.; Glavin, Daniel P.; Dworkin, Jason P.

    2013-01-01

    The investigation into whether Mars contains signatures of past or present life is of great interest to science and society. Amino acids and nucleobases are compounds that are essential for all known life on Earth and are excellent target molecules in the search for potential Martian biomarkers or prebiotic chemistry. Martian meteorites represent the only samples from Mars that can be studied directly in the laboratory on Earth. Here, we analyzed the amino acid and nucleobase content of the shergottite Roberts Massif (RBT) 04262 using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. We did not detect any nucleobases above our detection limit in formic acid extracts; however, we did measure a suite of protein and nonprotein amino acids in hot-water extracts with high relative abundances of beta-alanine and gamma-amino-eta-butyric acid. The presence of only low (to absent) levels of several proteinogenic amino acids and a lack of nucleobases suggest that this meteorite fragment is fairly uncontaminated with respect to these common biological compounds. The distribution of straight-chained amine-terminal eta-omega-amino acids in RBT 04262 resembled those previously measured in thermally altered carbonaceous meteorites. A carbon isotope ratio of -24(0/00) +/- 6(0/00) for beta-alanine in RBT 04262 is in the range of reduced organic carbon previously measured in Martian meteorites (Steele et al. 2012). The presence of eta-omega-amino acids may be due to a high temperature Fischer-Tropschtype synthesis during igneous processing on Mars or impact ejection of the meteorites from Mars, but more experimental data are needed to support these hypotheses.

  7. Isotope ratios of H, C, and O in CO2 and H2O of the martian atmosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Chris R; Mahaffy, Paul R; Flesch, Gregory J; Niles, Paul B; Jones, John H; Leshin, Laurie A; Atreya, Sushil K; Stern, Jennifer C; Christensen, Lance E; Owen, Tobias; Franz, Heather; Pepin, Robert O; Steele, Andrew; Achilles, Cherie; Agard, Christophe; Alves Verdasca, José Alexandre; Anderson, Robert; Anderson, Ryan; Archer, Doug; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Arvidson, Ray; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Aubrey, Andrew; Baker, Burt; Baker, Michael; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Baratoux, David; Baroukh, Julien; Barraclough, Bruce; Bean, Keri; Beegle, Luther; Behar, Alberto; Bell, James; Bender, Steve; Benna, Mehdi; Bentz, Jennifer; Berger, Gilles; Berger, Jeff; Berman, Daniel; Bish, David; Blake, David F; Blanco Avalos, Juan J; Blaney, Diana; Blank, Jen; Blau, Hannah; Bleacher, Lora; Boehm, Eckart; Botta, Oliver; Böttcher, Stephan; Boucher, Thomas; Bower, Hannah; Boyd, Nick; Boynton, Bill; Breves, Elly; Bridges, John; Bridges, Nathan; Brinckerhoff, William; Brinza, David; Bristow, Thomas; Brunet, Claude; Brunner, Anna; Brunner, Will; Buch, Arnaud; Bullock, Mark; Burmeister, Sönke; Cabane, Michel; Calef, Fred; Cameron, James; Campbell, John; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Caride Rodríguez, Javier; Carmosino, Marco; Carrasco Blázquez, Isaías; Charpentier, Antoine; Chipera, Steve; Choi, David; Clark, Benton; Clegg, Sam; Cleghorn, Timothy; Cloutis, Ed; Cody, George; Coll, Patrice; Conrad, Pamela; Coscia, David; Cousin, Agnès; Cremers, David; Crisp, Joy; Cros, Alain; Cucinotta, Frank; d'Uston, Claude; Davis, Scott; Day, Mackenzie; de la Torre Juarez, Manuel; DeFlores, Lauren; DeLapp, Dorothea; DeMarines, Julia; DesMarais, David; Dietrich, William; Dingler, Robert; Donny, Christophe; Downs, Bob; Drake, Darrell; Dromart, Gilles; Dupont, Audrey; Duston, Brian; Dworkin, Jason; Dyar, M Darby; Edgar, Lauren; Edgett, Kenneth; Edwards, Christopher; Edwards, Laurence; Ehlmann, Bethany; Ehresmann, Bent; Eigenbrode, Jen; Elliott, Beverley; Elliott, Harvey; Ewing, Ryan; Fabre, Cécile; Fairén, Alberto; Farley, Ken; Farmer, Jack; Fassett, Caleb; Favot, Laurent; Fay, Donald; Fedosov, Fedor; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Fisk, Marty; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Floyd, Melissa; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Forni, Olivier; Fraeman, Abby; Francis, Raymond; François, Pascaline; Freissinet, Caroline; French, Katherine Louise; Frydenvang, Jens; Gaboriaud, Alain; Gailhanou, Marc; Garvin, James; Gasnault, Olivier; Geffroy, Claude; Gellert, Ralf; Genzer, Maria; Glavin, Daniel; Godber, Austin; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Golovin, Dmitry; Gómez Gómez, Felipe; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Gondet, Brigitte; Gordon, Suzanne; Gorevan, Stephen; Grant, John; Griffes, Jennifer; Grinspoon, David; Grotzinger, John; Guillemot, Philippe; Guo, Jingnan; Gupta, Sanjeev; Guzewich, Scott; Haberle, Robert; Halleaux, Douglas; Hallet, Bernard; Hamilton, Vicky; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Harpold, Daniel; Harri, Ari-Matti; Harshman, Karl; Hassler, Donald; Haukka, Harri; Hayes, Alex; Herkenhoff, Ken; Herrera, Paul; Hettrich, Sebastian; Heydari, Ezat; Hipkin, Victoria; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Hudgins, Judy; Huntress, Wesley; Hurowitz, Joel; Hviid, Stubbe; Iagnemma, Karl; Indyk, Steve; Israël, Guy; Jackson, Ryan; Jacob, Samantha; Jakosky, Bruce; Jensen, Elsa; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Johnson, Jeffrey; Johnson, Micah; Johnstone, Steve; Jones, Andrea; Joseph, Jonathan; Jun, Insoo; Kah, Linda; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kahre, Melinda; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kasprzak, Wayne; Kauhanen, Janne; Keely, Leslie; Kemppinen, Osku; Keymeulen, Didier; Kim, Myung-Hee; Kinch, Kjartan; King, Penny; Kirkland, Laurel; Kocurek, Gary; Koefoed, Asmus; Köhler, Jan; Kortmann, Onno; Kozyrev, Alexander; Krezoski, Jill; Krysak, Daniel; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Lacour, Jean Luc; Lafaille, Vivian; Langevin, Yves; Lanza, Nina; Lasue, Jeremie; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Lee, Ella Mae; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Lees, David; Lefavor, Matthew; Lemmon, Mark; Lepinette Malvitte, Alain; Léveillé, Richard; Lewin-Carpintier, Éric; Lewis, Kevin; Li, Shuai; Lipkaman, Leslie; Little, Cynthia; Litvak, Maxim; Lorigny, Eric; Lugmair, Guenter; Lundberg, Angela; Lyness, Eric; Madsen, Morten; Maki, Justin; Malakhov, Alexey; Malespin, Charles; Malin, Michael; Mangold, Nicolas; Manhes, Gérard; Manning, Heidi; Marchand, Geneviève; Marín Jiménez, Mercedes; Martín García, César; Martin, Dave; Martin, Mildred; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F Javier; Mauchien, Patrick; Maurice, Sylvestre; McAdam, Amy; McCartney, Elaina; McConnochie, Timothy; McCullough, Emily; McEwan, Ian; McKay, Christopher; McLennan, Scott; McNair, Sean; Melikechi, Noureddine; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Meyer, Michael; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Miller, Hayden; Miller, Kristen; Milliken, Ralph; Ming, Douglas; Minitti, Michelle; Mischna, Michael; Mitrofanov, Igor; Moersch, Jeff; Mokrousov, Maxim; Molina Jurado, Antonio; Moores, John; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Morookian, John Michael; Morris, Richard; Morrison, Shaunna; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Muller, Jan-Peter; Muñoz Caro, Guillermo; Nachon, Marion; Navarro López, Sara; Navarro-González, Rafael; Nealson, Kenneth; Nefian, Ara; Nelson, Tony; Newcombe, Megan; Newman, Claire; Newsom, Horton; Nikiforov, Sergey; Nixon, Brian; Noe Dobrea, Eldar; Nolan, Thomas; Oehler, Dorothy; Ollila, Ann; Olson, Timothy; de Pablo Hernández, Miguel Ángel; Paillet, Alexis; Pallier, Etienne; Palucis, Marisa; Parker, Timothy; Parot, Yann; Patel, Kiran; Paton, Mark; Paulsen, Gale; Pavlov, Alex; Pavri, Betina; Peinado-González, Verónica; Peret, Laurent; Perez, Rene; Perrett, Glynis; Peterson, Joe; Pilorget, Cedric; Pinet, Patrick; Pla-García, Jorge; Plante, Ianik; Poitrasson, Franck; Polkko, Jouni; Popa, Radu; Posiolova, Liliya; Posner, Arik; Pradler, Irina; Prats, Benito; Prokhorov, Vasily; Purdy, Sharon Wilson; Raaen, Eric; Radziemski, Leon; Rafkin, Scot; Ramos, Miguel; Rampe, Elizabeth; Raulin, François; Ravine, Michael; Reitz, Günther; Rennó, Nilton; Rice, Melissa; Richardson, Mark; Robert, François; Robertson, Kevin; Rodriguez Manfredi, José Antonio; Romeral-Planelló, Julio J; Rowland, Scott; Rubin, David; Saccoccio, Muriel; Salamon, Andrew; Sandoval, Jennifer; Sanin, Anton; Sans Fuentes, Sara Alejandra; Saper, Lee; Sarrazin, Philippe; Sautter, Violaine; Savijärvi, Hannu; Schieber, Juergen; Schmidt, Mariek; Schmidt, Walter; Scholes, Daniel; Schoppers, Marcel; Schröder, Susanne; Schwenzer, Susanne; Sebastian Martinez, Eduardo; Sengstacken, Aaron; Shterts, Ruslan; Siebach, Kirsten; Siili, Tero; Simmonds, Jeff; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Slavney, Susie; Sletten, Ronald; Smith, Michael; Sobrón Sánchez, Pablo; Spanovich, Nicole; Spray, John; Squyres, Steven; Stack, Katie; Stalport, Fabien; Stein, Thomas; Stewart, Noel; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Stoiber, Kevin; Stolper, Ed; Sucharski, Bob; Sullivan, Rob; Summons, Roger; Sumner, Dawn; Sun, Vivian; Supulver, Kimberley; Sutter, Brad; Szopa, Cyril; Tan, Florence; Tate, Christopher; Teinturier, Samuel; ten Kate, Inge; Thomas, Peter; Thompson, Lucy; Tokar, Robert; Toplis, Mike; Torres Redondo, Josefina; Trainer, Melissa; Treiman, Allan; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; VanBommel, Scott; Vaniman, David; Varenikov, Alexey; Vasavada, Ashwin; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Vicenzi, Edward; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Voytek, Mary; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Ward, Jennifer; Weigle, Eddie; Wellington, Danika; Westall, Frances; Wiens, Roger Craig; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Williams, Amy; Williams, Joshua; Williams, Rebecca; Williams, Richard B; Wilson, Mike; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Wolff, Mike; Wong, Mike; Wray, James; Wu, Megan; Yana, Charles; Yen, Albert; Yingst, Aileen; Zeitlin, Cary; Zimdar, Robert; Zorzano Mier, María-Paz

    2013-07-19

    Stable isotope ratios of H, C, and O are powerful indicators of a wide variety of planetary geophysical processes, and for Mars they reveal the record of loss of its atmosphere and subsequent interactions with its surface such as carbonate formation. We report in situ measurements of the isotopic ratios of D/H and (18)O/(16)O in water and (13)C/(12)C, (18)O/(16)O, (17)O/(16)O, and (13)C(18)O/(12)C(16)O in carbon dioxide, made in the martian atmosphere at Gale Crater from the Curiosity rover using the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM)'s tunable laser spectrometer (TLS). Comparison between our measurements in the modern atmosphere and those of martian meteorites such as ALH 84001 implies that the martian reservoirs of CO2 and H2O were largely established ~4 billion years ago, but that atmospheric loss or surface interaction may be still ongoing.

  8. Evidence from Hydrogen Isotopes in Meteorites for a Subsurface Hydrogen Reservoir on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usui, Tomohiro; Alexander, Conel M. O'D.; Wang, Jianhua; Simon, Justin I.; Jones, John H.

    2015-01-01

    The surface geology and geomorphology of Mars indicates that it was once warm enough to maintain a large body of liquid water on its surface, though such a warm environment might have been transient. The transition to the present cold and dry Mars is closely linked to the history of surface water, yet the evolution of surficial water is poorly constrained. We have conducted in situ hydrogen isotope (D/H) analyses of quenched and impact glasses in three Martian meteorites (Yamato 980459, EETA79001, LAR 06319) by Cameca ims-6f at Digital Terrain Models (DTM) following the methods of [1]. The hydrogen isotope analyses provide evidence for the existence of a distinct but ubiquitous water/ice reservoir (D/H = 2-3 times Earth's ocean water: Standard Mean Ocean Water (SMOW)) that lasted from at least the time when the meteorites crystallized (173-472 Ma) to the time they were ejected by impacts (0.7-3.3 Ma), but possibly much longer [2]. The origin of this reservoir appears to predate the current Martian atmospheric water (D/H equals approximately 5-6 times SMOW) and is unlikely to be a simple mixture of atmospheric and primordial water retained in the Martian mantle (D/H is approximately equal to SMOW [1]). Given the fact that this intermediate-D/H reservoir (2-3 times SMOW) is observed in a diverse range of Martian materials with different ages (e.g., SNC (Shergottites, Nakhlites, Chassignites) meteorites, including shergottites such as ALH 84001; and Curiosity surface data [3]), we conclude that this intermediate-D/H reservoir is likely a global surficial feature that has remained relatively intact over geologic time. We propose that this reservoir represents either hydrated crust and/or ground ice interbedded within sediments. Our results corroborate the hypothesis that a buried cryosphere accounts for a large part of the initial water budget of Mars.

  9. Bacteria in the Tatahouine meteorite: nanometric-scale life in rocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillet, P h; Barrat, J A; Heulin, T h; Achouak, W; Lesourd, M; Guyot, F; Benzerara, K

    2000-02-15

    We present a study of the textural signature of terrestrial weathering and related biological activity in the Tatahouine meteorite. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy images obtained on the weathered samples of the Tatahouine meteorite and surrounding soil show two types of bacteria-like forms lying on mineral surfaces: (1) rod-shaped forms (RSF) about 70-80 nm wide and ranging from 100 nm to 600 nm in length; (2) ovoid forms (OVF) with diameters between 70 and 300 nm. They look like single cells surrounded by a cell wall. Only Na, K, C, O and N with traces of P and S are observed in the bulk of these objects. The chemical analyses and electron diffraction patterns confirm that the RSF and OVF cannot be magnetite or other iron oxides, iron hydroxides, silicates or carbonates. The sizes of the RSF and OVF are below those commonly observed for bacteria but are very similar to some bacteria-like forms described in the Martian meteorite ALH84001. All the previous observations strongly suggest that they are bacteria or their remnants. This conclusion is further supported by microbiological experiments in which pleomorphic bacteria with morphology similar to the OVF and RSF objects are obtained from biological culture of the soil surrounding the meteorite pieces. The present results show that bacteriomorphs of diameter less than 100 nm may in fact represent real bacteria or their remnants.

  10. Yamato 980459: Crystallization of Martian Magnesian Magma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koizumi, E.; Mikouchi, T.; McKay, G.; Monkawa, A.; Chokai, J.; Miyamoto, M.

    2004-01-01

    Recently, several basaltic shergottites have been found that include magnesian olivines as a major minerals. These have been called olivinephyric shergottites. Yamato 980459, which is a new martian meteorite recovered from the Antarctica by the Japanese Antarctic expedition, is one of them. This meteorite is different from other olivine-phyric shergottites in several key features and will give us important clues to understand crystallization of martian meteorites and the evolution of Martian magma.

  11. X-ray microprobe measurements of the chemical compositions of ALH84001 carbonate globules

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flynn, G.J.; Sutton, S.R.; Keller, L.P.

    2004-01-01

    We measured minor element contents of carbonate from ALH84001 and report trends in tbe Ca, V, Mn and Sr in carbonate and the associated magnetite bands. McKay et al. suggested that carbonate globules in the ALH84001 meteorite from Mars contained evidence consistent with the development of bacterial life early in the history of Mars. This result provoked an extensive study of the ALH84001 meteorite. More recently Thomas-Keprta et al. have published a study showing that the magnetite associated with carbonate rims are of the size and shape produced by terrestrial bacteria. This paper has revived interest in ALH84001. The typical ALH84001 carbonate globule consists of four regions: a core of Fe-rich carbonate, a thin magnetite-rich band, a rim of Mn-rich carbonate, and another thin magnetite-rich band. Trace element analysis of each of these phases may allow us to address several important questions about these carbonates: (1) The origin of the magnetite-rich bands in the ALH84001 carbonate globules. If the magnetites are derived from the underlying carbonate through thermal decomposition (as proposed by Golden et al.), then we expect to see 'inherited' trace elements in these magnetite bands. (2) The origin of the rim carbonate, by determining whether the carbonate in the core has the same trace elements as the rim carbonates. (3) The age of the rim carbonate. Borg et al. dated the formation of the rim carbonate using the Rb/Sr chronometer. Borg et al. performed their measurements on an aliquot of what they called a high-Rb, low-Sr carbonate separate from the rim. We previously measured the trace element contents of chips from core and rim carbonates from an ALH84001 carbonate globule using an X-Ray Microprobe on Beamline X26A at the National Synchrotron Light Source. These measurements showed the rim carbonate had a very low Rb content, with Sr>>Rb, inconsistent with the ∼5 ppm Rb reported by Borg et al. in the sample they dated by the Rb/Sr chronometer. The large

  12. Petrogenesis of Igneous-Textured Clasts in Martian Meteorite Northwest Africa 7034

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, A. R.; Agee, C. B.; Humayun, M.; McCubbin, F. M.; Shearer, C. K.

    2016-01-01

    The martian meteorite Northwest Africa 7034 (and pairings) is a breccia that samples a variety of materials from the martian crust. Several previous studies have identified multiple types of igneous-textured clasts within the breccia [1-3], and these clasts have the potential to provide insight into the igneous evolution of Mars. One challenge presented by studying these small rock fragments is the lack of field context for this breccia (i.e., where on Mars it formed), so we do not know how many sources these small rock fragments are derived from or the exact formation his-tory of these sources (i.e., are the sources mantle de-rived melt or melts contaminated by a meteorite impactor on Mars). Our goal in this study is to examine specific igneous-textured clast groups to determine if they are petrogenetically related (i.e., from the same igneous source) and determine more information about their formation history, then use them to derive new insights about the igneous history of Mars. We will focus on the basalt clasts, FTP clasts (named due to their high concentration of iron, titanium, and phosphorous), and mineral fragments described by [1] (Fig. 1). We will examine these materials for evidence of impactor contamination (as proposed for some materials by [2]) or mantle melt derivation. We will also test the petrogenetic models proposed in [1], which are igneous processes that could have occurred regardless of where the melt parental to the clasts was formed. These models include 1) derivation of the FTP clasts from a basalt clast melt through silicate liquid immiscibility (SLI), 2) derivation of the FTP clasts from a basalt clast melt through fractional crystallization, and 3) a lack of petrogenetic relationship between these clast groups. The relationship between the clast groups and the mineral fragments will also be explored.

  13. Stable Chlorine Isotopes and Elemental Chlorine by Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry and Ion Chromatography; Martian Meteorites, Carbonaceous Chondrites and Standard Rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, N.; Nyquist, L. E.; Reese, Y.; Shih, C.-Y.; Fujitani, T.; Okano, O.

    2011-01-01

    Recently significantly large mass fractionation of stable chlorine isotopes has been reported for terrestrial and lunar samples [1,2]. In addition, in view of possible early solar system processes [3] and also potential perchlorate-related fluid/microbial activities on the Martian surface [4,5], a large chlorine isotopic fractionation might be expected for some types of planetary materials. Due to analytical difficulties of isotopic and elemental analyses, however, current chlorine analyses for planetary materials are controversial among different laboratories, particularly between IRMS (gas source mass spectrometry) and TIMS (Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry) groups [i.e. 1,6,7] for isotopic analyses, as well as between those doing pyrohydrolysis and other groups [i.e. 6,8]. Additional careful investigations of Cl isotope and elemental abundances are required to confirm real chlorine isotope and elemental variations for planetary materials. We have developed a TIMS technique combined with HF-leaching/ion chromatography at NASA JSC that is applicable to analysis of small amounts of meteoritic and planetary materials. We present here results for several standard rocks and meteorites, including Martian meteorites.

  14. Combining meteorites and missions to explore Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy, Timothy J; Corrigan, Catherine M; Herd, Christopher D K

    2011-11-29

    Laboratory studies of meteorites and robotic exploration of Mars reveal scant atmosphere, no evidence of plate tectonics, past evidence for abundant water, and a protracted igneous evolution. Despite indirect hints, direct evidence of a martian origin came with the discovery of trapped atmospheric gases in one meteorite. Since then, the study of martian meteorites and findings from missions have been linked. Although the meteorite source locations are unknown, impact ejection modeling and spectral mapping of Mars suggest derivation from small craters in terrains of Amazonian to Hesperian age. Whereas most martian meteorites are young ( 4.5 Ga and formation of enriched and depleted reservoirs. However, the history inferred from martian meteorites conflicts with results from recent Mars missions, calling into doubt whether the igneous histor y inferred from the meteorites is applicable to Mars as a whole. Allan Hills 84001 dates to 4.09 Ga and contains fluid-deposited carbonates. Accompanying debate about the mechanism and temperature of origin of the carbonates came several features suggestive of past microbial life in the carbonates. Although highly disputed, the suggestion spurred interest in habitable extreme environments on Earth and throughout the Solar System. A flotilla of subsequent spacecraft has redefined Mars from a volcanic planet to a hydrologically active planet that may have harbored life. Understanding the history and habitability of Mars depends on understanding the coupling of the atmosphere, surface, and subsurface. Sample return that brings back direct evidence from these diverse reservoirs is essential.

  15. Terrestrial microbes in martian and chondritic meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Airieau, S.; Picenco, Y.; Andersen, G.

    2007-08-01

    Introduction: The best extraterrestrial analogs for microbiology are meteorites. The chemistry and mineralogy of Asteroid Belt and martian (SNC) meteorites are used as tracers of processes that took place in the early solar system. Meteoritic falls, in particular those of carbonaceous chondrites, are regarded as pristine samples of planetesimal evolution as these rocks are primitive and mostly unprocessed since the formation of the solar system 4.56 billion years ago. Yet, questions about terrestrial contamination and its effects on the meteoritic isotopic, chemical and mineral characteristics often arise. Meteorites are hosts to biological activity as soon as they are in contact with the terrestrial biosphere, like all rocks. A wide biodiversity was found in 21 chondrites and 8 martian stones, and was investigated with cell culture, microscopy techniques, PCR, and LAL photoluminetry. Some preliminary results are presented here. The sample suite included carbonaceous chondrites of types CR, CV, CK, CO, CI, and CM, from ANSMET and Falls. Past studies documented the alteration of meteorites by weathering and biological activity [1]-[4]. Unpublished observations during aqueous extraction for oxygen isotopic analysis [5], noted the formation of biofilms in water in a matter of days. In order to address the potential modification of meteoritic isotopic and chemical signatures, the culture of microbial contaminating species was initiated in 2005, and after a prolonged incubation, some of the species obtained from cell culture were analyzed in 2006. The results are preliminary, and a systematic catalog of microbial contaminants is developing very slowly due to lack of funding. Methods: The primary method was cell culture and PCR. Chondrites. Chondritic meteorite fragments were obtained by breaking stones of approximately one gram in sterile mortars. The core of the rocks, presumably less contaminated than the surface, was used for the present microbial study, and the

  16. Insights into the Martian Regolith from Martian Meteorite Northwest Africa 7034

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, Francis M.; Boyce, Jeremy W.; Szabo, Timea; Santos, Alison R.; Domokos, Gabor; Vazquez, Jorge; Moser, Desmond E.; Jerolmack, Douglas J.; Keller, Lindsay P.; Tartese, Romain

    2015-01-01

    Everything we know about sedimentary processes on Mars is gleaned from remote sensing observations. Here we report insights from meteorite Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034, which is a water-rich martian regolith breccia that hosts both igneous and sedimentary clasts. The sedimentary clasts in NWA 7034 are poorly-sorted clastic siltstones that we refer to as protobreccia clasts. These protobreccia clasts record aqueous alteration process that occurred prior to breccia formation. The aqueous alteration appears to have occurred at relatively low Eh, high pH conditions based on the co-precipitation of pyrite and magnetite, and the concomitant loss of SiO2 from the system. To determine the origin of the NWA 7034 breccia, we examined the textures and grain-shape characteristics of NWA 7034 clasts. The shapes of the clasts are consistent with rock fragmentation in the absence of transport. Coupled with the clast size distribution, we interpret the protolith of NWA 7034 to have been deposited by atmospheric rainout resulting from pyroclastic eruptions and/or asteroid impacts. Cross-cutting and inclusion relationships and U-Pb data from zircon, baddelleyite, and apatite indicate NWA 7034 lithification occurred at 1.4-1.5 Ga, during a short-lived hydrothermal event at 600-700 C that was texturally imprinted upon the submicron groundmass. The hydrothermal event caused Pb-loss from apatite and U-rich metamict zircons, and it caused partial transformation of pyrite to submicron mixtures of magnetite and maghemite, indicating the fluid had higher Eh than the fluid that caused pyrite-magnetite precipitation in the protobreccia clasts. NWA 7034 also hosts ancient 4.4 Ga crustal materials in the form of baddelleyites and zircons, providing up to a 2.9 Ga record of martian geologic history. This work demonstrates the incredible value of sedimentary basins as scientific targets for Mars sample return missions, but it also highlights the importance of targeting samples that have not been

  17. Search for fullerenes in stone meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oester, M. Y.; Kuechl, D.; Sipiera, P. P.; Welch, C. J.

    1994-07-01

    The possibility of identifying fullerenes in stony meteorites became apparent from a paper given by Radicati de Brozolo. In this paper it was reported that fullerenes were present in the debris resulting from a collision between a micrometeoroid and an orbiting satellite. This fact generated sufficient curiosity to initiate a search for the presence of fullerenes in various stone meteorites. In the present study seven ordinary chondrites (al-Ghanim L6 (find), Dimmitt H4 (find), Lazbuddie LL5 (find), New Concord H5 (fall), Silverton H4 (find), Springlake L6 (find), and Umbarger L3/6 (find)). Four carbonaceous chondrites (ALH 83100 C2 (find), ALH 83108 C30 (find), Allende CV3 (fall), and Murchison CM2 (fall), and one achondrite (Monticello How (find)) were analyzed for the presence of fullerenes. The analytical procedure employed was as follows: 100 mg of meteorite was ground up with a mortar and pestle; 10 mL of toluene was then added and the mixture was refluxed for 90 min; this mixture was then filtered through a short column of silica; a 50 microliter sample was then analyzed by high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) using a Buckyclutcher I column with a mobile phase consisting of equal volumes of toluene and hexane at a flow rate of 1.00 mg per minute, with detection at 330 and 600 nm. Three of the meteorites, Allende, Murchison, and al-Ghanim, gave HPLC traces containing peaks with similar retention times to the HPLC trace of an authentic fullerene C60. However, further analysis using an HPLC instrument equipped with a diode-array detector failed to confirm any of the substances detected in the three meteorites as C60. Additional analyses will be conducted to identify what the HPLC traces actually represent.

  18. SNC Meteorites, Organic Matter and a New Look at Viking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warmflash, David M.; Clemett, Simon J.; McKay, David S.

    2001-01-01

    Recently, evidence has begun to grow supporting the possibility that the Viking GC-MS would not have detected certain carboxylate salts that could have been present as metastable oxidation products of high molecular weight organic species. Additionally, despite the instrument's high sensitivity, the possibility had remained that very low levels of organic matter, below the instrument's detection limit, could have been present. In fact, a recent study indicates that the degradation products of several million microorganisms per gram of soil on Mars would not have been detected by the Viking GC-MS. Since the strength of the GC-MS findings was considered enough to dismiss the biology packet, particularly the LR results, any subsequent evidence suggesting that organic molecules may in fact be present on the Martian surface necessitates a re-evaluation of the Viking LR data. In addition to an advanced mass spectrometer to look for isotopic signatures of biogenic processes, future lander missions will include the ability to detect methane produced by methanogenic bacteria, as well as techniques based on biotechnology. Meanwhile, the identification of Mars samples already present on Earth in the form of the SNC meteorites has provided us with the ability to study samples of the Martian upper crust a decade or more in advance of any planned sample return missions. While contamination issues are of serious concern, the presence of indigenous organic matter in the form of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons has been detected in the Martian meteorites ALH84001 and Nakhla, while there is circumstantial evidence for carbonaceous material in Chassigny. The radiochronological ages of these meteorites are 4.5 Ga, 1.3 Ga, and 165 Ma respectively representing a span of time in Earth history from the earliest single-celled organisms to the present day. Given this perspective on organic material, a biological interpretation to the Viking LR results can no longer be ruled out. In the LR

  19. Pb evolution in the Martian mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellucci, J. J.; Nemchin, A. A.; Whitehouse, M. J.; Snape, J. F.; Bland, P.; Benedix, G. K.; Roszjar, J.

    2018-03-01

    The initial Pb compositions of one enriched shergottite, one intermediate shergottite, two depleted shergottites, and Nakhla have been measured by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS). These values, in addition to data from previous studies using an identical analytical method performed on three enriched shergottites, ALH 84001, and Chassigny, are used to construct a unified and internally consistent model for the differentiation history of the Martian mantle and crystallization ages for Martian meteorites. The differentiation history of the shergottites and Nakhla/Chassigny are fundamentally different, which is in agreement with short-lived radiogenic isotope systematics. The initial Pb compositions of Nakhla/Chassigny are best explained by the late addition of a Pb-enriched component with a primitive, non-radiogenic composition. In contrast, the Pb isotopic compositions of the shergottite group indicate a relatively simple evolutionary history of the Martian mantle that can be modeled based on recent results from the Sm-Nd system. The shergottites have been linked to a single mantle differentiation event at 4504 Ma. Thus, the shergottite Pb isotopic model here reflects a two-stage history 1) pre-silicate differentiation (4504 Ma) and 2) post-silicate differentiation to the age of eruption (as determined by concordant radiogenic isochron ages). The μ-values (238U/204Pb) obtained for these two different stages of Pb growth are μ1 of 1.8 and a range of μ2 from 1.4-4.7, respectively. The μ1-value of 1.8 is in broad agreement with enstatite and ordinary chondrites and that proposed for proto Earth, suggesting this is the initial μ-value for inner Solar System bodies. When plotted against other source radiogenic isotopic variables (Sri, γ187Os, ε143Nd, and ε176Hf), the second stage mantle evolution range in observed mantle μ-values display excellent linear correlations (r2 > 0.85) and represent a spectrum of Martian mantle mixing-end members (depleted

  20. Pyroxene microstructure in the Northwest Africa 856 martian meteorite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leroux, Hugues; Devouard, Bertrand; Cordier, Patrick; Guyot, François

    2004-05-01

    Transmission electron microscopy was used to examine pyroxene microstructure in the Northwest Africa (NWA) 856 martian meteorite to construct its cooling and shock histories. All pyroxenes contain strained coherent pigeonite/augite exsolution lamellae on (001). The average width and periodicity of lamellae are 80 and 400 nm, respectively, indicating a cooling rate below 0.1 °C/hr for the parent rock. Pigeonite and augite are topotactic, with strained coherent interfaces parallel to (001). The closure temperature for Ca-Fe, Mg interdiffusion, estimated from the composition at the augite pigeonite interface, is about 700 °C. Tweed texture in augite reveals that a spinodal decomposition occurred. Locally, tweed evolved toward secondary pigeonite exsolutions on (001). Due to the decreasing diffusion rate with decreasing temperature, "M-shaped" concentration profiles developed in augite lamellae. Pigeonite contains antiphase boundaries resulting from the C2/c to P21/c space group transition that occurred during cooling. The reconstructive phase transition from P21/c clinopyroxene to orthopyroxene did not occur. The deformation (shock) history of the meteorites is revealed by the presence of dislocations and mechanical twins. Dislocations are found in glide configuration, with the [001](100) glide system preferentially activated. They exhibit strong interaction with the strained augite/pigeonite interfaces and did not propagate over large distances. Twins are found to be almost all parallel to (100) and show moderate interaction with the augite/pigeonite interfaces. These twins are responsible for the plastic deformation of the pyroxene grains. Comparison with microstructure of shocked clinopyroxene (experimentally or naturally shocked) suggests that NWA 856 pyroxenes are not strongly shocked.

  1. Evidence of martian perchlorate, chlorate, and nitrate in Mars meteorite EETA79001: Implications for oxidants and organics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kounaves, Samuel P.; Carrier, Brandi L.; O'Neil, Glen D.; Stroble, Shannon T.; Claire, Mark W.

    2014-02-01

    The results from the Viking mission in the mid 1970s provided evidence that the martian surface contained oxidants responsible for destroying organic compounds. In 2008 the Phoenix Wet Chemistry Lab (WCL) found perchlorate (ClO4-) in three soil samples at concentrations from 0.5 to 0.7 wt%. The detection of chloromethane (CH3Cl) and dichloromethane (CH2Cl2) by the Viking pyrolysis gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GC-MS) may have been a result of ClO4- at that site oxidizing either terrestrial organic contaminates or, if present, indigenous organics. Recently, the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity directly measured the presence of CH3Cl, CH2Cl2 and, along with measurements of HCl and oxygen, indirectly indicate the presence of ClO4-. However, except for Phoenix, no other direct measurement of the ClO4- anion in martian soil or rock has been made. We report here ion chromatographic (IC) and isotopic analyses of a unique sawdust portion of the martian meteorite EETA79001 that show the presence by mass of 0.6 ± 0.1 ppm ClO4-, 1.4 ± 0.1 ppm ClO3-, and 16 ± 0.2 ppm NO3- at a quantity and location within the meteorite that is difficult to reconcile with terrestrial contamination. The sawdust sample consists of basaltic material with a minor salt-rich inclusion in a mass ratio of ∼300:1, thus the salts may be 300 times more concentrated within the inclusion than the whole sample. The molar ratios of NO3-:ClO4- and Cl:ClO4-, are very different for EETA79001 at ∼40:1 and 15:1, respectively, than the Antarctic soils and ice near where the meteorite was recovered at ∼10,000:1 and 5000:1, respectively. In addition, the isotope ratios for EETA79001 with δ15N = -10.48 ± 0.32‰ and δ18O = +51.61 ± 0.74‰ are significantly different from that of the nearby Miller Range blue ice with δ15N = +102.80 ± 0.14‰ and δ18O = +43.11 ± 0.64‰. This difference is notable, because if the meteorite had been

  2. Evidence From Hydrogen Isotopes in Meteorites for a Martian Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usui, T.; Alexander, C. M. O'D.; Wang, J.; Simon, J. I.; Jones, J. H.

    2014-01-01

    Fluvial landforms on Mars suggest that it was once warm enough to maintain persistent liquid water on its surface. The transition to the present cold and dry Mars is closely linked to the history of surface water, yet the evolution of surficial water is poorly constrained. We have investigated the evolution of surface water/ ice and its interaction with the atmosphere by measurements of hydrogen isotope ratios (D/H: deuterium/ hydrogen) of martian meteorites. Hydrogen is a major component of water (H2O) and its isotopes fractionate significantly during hydrological cycling between the atmosphere, surface waters, ground ice, and polar cap ice. Based on in situ ion microprobe analyses of three geochemically different shergottites, we reported that there is a water/ice reservoir with an intermediate D/H ratio (delta D = 1,000?2500 %) on Mars. Here we present the possibility that this water/ice reservoir represents a ground-ice/permafrost that has existed relatively intact over geologic time.

  3. Indigenous Carbonaceous Matter in the Nakhla Mars Meteorite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clemett, S. J.; Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Rahman, Z.; Le, L.; Wentworth, S. J.; Gibson, E. K.; McKay, D. S.

    2016-01-01

    Detailed microanalysis of the Martian meteorite Nakhla has shown there are morphologically distinct carbonaceous features spatially associated with low-T aqueous alteration phases including salts and id-dingsite. A comprehensive suite of analytical instrumentation including optical microscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy, focused ion beam (FIB) microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), two-step laser mass spectrometry (mu-L(sup 2)MS), laser mu-Raman spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) are being used to characterize the carbonaceous matter and host mineralogy. The search for carbonaceous matter on Mars has proved challenging. Viking Landers failed to unambiguously detect simple organics at either of the two landing sites although the Martian surface is estimated to have acquired at least 10(exp15) kg of C as a consequence of meteoritic accretion over the last several Ga. The dearth of organics at the Martian surface has been attributed to various oxidative processes including UV photolysis and peroxide activity. Consequently, investigations of Martian organics need to be focused on the sub-surface regolith where such surface processes are either severely attenuated or absent. Fortuitously since Martian meteorites are derived from buried regolith materials they provide a unique opportunity to study Martian organic geochemistry.

  4. EBSD analysis of the Shergottite Meteorites: New developments within the technique and their implication on what we know about the preferred orientation of Martian minerals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephen, N.; Benedix, G. K.; Bland, P.; Berlin, J.; Salge, T.; Goran, D.

    2011-12-01

    What we know about the geology and mineralogy of the Martian surface has been characterised by both the use of remote sensing techniques and the analysis of Martian meteorites. Various techniques are employed to conduct these analyses including crystallographic, geochemical and spectral measurements, all of which enable us to infer a geological history for these rocks. Several references have been made to the potential for preferred orientation of crystals within the Shergottites [1] and their implication for the cooling history of the respective magmas on Mars [2]. We have already shown that a preferred orientation of the two pyroxenes, augite and pigeonite, can be seen in the Zagami meteorite using electron back-scatter diffraction (EBSD) analysis [3]. However, when compared to previous modal studies of the same meteorites [4], it becomes apparent that the current EBSD datasets for Martian meteorites are incomplete. Indexing of some minerals can be hampered by the lack of available matches within library databases for EBSD, or become difficult to resolve between minerals where crystallographic differences between similar minerals fall below the technical limitations of the instrument [3]. Recent advances in EBSD technologies combined with the simultaneous acquisition of energy-dispersive spectra (EDS) however now allow us to determine a more comprehensive set of analyses in a much shorter period of time, fully resolving even similar minerals where areas have been left with no indexing previously [5]. Preliminary investigations suggest that the new technology can successfully index >90% of the sample. The most recent EBSD analyses potentially reveals previously unseen fabrics in the meteorites alongside the EDS hyper-spectral imaging helping to resolve any unknown or questionable phases within them. In this study we will present new data from an investigation using EDS alongside EBSD analysis on 2 Shergottite meteorites, SAU 005 and Zagami, to further resolve

  5. The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 103

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruzicka, Alex; Grossman, Jeffrey; Bouvier, Audrey; Agee, Carl B.

    2017-05-01

    Meteoritical Bulletin 103 contains 2582 meteorites including 10 falls (Ardón, Demsa, Jinju, Križevci, Kuresoi, Novato, Tinajdad, Tirhert, Vicência, Wolcott), with 2174 ordinary chondrites, 130 HED achondrites, 113 carbonaceous chondrites, 41 ureilites, 27 lunar meteorites, 24 enstatite chondrites, 21 iron meteorites, 15 primitive achondrites, 11 mesosiderites, 10 Martian meteorites, 6 Rumuruti chondrites, 5 ungrouped achondrites, 2 enstatite achondrites, 1 relict meteorite, 1 pallasite, and 1 angrite, and with 1511 from Antarctica, 588 from Africa, 361 from Asia, 86 from South America, 28 from North America, and 6 from Europe. Note: 1 meteorite from Russia was counted as European. The complete contents of this bulletin (244 pages) are available on line. Information about approved meteorites can be obtained from the Meteoritical Bulletin Database (MBD) available on line at meteor/">http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meteor/.

  6. Silver contents and Cu/Ag ratios in Martian meteorites and the implications for planetary differentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zaicong; Becker, Harry

    2017-11-01

    Silver and Cu show very similar partitioning behavior in sulfide melt-silicate melt and metal-silicate systems at low and high pressure-temperature (P-T) experimental conditions, implying that mantle melting, fractional crystallization and core-mantle differentiation have at most modest (within a factor of 3) effects on Cu/Ag ratios. For this reason, it is likely that Cu/Ag ratios in mantle-derived magmatic products of planetary bodies reflect that of the mantle and, in some circumstances, also the bulk planet composition. To test this hypothesis, new Ag mass fractions and Cu/Ag ratios in different groups of Martian meteorites are presented and compared with data from chondrites and samples from the Earth's mantle. Silver contents in lherzolitic, olivine-phyric and basaltic shergottites and nakhlites range between 1.9 and 12.3 ng/g. The data display a negative trend with MgO content and correlate positively with Cu contents. In spite of displaying variable initial Ɛ143Nd values and representing a diverse spectrum of magmatic evolution and physiochemical conditions, shergottites and nakhlites display limited variations of Cu/Ag ratios (1080 ± 320, 1 s, n = 14). The relatively constant Cu/Ag suggests limited fractionation of Ag from Cu during the formation and evolution of the parent magmas, irrespectively of whether sulfide saturation was attained or not. The mean Cu/Ag ratio of Martian meteorites thus reflects that of the Martian mantle and constrains its Ag content to 1.9 ± 0.7 ng/g (1 s). Carbonaceous and enstatite chondrites display a limited range of Cu/Ag ratios of mostly 500-2400. Ordinary chondrites show a larger scatter of Cu/Ag up to 4500, which may have been caused by Ag redistribution during parent body metamorphism. The majority of chondrites have Cu/Ag ratios indistinguishable from the Martian mantle value, indicating that Martian core formation strongly depleted Cu and Ag contents, but probably did not significantly change the Cu/Ag ratio of the

  7. A Parent Magma for the Nakhla Martian Meteorite: Reconciliation of Estimates from 1-Bar Experiments, Magmatic Inclusions in Olivine, and Magmatic Inclusions in Augite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treiman, Allan H.; Goodrich, Cyrena Anne

    2001-01-01

    The composition of the parent magma for the Nakhla (martian) meteorite has been estimated from mineral-melt partitioning and from magmatic inclusions in olivine and in augite. These independent lines of evidence have converged on small range of likely compositions. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  8. LEW 88516: A Meteorite Compositionally Close to the "Martian Mantle"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreibus, G.; Jochum, K. H.; Palme, H.; Spettel, B.; Wlotzka, F.; Wanke, H.

    1992-07-01

    Several samples from a total of 250 mg of the recently discovered Antarctic shergottite LEW 88516 were analysed for major and trace elements by neutron activation techniques, SSMS, and a carbon-sulfur analyser. Results are presented in Table 1, together with data on ALHA 77005 (Wanke et al., 1976). This and earlier results (Boynton et al., 1992; Lindstrom et al.,1992) show the close compositional similarity of Lew 88516 to ALHA 77005. A major difference between the two shergottites is the much lower iodine content of the ALHA 77005 meteorite. The absence of similar variations in Br and Cl confirms earlier suggestions of an Antarctic source for the I excess. In a Mg/Si vs. Al/Si diagram (Fig. 1) the LEW 88516 meteorite plots at the intersection of a Shergotty parent (SPB) body fractionation trend and a line connecting enstatite chondrites and CM chondrites. The position of LEW 88516 and also of ALHA 77005 in the vicinity of ordinary chondrites is indicative of their relatively primitive composition. Lithophile trace elements show some enhancement of Sc and V over heavy REE and depletion of light REE, suggesting either a residual character for the two meteorites or assimilation of a cumulate phase during their formation. Comparatively high Ni and Co also reflect the more mafic character of the two meteorites. The present analysis and the earlier data on ALHA 77005 unambiguously demonstrate the presence of Ir in an abundance range typical for the terrestrial upper mantle. A similar Ir level was found in Chassigny, but the more fractionated Shergotty has 100 times lower Ir contents. The presence of Ir in the martian mantle samples may be the result of sulfide-silicate equilibration. The sulfides in Lew 88516 are small pyrrhotite grains (5-30 micron, 52 atom% S) and occur often together with ilmenite, at grain boundaries of the major silicate minerals. Sulfides contain an average of 1.8% Ni. However, the major fraction of Ni must reside in oxides and/or silicates as the

  9. Characterization of Spitsbergen Disks by Transmission Electron Microscopy and Raman Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Clemett, S. J.; Le, L.; Ross, K.; McKay, David S.; Gibson, E. K., Jr.

    2010-01-01

    'Carbonate disks' found in the fractures and pores spaces of peridotite xenoliths and basalts from the island of Spitsbergen in the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago have been suggested to be "The best (and best documented) terrestrial analogs for the [Martian meteorite] ALH84001 carbonate globules ..." Previous studies have indicated that Spitsbergen carbonates show broadly comparable internal layering and mineral compositions to ALH84001 carbonate-magnetite disks. We report here for the first time, the detailed mineral characterization of Spitsbergen carbonates and their spatial relationship to the host mineral assemblages in the xenolith, using high resolution TEM (as used previously for ALH84001 carbonate disks). These studies were conducted in concert with complementary Raman and SEM analysis of the same samples. Our results indicate that there are significant chemical and physical differences between the disks in Spitsbergen and the carbonates present in ALH84001.

  10. Hydrocode modeling of the spallation process during hypervelocity impacts: Implications for the ejection of Martian meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurosawa, Kosuke; Okamoto, Takaya; Genda, Hidenori

    2018-02-01

    Hypervelocity ejection of material by impact spallation is considered a plausible mechanism for material exchange between two planetary bodies. We have modeled the spallation process during vertical impacts over a range of impact velocities from 6 to 21 km/s using both grid- and particle-based hydrocode models. The Tillotson equations of state, which are able to treat the nonlinear dependence of density on pressure and thermal pressure in strongly shocked matter, were used to study the hydrodynamic-thermodynamic response after impacts. The effects of material strength and gravitational acceleration were not considered. A two-dimensional time-dependent pressure field within a 1.5-fold projectile radius from the impact point was investigated in cylindrical coordinates to address the generation of spalled material. A resolution test was also performed to reject ejected materials with peak pressures that were too low due to artificial viscosity. The relationship between ejection velocity veject and peak pressure Ppeak was also derived. Our approach shows that "late-stage acceleration" in an ejecta curtain occurs due to the compressible nature of the ejecta, resulting in an ejection velocity that can be higher than the ideal maximum of the resultant particle velocity after passage of a shock wave. We also calculate the ejecta mass that can escape from a planet like Mars (i.e., veject > 5 km/s) that matches the petrographic constraints from Martian meteorites, and which occurs when Ppeak = 30-50 GPa. Although the mass of such ejecta is limited to 0.1-1 wt% of the projectile mass in vertical impacts, this is sufficient for spallation to have been a plausible mechanism for the ejection of Martian meteorites. Finally, we propose that impact spallation is a plausible mechanism for the generation of tektites.

  11. Oblique impact: a process for providing meteorite samples of other planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Okeefe, J.D.; Ahrens, T.J.

    1986-03-01

    Cratering flow calculations for a series of oblique to normal impacts of silicate projectiles onto a silicate halfspace were carried out to determine whether the gas produced upon shock vaporizing both projectile and planetary material could entrain and accelerate surface rocks and thus provide a mechanism for propelling SNC meteorites from the Martian surface. The difficult constraints that the impact origin hypothesis for SNC meteorites has to satisfy are that these meteorites are lightly to moderately shocked and yet were accelerated to speeds in excess of the Martian escape velocity. Two dimensional finite difference calculations demonstrate that at highly probable impact velocities, vapor plume jets are produced at oblique impact angles of 25 deg to 60 deg and have speeds as great as 20 km/sec. These plumes flow nearly parallel to the planetary surface. It is shown that upon impact of projectiles having radii of 0.1 to 1 km, the resulting vapor jets have densities of 0.1 to 1 g/cu.cm. These jets can entrain Martian surface rocks and accelerate them to velocities 5 km/sec. It is suggested that this mechanism launches SNC meteorites to Earth

  12. Nitrogen-Bearing, Indigenous Carbonaceous Matter in the Nakhla Mars Meteorite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Clemett, S. J.; Messenger, S.; Rahman, Z.; Gibson, E. K.; Wentworth, S. J.; McKay, D. S.

    2017-01-01

    We report the identification of discrete assemblages of nitrogen (N)-rich organic matter entrapped within interior fracture surfaces of the martian meteorite Nakhla. Based on context, composition and isotopic measurements this organic matter is of demonstrably martian origin. The presence of N-bearing organic species is of considerable importance to the habitable potential and chemical evolution of the martian regolith.

  13. The noble gas concentrations of the Martian meteorites GRV 99027 and paired NWA 7906/NWA 7907

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, Peter C.; Lin, Yangting; Leya, Ingo

    2017-12-01

    Here we present the isotopic concentrations of He, Ne, Ar, Kr, and Xe for the three Martian meteorites, namely Grove Mountains 99027 (GRV 99027), Northwest Africa 7906 (NWA 7906), and Northwest Africa 7907 (NWA 7907). The cosmic ray exposure (CRE) age for GRV 99027 of 5.7 ± 0.4 Ma (1σ) is consistent with CRE ages for other poikilitic basaltic shergottites and suggests that all were ejected in a single event 5.6 Ma ago. After correcting for an estimated variable sodium concentration, the CRE ages for NWA 7906 and NWA 7907 of 5.4 ± 0.4 and 4.9 ± 0.4 Ma (1σ), respectively, are in good agreement with the CRE age of 5 Ma favored by Cartwright et al. for NWA 7034. The data, therefore, support the conclusion that all three basaltic regolith breccias are paired. The 40Ar gas retention age for NWA 7907 of 1.3 Ga is in accord with Cartwright et al. For NWA 7906, we were unable to determine a 40Ar gas retention age. The 4He gas retention ages for NWA 7906 and 7907 are in the range of 200 Ma and are much shorter than the 40Ar gas retention age of NWA 7907, indicating that about 86-88% of the radiogenic 4He has been lost. The Kr and Xe isotopic concentrations in GRV 99027 are composed almost exclusively of Martian interior (MI) gases, while for NWA 7906 and NWA 7907, they indicate gases from the MI, elementally fractionated air, and possibly Martian atmosphere.

  14. Meteorites and the Evolution of Our Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nava, David F.

    1999-01-01

    The study of meteorites has long been of intense interest ever since these objects were discovered to be of extraterrestrial origin. Meteorite research contributes to unraveling the mysteries in understanding the formation and evolution processes of our solar system. Meteorites, of which there are a variety of widely diverse types of chemical and mineralogical compositions, are the most ancient of solar system objects that can be studied in the laboratory. They preserve a unique historical record of the astronomical and astrophysical events of our solar system. This record is being discerned by a host of ever evolving analytical laboratory methods. Recent discoveries of what are believed to be Martian meteorites, lunar meteorites, a meteorite containing indigenous water, and the recovery from the Cretaceous layer of a small meteorite fragment thought to be from the dinosaur-killing asteroid have fueled additional excitement for studying meteorites.

  15. The role of sulfides in the fractionation of highly siderophile and chalcophile elements during the formation of martian shergottite meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgartner, Raphael J.; Fiorentini, Marco L.; Lorand, Jean-Pierre; Baratoux, David; Zaccarini, Federica; Ferrière, Ludovic; Prašek, Marko K.; Sener, Kerim

    2017-08-01

    The shergottite meteorites are ultramafic to mafic igneous rocks whose parental magmas formed from partial melting of the martian mantle. This study reports in-situ laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry analyses for siderophile and chalcophile major and trace elements (i.e., Co, Ni, Cu, As, Se, Ag, Sb, Te, Pb, Bi, and the highly siderophile platinum-group elements, PGE: Os, Ir, Ru, Rh, Pt and Pd) of magmatic Fe-Ni-Cu sulfide assemblages from four shergottite meteorites. They include three geochemically similar incompatible trace element- (ITE-) depleted olivine-phyric shergottites (Yamato-980459, Dar al Gani 476 and Dhofar 019) that presumably formed from similar mantle and magma sources, and one distinctively ITE-enriched basaltic shergottite (Zagami). The sulfides in the shergottites have been variably modified by alteration on Earth and Mars, as well as by impact shock-shock related melting/volatilization during meteorite ejection. However, they inherit and retain their magmatic PGE signatures. The CI chondrite-normalized PGE concentration patterns of sulfides reproduce the whole-rock signatures determined in previous studies. These similarities indicate that sulfides exerted a major control on the PGE during shergottite petrogenesis. However, depletions of Pt (and Ir) in sulfide relative to the other PGE suggest that additional phases such discrete Pt-Fe-Ir alloys have played an important role in the concentration of these elements. These alloys are expected to have enhanced stability in reduced and FeO-rich shergottite magmas, and could be a common feature in martian igneous systems. A Pt-rich PGM was found to occur in a sulfide assemblage in Dhofar 019. However, its origin may be related to impact shock-related sulfide melting and volatilisation during meteorite ejection. In the ITE-depleted olivine-phyric shergottites, positive relationships exist between petrogenetic indicators (e.g., whole-rock Mg-number) and most moderately to

  16. Thirteen Iron Meteorites Found at Gale Crater, Meridiani Planum, and Gusev Crater — Exogenic Witnesses to Weathering Processes Near the Martian Equator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashley, J.

    2014-12-01

    At least 20 meteorites and meteorite candidates have now been found by science teams at three Mars rover landing sites, all within 15 degrees of the martian equator. Thirteen of these are iron meteorites, comprising 65% of the population — an order of magnitude greater abundance than found among witnessed iron falls in Earth-based collections (~6%). Chondritic meteorites, which comprise some 86% of Earth-based falls, are conspicuously absent from the Mars inventory. The reasons for this disproportion may involve a) post-fall environmental resistance differences favoring iron survivability; b) fragmentation from impact shock (and possibly internal weathering stresses associated with oxide production in desert environments [1]); combined with c) selection biases arising from residual chondritic fragments appearing less conspicuous. Impact features along rover traverses often show evidence of dark materials likely to be impactor fragments [e.g., 2], which could represent the missing chondritic fraction. The reactivity of reduced (metallic) iron to aqueous alteration, combined with the near equatorial and widely distributed locations of these rocks, makes them particularly useful to the assessment of climate models arguing for geologically recent ice at the martian equator. Exposure histories involving alternating wind/water cycles are imprinted on several Meridiani irons, for example [3]. Evidence for oxide coating removal demonstrates the current epoch to be one of coating destruction, not production, showing that atmospheric exposure alone is insufficient to produce the coating. Cavernous weathering is likely associated with acidic corrosion, while evidence of aeolian scouring is found in Widmanstätten patterns, sharp-crested scallops, regmaglypt enlargement, and abundant pitting. Further study of these features could help constrain wind direction and velocity during epochs of sculpting [e.g., 4], and assist in exposure age estimation. References: [1] Ashley J. W

  17. An assessment of the meteoritic contribution to the Martian soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flynn, G.J.; McKay, D.S.

    1990-01-01

    The addition of meteoritic material to the Mars soils should perturb their chemical compositions, as has been detected for soils on the Moon and sediments on Earth. Using the measured mass influx at Earth and estimates of the Mars/Earth flux ratio, the authors estimate the continuous, planet-wide meteoritic mass influx on Mars to be between 2,700 and 59,000 t/yr. If distributed uniformly into a soil with a mean planetary production rate of 1 m/b.y., consistent with radar estimates of the soil depth overlaying a bouldered terrain in the Tharsis region, their estimated mass influx would produce a meteoritic concentration in the Mars soil ranging from 2 to 29% by mass. Analysis of the Viking X ray fluorescence data indicates that the Mars soil composition is inconsistent with typical basaltic rock fragments but can be fit by a mixture of 60% basaltic rock fragments and 40% meteoritic material. The meteoritic influx they calculate is sufficient to provide most or all of the material required by the Clark and Baird model. Particles in the mass range from 10 -7 to 10 -3 g, about 60-1,200 μm in diameter, contribute 80% of the total mass flux of meteoritic material in the 10 -13 to 10 6 g mass range at Earth. On Earth atmospheric entry all but the smallest particles (generally ≤ 50 μm in diameter) in the 10 -7 to 10 -3 g mass range are heated sufficiently to melt or vaporize. Mars, because of its lower escape velocity and larger atmospheric scale height, is a much more favorable site for unmelted survival of micrometeorites on atmospheric deceleration. They calculate that a significant fraction of particles throughout the 60-1,200 μm diameter range will survive Mars atmospheric entry unmelted

  18. A Howardite-Eucrite-Diogenite (HED) Meteorite Compendium: Summarizing Samples of ASteroid 4 Vesta in Preparation for the Dawn Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garber, J. M.; Righter, K.

    2011-01-01

    The Howardite-Eucrite-Diogenite (HED) suite of achondritic meteorites, thought to originate from asteroid 4 Vesta, has recently been summarized into a meteorite compendium. This compendium will serve as a guide for researchers interested in further analysis of HEDs, and we expect that interest in these samples will greatly increase with the planned arrival of the Dawn Mission at Vesta in August 2011. The focus of this abstract/poster is to (1) introduce and describe HED samples from both historical falls and Antarctic finds, and (2) provide information on unique HED samples available for study from the Antarctic Meteorite Collection at JSC, including the vesicular eucrite PCA91007, the olivine diogenite EETA79002, and the paired ALH polymict eucrites.

  19. Implantation of Martian Materials in the Inner Solar System by a Mega Impact on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyodo, Ryuki; Genda, Hidenori

    2018-04-01

    Observations and meteorites indicate that the Martian materials are enigmatically distributed within the inner solar system. A mega impact on Mars creating a Martian hemispheric dichotomy and the Martian moons can potentially eject Martian materials. A recent work has shown that the mega-impact-induced debris is potentially captured as the Martian Trojans and implanted in the asteroid belt. However, the amount, distribution, and composition of the debris has not been studied. Here, using hydrodynamic simulations, we report that a large amount of debris (∼1% of Mars’ mass), including Martian crust/mantle and the impactor’s materials (∼20:80), are ejected by a dichotomy-forming impact, and distributed between ∼0.5–3.0 au. Our result indicates that unmelted Martian mantle debris (∼0.02% of Mars’ mass) can be the source of Martian Trojans, olivine-rich asteroids in the Hungarian region and the main asteroid belt, and some even hit the early Earth. The evidence of a mega impact on Mars would be recorded as a spike of 40Ar–39Ar ages in meteorites. A mega impact can naturally implant Martian mantle materials within the inner solar system.

  20. Meteorite falls in Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khiri, Fouad; Ibhi, Abderrahmane; Saint-Gerant, Thierry; Medjkane, Mohand; Ouknine, Lahcen

    2017-10-01

    The study of meteorites provides insight into the earliest history of our solar system. From 1800, about the year meteorites were first recognized as objects falling from the sky, until December 2014, 158 observed meteorite falls were recorded in Africa. Their collected mass ranges from 1.4 g to 175 kg with the 1-10 kg cases predominant. The average rate of African falls is low with only one fall recovery per 1.35-year time interval (or 0.023 per year per million km2). This African collection is dominated by ordinary chondrites (78%) just like in the worldwide falls. The seventeen achondrites include three Martian meteorite falls (Nakhla of Egypt, Tissint of Morocco and Zagami of Nigeria). Observed Iron meteorite falls are relatively rare and represent only 5%. The falls' rate in Africa is variable in time and in space. The number of falls continues to grow since 1860, 80% of which were recovered during the period between 1910 and 2014. Most of these documented meteorite falls have been recovered from North-Western Africa, Eastern Africa and Southern Africa. They are concentrated in countries which have a large surface area and a large population with a uniform distribution. Other factors are also favorable for observing and collecting meteorite falls across the African territory, such as: a genuine meteorite education, a semi-arid to arid climate (clear sky throughout the year most of the time), croplands or sparse grasslands and possible access to the fall location with a low percentage of forest cover and dense road network.

  1. Northwest Africa 8159: An approximately 2.3 Billion Year Old Martian Olivine-Bearing Augite Basalt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, J. I.; Peters, T. J.; Tappa, M. J.; Agee, C. B.

    2014-01-01

    Based on petrology, mineralogy, and bulk composition, the new NWA 8159 martian meteorite is distinct from all known samples from Mars. In particular, the augite compositional trends are unique, but most similar to those of nakhite intercumulus. Whether NWA 8159 represents a new lithology or is related to a known meteorite group remains to be determined. Sr and Nd isotopic analyses will allow comparison of source characteristics with SNC and other new ungrouped meteorites (e.g., NWA 7635). Here we report initial Rb-Sr and Sm-Nd isotopic results for NWA 8159 with the objective to determine its formation age and to potentially identify similarities and potential source affinities with other martian rocks.

  2. Strategies for Distinguishing Abiotic Chemistry from Martian Biochemistry in Samples Returned from Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, D. P.; Burton, A. S.; Callahan, M. P.; Elsila, J. E.; Stern, J. C.; Dworkin, J. P.

    2012-01-01

    A key goal in the search for evidence of extinct or extant life on Mars will be the identification of chemical biosignatures including complex organic molecules common to all life on Earth. These include amino acids, the monomer building blocks of proteins and enzymes, and nucleobases, which serve as the structural basis of information storage in DNA and RNA. However, many of these organic compounds can also be formed abiotically as demonstrated by their prevalence in carbonaceous meteorites [1]. Therefore, an important challenge in the search for evidence of life on Mars will be distinguishing between abiotic chemistry of either meteoritic or martian origin from any chemical biosignatures from an extinct or extant martian biota. Although current robotic missions to Mars, including the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) and the planned 2018 ExoMars rovers, will have the analytical capability needed to identify these key classes of organic molecules if present [2,3], return of a diverse suite of martian samples to Earth would allow for much more intensive laboratory studies using a broad array of extraction protocols and state-of-theart analytical techniques for bulk and spatially resolved characterization, molecular detection, and isotopic and enantiomeric compositions that may be required for unambiguous confirmation of martian life. Here we will describe current state-of-the-art laboratory analytical techniques that have been used to characterize the abundance and distribution of amino acids and nucleobases in meteorites, Apollo samples, and comet- exposed materials returned by the Stardust mission with an emphasis on their molecular characteristics that can be used to distinguish abiotic chemistry from biochemistry as we know it. The study of organic compounds in carbonaceous meteorites is highly relevant to Mars sample return analysis, since exogenous organic matter should have accumulated in the martian regolith over the last several billion years and the

  3. Looking for a Source of Water in Martian Basltic Breccia NWA 7034

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muttik, N.; Agee, C. B.; McCubbin, F. M.; McCuttcheon, W. A.; Provencio, P. P.; Keller, L. P.; Santos, A. R..; Shearer, C. K.

    2014-01-01

    The recently described martian meteorite NWA 7034 has high water content compared to other SNC meteorites. Deuterium to hydrogen isotope ratio measurements indicates that there are two distinct delta-D components in NWA 7034, a low temperature (150-500degC) light component around -100per mille and a high temperature (300-1000degC) heavy component around +300per mille. NWA 7034 contains iron-rich phases that are likely secondary aqueous alteration products. They are commonly found as spheroidal objects of various sizes that are often rich in Fe-Ti oxides and possibly iron hydroxides. Iron oxides and oxyhydroxides are very common in weathered rocks and soils on Earth and Mars and they are important components of terrestrial and Martian dust. In NWA 7034 iron-rich phases are found throughout the fine-grained basaltic groundmass of the meteorite. The total amount of martian H2O in NWA 7034 is reported to be 6000 ppm, and in this study we attempt to determine the phase distribution of this H2O by texturally describing and characterizing hydrous phases in NWA 7034, using Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).

  4. The Rosetta Stones of Mars — Should Meteorites be Considered as Samples of Opportunity for Mars Sample Return?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tait, A. W.; Schröder, C.; Ashley, J. W.; Velbel, M. A.; Boston, P. J.; Carrier, B. L.; Cohen, B. A.; Bland, P. A.

    2018-04-01

    We summarize insights about Mars gained from investigating meteorites found on Mars. Certain types of meteorites can be considered standard probes inserted into the martian environment. Should they be considered for Mars Sample Return?

  5. Ar-40/Ar-39 Studies of Martian Meteorite RBT 04262 and Terrestrial Standards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, J.; Herzog, G. F.; Turrin, B.; Lindsay, F. N.; Delaney, J. S.; Swisher, C. C., III; Nagao, K.; Nyquist, L. E.

    2014-01-01

    Park et al. recently presented an Ar-40/Ar-39 dating study of maskelynite separated from the Martian meteorite RBT 04262. Here we report an additional study of Ar-40/Ar-39 patterns for smaller samples, each consisting of only a few maskelynite grains. Considered as a material for Ar-40/Ar-39 dating, the shock-produced glass maskelynite has both an important strength (relatively high K concentration compared to other mineral phases) and some potentially problematic weaknesses. At Rutgers, we have been analyzing small grains consisting of a single phase to explore local effects that might be averaged and remain hidden in larger samples. Thus, to assess the homogeneity of the RBT maskelynite and for comparison with the results of, we analyzed six approx. 30 microgram samples of the same maskelynite separate they studied. Furthermore, because most Ar-40/Ar-39 are calculated relative to the age of a standard, we present new Ar-40/Ar-39 age data for six standards. Among the most widely used standards are sanidine from Fish Canyon (FCs) and various hornblendes (hb3gr, MMhb-1, NL- 25), which are taken as primary standards because their ages have been determined by independent, direct measurements of K and A-40.

  6. Noble Gases in the Lunar Meteorites Calcalong Creek and QUE 93069

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swindle, T. D.; Burkland, M. K.; Grier, J. A.

    1995-09-01

    Although the world's collections contain comparable numbers of martian and lunar meteorites (about 10 each), their ejection histories seem to be quite different [1]. We have sampled no more than four martian craters, but almost every one of the lunar meteorites apparently represents a separate cratering event. Furthermore, most lunar meteorites were apparently ejected from the top meter of the surface, unlike any of the martian meteorites. We have measured noble gases in two bulk samples of the lunar meteorite QUE93069 and three of Calcalong Creek, ranging in size from 7 to 15 mg. Averaged results are given in Table 1. Both meteorites contain solar-wind-implanted noble gas. QUE 93069, which is a mature anorthositic regolith breccia [2], contains amounts comparable to the most gas-rich lunar meteorites. The relatively low 40Ar/36Ar ratios of both meteorites suggest surface exposures no more than 2.5 Ga ago [3]. Calcalong Creek has readily observable spallogenic gas. The 131Xe/126Xe ratio of 4.8+/-0.3 corresponds to an average shielding depth of slightly more than 40 gm/cm^2 [4]. In common with many lunar breccias, Calcalong Creek has been exposed to cosmic rays for several hundred Ma (calculations based on [4] and [5]). The 3He apparent exposure age is much shorter, suggesting diffusive loss of He. To determine the detailed exposure history, it is necessary to have measurements of cosmogenic radionuclides. Our samples were too small to measure 81Kr, but [6] have measured 10Be, 26Al and 36Cl. Their data are consistent with either extended exposure at data, requiring several hundred Ma of exposure at an average depth of 40-50 gm/cm^2, are clearly more consistent with the first scenario. The only other lunar meteorite which could have been ejected at the same time is MAC 88104/5 [1], but the chemical differences between the two make it highly unlikely that they come from the same event. It is difficult to determine the amount of spallogenic gas in QUE 93069 because of

  7. Aqueous Alteration of Carbonaceous Chondrites: New Insights from Comparative Studies of Two Unbrecciated CM2 Chondrites, Y 791198 and ALH 81002

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chizmadia, L. J.; Brearley, A. J.

    2004-01-01

    Carbonaceous chondrites are an important resource for understanding the physical and chemical conditions in the early solar system. In particular, a long-standing question concerns the role of water in the cosmochemical evolution of carbonaceous chondrites. It is well established that extensive hydration of primary nebular phases occurred in the CM and CI chondrites, but the location where this alteration occurred remains controversial. In the CM2 chondrites, hydration formed secondary phases such as serpentine, tochilinite, pentlandite, carbonate and PCP. There are several textural observations which suggest that alteration occurred before the accretion of the final CM parent asteroid, i.e. preaccretionary alteration. Conversely, there is a significant body of evidence that supports parent-body alteration. In order to test these two competing hypotheses further, we studied two CM chondrites, Y-791198 and ALH81002, two meteorites that exhibit widely differing degrees of aqueous alteration. In addition, both meteorites have primary accretionary textures, i.e. experienced minimal asteroidal brecciation. Brecciation significantly complicates the task of unraveling alteration histories, mixing components that have been altered to different degrees from different locations on the same asteroidal parent body. Alteration in Y-791198 is mostly confined to chondrule mesostases, FeNi metal and fine-grained matrix and rims. In comparison, the primary chondrule silicates in ALH81002 have undergone extensive replacement by secondary hydrous phases. This study focuses on compositional and textural relationships between chondrule mesostasis and the associated rim materials. Our hypothesis is: both these components are highly susceptible to aqueous alteration and should be sensitive recorders of the alteration process. For parent body alteration, we expect systematic coupled mineralogical and compositional changes in rims and altered mesostasis, as elemental exchange between these

  8. Iron Redox Systematics of Shergottites and Martian Magmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, Kevin; Danielson, L. R.; Martin, A. M.; Newville, M.; Choi, Y.

    2010-01-01

    Martian meteorites record a range of oxygen fugacities from near the IW buffer to above FMQ buffer [1]. In terrestrial magmas, Fe(3+)/ SigmaFe for this fO2 range are between 0 and 0.25 [2]. Such variation will affect the stability of oxides, pyroxenes, and how the melt equilibrates with volatile species. An understanding of the variation of Fe(3+)/SigmaFe for martian magmas is lacking, and previous work has been on FeO-poor and Al2O3-rich terrestrial basalts. We have initiated a study of the iron redox systematics of martian magmas to better understand FeO and Fe2O3 stability, the stability of magnetite, and the low Ca/high Ca pyroxene [3] ratios observed at the surface.

  9. What would we miss if we characterized the Moon and Mars with just planetary meteorites, remote mapping, and robotic landers?. [Abstract only

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, M. M.

    1994-01-01

    Exploration of the Moon and planets began with telescopic studies of their surfaces, continued with orbiting spacecraft and robotic landers, and will culminate with manned exploration and sample return. For the Moon and Mars we also have accidental samples provided by impacts on their surfaces, the lunar and martian meteorites. How much would we know about the lunar surface if we only had lunar meteorites, orbital spacecraft, and robotic exploration, and not the Apollo and Luna returned samples? What does this imply for Mars? With martian meteorites and data from Mariner, Viking, and the future Pathfinder missions, how much could we learn about Mars? The basis of most of our detailed knowledge about the Moon is the Apollo samples. They provide ground truth for the remote mapping, timescales for lunar processes, and samples from the lunar interior. The Moon is the foundation of planetary science and the basis for our interpretation of the other planets. Mars is similar to the Moon in that impact and volcanism are the dominant processes, but Mars' surface has also been affected by wind and water, and hence has much more complex surface geology. Future geochemical or mineralogical mapping of Mars' surface should be able to tell us whether the dominant rock types of the ancient southern highlands are basaltic, anorthositic, granitic, or something else, but will not be able to tell us the detailed mineralogy, geochemistry, or age. Without many more martian meteorites or returned samples we will not know the diversity of martian rocks, and therefore will be limited in our ability to model martian geological evolution.

  10. Evaluation of meteorites as habitats for terrestrial microorganisms: Results from the Nullarbor Plain, Australia, a Mars analogue site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tait, Alastair W.; Wilson, Siobhan A.; Tomkins, Andrew G.; Gagen, Emma J.; Fallon, Stewart J.; Southam, Gordon

    2017-10-01

    Unambiguous identification of biosignatures on Mars requires access to well-characterized, long-lasting geochemical standards at the planet's surface that can be modified by theoretical martian life. Ordinary chondrites, which are ancient meteorites that commonly fall to the surface of Mars and Earth, have well-characterized, narrow ranges in trace element and isotope geochemistry compared to martian rocks. Given that their mineralogy is more attractive to known chemolithotrophic life than the basaltic rocks that dominate the martian surface, exogenic rocks (e.g., chondritic meteorites) may be good places to look for signs of prior life endemic to Mars. In this study, we show that ordinary chondrites, collected from the arid Australian Nullarbor Plain, are commonly colonized and inhabited by terrestrial microorganisms that are endemic to this Mars analogue site. These terrestrial endolithic and chasmolithic microbial contaminants are commonly found in close association with hygroscopic veins of gypsum and Mg-calcite, which have formed within cracks penetrating deep into the meteorites. Terrestrial bacteria are observed within corrosion cavities, where troilite (FeS) oxidation has produced jarosite [KFe3(SO4)2(OH)6]. Where terrestrial microorganisms have colonized primary silicate minerals and secondary calcite, these mineral surfaces are heavily etched. Our results show that inhabitation of meteorites by terrestrial microorganisms in arid environments relies upon humidity and pH regulation by minerals. Furthermore, microbial colonization affects the weathering of meteorites and production of sulfate, carbonate, Fe-oxide and smectite minerals that can preserve chemical and isotopic biosignatures for thousands to millions of years on Earth. Meteorites are thus habitable by terrestrial microorganisms, even under highly desiccating environmental conditions of relevance to Mars. They may therefore be useful as chemical and isotopic ;standards; that preserve evidence of

  11. Where to search for martian biota?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tasch, Paul

    1997-07-01

    Martian Salt. Terrestrial halite containing negative crystals which entrapped drops of viscous fluid yielded viable bacteria. The fluid has a Br/Mg ratio which chemist W.T. Holser characterized as a `Permian bittern.' All relevant salt on Mars should be inspected for negative crystals and possible ancient bacterial tenants. Martian Water. Moist soil in the regolith, cooled hydrothermal fluids, sediments of recurrent oceanic water, and related to inferred strand lines, even limited water in future SNC-type meteorites, upper atmosphere liquid water or water vapor, and North Polar liquid water or ice--all liquid water in any form, wherever, should be collected for microbiological analysis. Vent Fauna. Living or fossil thermophiles as trace fossils, or fauna metallicized in relation to sulphide ores. Iron Bacteria. Limonitized magnetite ore (USSR) in thin section showed structures attributed to iron bacteria. Biogenic magnetite, produced by both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria and its significance. Carbonaceous chondrites (non martian) (Ivuna and Orgueil) yielded apparent life forms that could not be attributed to contamination during the given study. Are they extraterrestrial?

  12. Accelerator mass analyses of meteorites - carbon-14 terrestrial ages

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miura, Y.; Rucklidge, J.; Beukens, R.; Fireman, E.

    1988-01-01

    Carbon-14 terrestrial ages of ten Antarctic meteorites have been measured by the IsoTrace accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). The 14 C terrestrial age of 1 gram sample was determined from 14 C concentrations collected at melt and re-melt temperatures, compared with the 14 C concentration of the known Bruderheim chondrite. Yamato-790448 (LL3) chondrite was found to be the oldest terrestrial age of 3x10 4 years in the nine Yamato chondrites, whereas Yamato-791630 (L4) chondrite is considered to be the youngest chondrites less than thousand years. Allan Hills chondrite of ALH-77231 (L6) shows older terrestrial age than the nine Yamato chondrites. New accelerator data of the terrestrial age show higher accuracy with smaller sample than the previous counting method. (author)

  13. An ion microprobe study of CAIs from CO3 meteorites. [Abstract only

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, S. S.; Greenwood, R. C.; Fahey, A. J.; Huss, G. R.; Wasserburg, G. J.

    1994-01-01

    When attempting to interpret the history of Ca, Al-rich inclusions (CAIs) it is often difficult to distinguish between primary features inherited from the nebula and those produced during secondary processing on the parent body. We have undertaken a systematic study of CAIs from 10 CO chondrites, believed to represent a metamorphic sequence with the goal of distinguishing primary and secondary features. ALHA 77307 (3.0), Colony (3.0), Kainsaz (3.1), Felix (3.2), ALH 82101 (3.3), Ornans (3.3), Lance (3.4), ALHA 77003 (3.5), Warrenton (3.6), and Isna (3.7) were examined by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and optical microscopy. We have identified 141 CAIs within these samples, and studied in detail the petrology of 34 inclusions. The primary phases in the lower petrologic types are spinel, melilite, and hibonite. Perovskite, FeS, ilmenite, anorthite, kirschsteinite, and metallic Fe are present as minor phases. Melilite becomes less abundant in higher petrologic types and was not detected in chondrites of type 3.5 and above, confirming previous reports that this mineral easily breaks down during heating. Iron, an element that would not be expected to condense at high temperatures, has a lower abundance in spinel from low-petrologic-type meteorites than those of higher grade, and CaTiO3 is replaced by FeTiO3 in meteorites of higher petrologic type. The abundance of CAIs is similar in each meteorite. Eight inclusions have been analyzed by ion probe. The results are summarized. The results obtained to date show that CAIs in CO meteorites, like those from other meteorite classes, contain Mg* and that Mg in some inclusions has been redistributed.

  14. Physical and chemical properties of the Martian soil: Review of resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, C. R.; Gooding, James L.; Banin, A.; Clark, Benton C.; Roush, Ted

    1991-01-01

    The chemical and physical properties of Martian surface materials are reviewed from the perspective of using these resources to support human settlement. The resource potential of Martian sediments and soils can only be inferred from limited analyses performed by the Viking Landers (VL), from information derived from remote sensing, and from analysis of the SNC meteorites thought to be from Mars. Bulk elemental compositions by the VL inorganic chemical (x ray fluorescence) analysis experiments have been interpreted as evidence for clay minerals (possibly smectites) or mineraloids (palagonite) admixed with sulfate and chloride salts. The materials contained minerals bearing Fe, Ti, Al, Mg and Si. Martian surface materials may be used in many ways. Martian soil, with appropriate preconditioning, can probably be used as a plant growth medium, supplying mechanical support, nutrient elements, and water at optimal conditions to the plants. Loose Martian soils could be used to cover structures and provide radiation shielding for surface habitats. Martian soil could be wetted and formed into abode bricks used for construction. Duricrete bricks, with strength comparable to concrete, can probably be formed using compressed muds made from martian soil.

  15. 35 seasons of US antarctic meteorites (1976-2010) a pictorial guide to the collection

    CERN Document Server

    Righter, Kevin; McCoy, Timothy; Harvey, Ralph; Harvey, Ralph

    2014-01-01

    The US Antarctic meteorite collection exists due to a cooperative program involving the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Smithsonian Institution.  Since 1976, meteorites have been collected by a NSF-funded field team, shipped for curation, characterization, distribution, and storage at NASA, and classified and stored for long term at the Smithsonian.  It is the largest collection in the world with many significant samples including lunar, martian, many interesting chondrites and achondrites, and even several unusual one-of-

  16. The mineralogic evolution of the Martian surface through time: Implications from chemical reaction path modeling studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plumlee, G. S.; Ridley, W. I.; Debraal, J. D.; Reed, M. H.

    1993-01-01

    Chemical reaction path calculations were used to model the minerals that might have formed at or near the Martian surface as a result of volcano or meteorite impact driven hydrothermal systems; weathering at the Martian surface during an early warm, wet climate; and near-zero or sub-zero C brine-regolith reactions in the current cold climate. Although the chemical reaction path calculations carried out do not define the exact mineralogical evolution of the Martian surface over time, they do place valuable geochemical constraints on the types of minerals that formed from an aqueous phase under various surficial and geochemically complex conditions.

  17. Trace Element Geochemistry of Martian Iddingsite in the Lafayette Meteorite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treiman, Allan H.; Lindstrom, David J.

    1997-01-01

    The Lafayette meteorite contains abundant iddingsite, a fine-grained intergrowth of smectite clay, ferrihydrite, and ionic salt minerals. Both the meteorite and iddingsite formed on Mars. Samples of iddingsite, olivine, and augite pyroxene were extracted from Lafayette and analyzed for trace elements by instrumental neutron activation. Our results are comparable to independent analyses by electron and ion microbeam methods. Abundances of most elements in the iddingsite do not covary significantly. The iddingsite is extremely rich in Hg, which is probably terrestrial contamination. For the elements Si, Al, Fe, Mn, Ni, Co, and Zn, the composition of the iddingsite is close to a mixture of approximately 50% Lafayette olivine + approximately 40% Lafayette siliceous glass + approximately 1O% water. Concordant behavior among these elements is not compatible with element fractionations between smectite and water, but the hydrous nature and petrographic setting of the iddingsite clearly suggest an aqueous origin. These inferences are both consistent, however, with deposition of the iddingsite originally as a silicate gel, which then crystallized (neoformed) nearly isochemically. The iddingsite contains significantly more magnesium than implied by the model, which may suggest that the altering solutions were rich in Mg(2+).

  18. Manganese, Metallogenium, and Martian Microfossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, L. Y.; Nealson, K. H.

    1999-01-01

    Manganese could easily be considered an abundant element in the Martian regolith, assuming that the composition of martian meteorites reflects the composition of the planet. Mineralogical analyses of 5 SNC meteorites have revealed an average manganese oxide concentration of 0.48%, relative to the 0.1% concentration of manganese found in the Earth's crust. On the Earth, the accumulation of manganese oxides in oceans, soils, rocks, sedimentary ores, fresh water systems, and hydrothermal vents can be largely attributed to microbial activity. Manganese is also a required trace nutrient for most life forms and participates in many critical enzymatic reactions such as photosynthesis. The wide-spread process of bacterial manganese cycling on Earth suggests that manganese is an important element to both geology and biology. Furthermore, there is evidence that bacteria can be fossilized within manganese ores, implying that manganese beds may be good repositories for preserved biomarkers. A particular genus of bacteria, known historically as Metallogenium, can form star-shaped manganese oxide minerals (called metallogenium) through the action of manganese oxide precipitation along its surface. Fossilized structures that resemble metallogenium have been found in Precambrian sedimentary formations and in Cretaceous-Paleogene cherts. The Cretaceous-Paleogene formations are highly enriched in manganese and have concentrations of trace elements (Fe, Zn, Cu, and Co) similar to modern-day manganese oxide deposits in marine environments. The appearance of metallogenium-like fossils associated with manganese deposits suggests that bacteria may be preserved within the minerals that they form. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  19. Correlations Between Surficial Sulfur and a REE Crustal Assimilation Signature in Martian Shergottites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, J. H.; Franz, H. B.

    2015-01-01

    Compared to terrestrial basalts, the Martian shergottite meteorites have an extraordinary range of Sr and Nd isotopic signatures. In addition, the S isotopic compositions of many shergottites show evidence of interaction with the Martian surface/ atmosphere through mass-independent isotopic fractionations (MIF, positive, non-zero delta(exp 33)S) that must have originated in the Martian atmosphere, yet ultimately were incorporated into igneous sulfides (AVS - acid-volatile sulfur). These positive delta(exp 33)S signatures are thought to be governed by solar UV photochemical processes. And to the extent that S is bound to Mars and not lost to space from the upper atmosphere, a positive delta(exp 33)S reservoir must be mass balanced by a complementary negative reservoir.

  20. Cosmic-ray production of tungsten isotopes in lunar samples and meteorites and its implications for Hf-W cosmochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leya, Ingo; Wieler, Rainer; Halliday, Alex N.

    2000-01-01

    Excesses and deficiencies in 182W in meteorites and lunar samples relative to the terrestrial 182W atomic abundance have been assigned to the decay of 182Hf (t1/2=9 Ma) and have been used to date metal-silicate fractionation events in the early solar system. Because the effects are very small, production and burn-out of tungsten isotopes by cosmic ray interactions are a concern in such studies. Masarik [J. Masarik, Contribution of neutron-capture reactions to observed tungsten isotopic ratios, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 152 (1997) 181-185] showed that neutron-capture reactions on tungsten isotopes can account at best for a minor part of the observed deficit of 182W in Toluca and other iron meteorites. On the other hand, in lunar samples and stony meteorites the production of 182W from 181Ta may become crucial. Here, we calculate this contribution as well as production and consumption of 182-186W by other neutron-induced reactions. The neutron fluence of each sample is estimated by its nominal cosmic-ray exposure age deduced from noble gas data. This approach overestimates the true cosmogenic W isotopic shifts for samples that might have been irradiated very close to the regolith surface. A quantitative estimate is often also hampered by a lack of Ta data. Despite these reservations, it appears that in many lunar samples neutron-capture on Ta has caused a large part of the observed 182W excess. On the other hand, in some samples, especially those with very low exposure ages, clearly only a minor or even negligible fraction of the 182W excess can be cosmogenic. Therefore, the conclusion, based on Hf-W model ages, that the Moon formed 50 Myr after the start of the solar system remains valid. Martian meteorites have lower Ta/W ratios and cosmic ray exposure ages than most lunar samples. Therefore, cosmogenic production has not significantly altered the W isotopic composition in Martian meteorites. Observed 182W excesses in Martian meteorites as well as the very large

  1. Re-Os Isotopic Constraints on the Chemical Evolution and Differentiation of the Martian Mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandon, Alan D.; Walker, Richard J.

    2002-01-01

    The (187)Re-187Os isotopic systematics of SNC meteorites, thought to be from Mars, provide valuable information regarding the chemical processes that affected the Martian mantle, particularly with regard to the relative abundances of highly siderophile elements (HSE). Previously published data (Birck and Allegre 1994, Brandon et al. 2000), and new data obtained since these studies, indicate that the HSE and Os isotopic composition of the Martian mantle was primarily set in its earliest differentiation history. If so, then these meteorites provide key constraints on the processes that lead to variation in HSE observed in not only Mars, but also Earth, the Moon and other rocky bodies in the Solar System. Processes that likely have an effect on the HSE budgets of terrestrial mantles include core formation, magma ocean crystallization, development of juvenile crust, and the addition of a late veneer. Each of these processes will result in different HSE variation and the isotopic composition of mantle materials and mantle derived lavas. Two observations on the SNC data to present provide a framework for which to test the importance of each of these processes. First, the concentrations of Re and Os in SNC meteorites indicate that they are derived from a mantle that has similar concentrations to the Earth's mantle. Such an observation is consistent with a model where a chondritic late veneer replenished the Earth and Martian mantles subsequent to core formation on each planet. Alternative models to explain this observation do exist, but will require additional data to test the limitations of each. Second, Re-Os isotopic results from Brandon et al. (2000) and new data presented here, show that initial yos correlates with variations in the short-lived systems of (182)Hf- (182)W and (142)Sm-142Nd in the SNC meteorites (epsilon(sub W) and epsilon(sub 142Nd)). These systematics require an isolation of mantle reservoirs during the earliest differentiation history of Mars, and

  2. Weldability of an iron meteorite by Friction Stir Spot Welding: A contribution to in-space manufacturing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, William Todd; Neely, Kelsay E.; Strauss, Alvin M.; Cook, George E.

    2017-11-01

    Friction Stir Welding has been proposed as an efficient and appropriate method for in space welding. It has the potential to serve as a viable option for assembling large scale space structures. These large structures will require the use of natural in space materials such as those available from iron meteorites. Impurities present in most iron meteorites limit its ability to be welded by other space welding techniques such as electron beam laser welding. This study investigates the ability to weld pieces of in situ Campo del Cielo meteorites by Friction Stir Spot Welding. Due to the rarity of the material, low carbon steel was used as a model material to determine welding parameters. Welded samples of low carbon steel, invar, and Campo del Cielo meteorite were compared and found to behave in similar ways. This study shows that meteorites can be Friction Stir Spot Welded and that they exhibit properties analogous to that of FSSW low carbon steel welds. Thus, iron meteorites can be regarded as another viable option for in-space or Martian construction.

  3. Tracking the Martian Mantle Signature in Olivine-Hosted Melt Inclusions of Basaltic Shergottites Yamato 980459 and Tissint

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, T. J.; Simon, J. I.; Jones, J. H.; Usui, T.; Moriwaki, R.; Economos, R.; Schmitt, A.; McKeegan, K.

    2014-01-01

    The Martian shergottite meteorites are basaltic to lherzolitic igneous rocks that represent a period of relatively young mantle melting and volcanism, approximately 600-150 Ma (e.g. [1,2]). Their isotopic and elemental composition has provided important constraints on the accretion, evolution, structure and bulk composition of Mars. Measurements of the radiogenic isotope and trace element concentrations of the shergottite meteorite suite have identified two end-members; (1) incompatible trace element enriched, with radiogenic Sr and negative epsilon Nd-143, and (2) incompatible traceelement depleted, with non-radiogenic Sr and positive epsilon 143-Nd(e.g. [3-5]). The depleted component represents the shergottite martian mantle. The identity of the enriched component is subject to debate, and has been proposed to be either assimilated ancient martian crust [3] or from enriched domains in the martian mantle that may represent a late-stage magma ocean crystallization residue [4,5]. Olivine-phyric shergottites typically have the highest Mg# of the shergottite group and represent near-primitive melts having experienced minimal fractional crystallization or crystal accumulation [6]. Olivine-hosted melt inclusions (MI) in these shergottites represent the most chemically primitive components available to understand the nature of their source(s), melting processes in the martian mantle, and origin of enriched components. We present trace element compositions of olivine hosted melt inclusions in two depleted olivinephyric shergottites, Yamato 980459 (Y98) and Tissint (Fig. 1), and the mesostasis glass of Y98, using Secondary Ionization Mass Spectrometry (SIMS). We discuss our data in the context of understanding the nature and origin of the depleted martian mantle and the emergence of the enriched component.

  4. Martian regolith geochemistry and sampling techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.

    Laboratory study of samples of the intermediate and fine-grained regolith, including duricrust peds, is a fundamental prerequisite for understanding the types of physical and chemical weathering processes on Mars. The extraordinary importance of such samples is their relevance to understanding past changes in climate, availability (and possible physical state) of water, eolian forces, the thermal and chemical influences of volcanic and impact processes, and the inventory and fates of Martian volatiles. Fortunately, this regolith material appears to be ubiquitous over the Martian surface, and should be available at many different landing sites. Viking data has been interpreted to indicate a smectite-rich regolith material, implying extensive weathering involving aqueous activity and geochemical alteration. An all-igneous source of the Martian fines has also been proposed. The X-ray fluorescence measurement data set can now be fully explained in terms of a simple two-component model. The first component is silicate, having strong geochemical similarities with Shergottites, but not other SNC meteorites. The second component is salt. Variations in these components could produce silicate and salt-rich beds, the latter being of high potential importance for microenvironments in which liquid water (brines) could exist. It therefore would be desirable to scan the surface of the regolith for such prospects.

  5. Martian regolith geochemistry and sampling techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.

    1988-01-01

    Laboratory study of samples of the intermediate and fine-grained regolith, including duricrust peds, is a fundamental prerequisite for understanding the types of physical and chemical weathering processes on Mars. The extraordinary importance of such samples is their relevance to understanding past changes in climate, availability (and possible physical state) of water, eolian forces, the thermal and chemical influences of volcanic and impact processes, and the inventory and fates of Martian volatiles. Fortunately, this regolith material appears to be ubiquitous over the Martian surface, and should be available at many different landing sites. Viking data has been interpreted to indicate a smectite-rich regolith material, implying extensive weathering involving aqueous activity and geochemical alteration. An all-igneous source of the Martian fines has also been proposed. The X-ray fluorescence measurement data set can now be fully explained in terms of a simple two-component model. The first component is silicate, having strong geochemical similarities with Shergottites, but not other SNC meteorites. The second component is salt. Variations in these components could produce silicate and salt-rich beds, the latter being of high potential importance for microenvironments in which liquid water (brines) could exist. It therefore would be desirable to scan the surface of the regolith for such prospects.

  6. Carbon abundance and isotopic studies of Shergotty and other shergottite meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wright, I.P.; Carr, R.H.; Pillinger, C.T.

    1986-01-01

    Consortium samples of the Shergotty meteorite have been measured for C abundance and isotopic composition by stepped combustion and the results compared to different samples of the same meteorite and the other known shergottites. Clearly, the shergottite meteorites have a complex C chemistry and contain components of both low and high thermal stability. Two components labile at low temperature can be tentatively identified, one which is enriched in 13 C and may be related to the carbonate thought to be produced by pre-terrestrial weathering in Nakhla. The other, which is isotopically light, is presently of unknown origin but we speculate that it may be related to shock effects. At high temperatures, two of the samples examined show evidence for a component of CO 2 trapped from the martian atmosphere, possibly indicating that shock-produced glass is heterogeneously distributed throughout the shergottite group. This interpretation is corroborated by N isotope measurements made on one of the specimens. All samples appear to contain evidence of a high temperature magmatic component of C. (author)

  7. Theoretical study of AlH+: spin splitting, core polarization, and interstellar chemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cooper, D.L.; Black, J.H.; Everard, M.A.L.; Richards, W.G.

    1983-01-01

    The spin splitting constant for the X 2 μ + state of AlH + is calculated to be ν 0 = 0.058 cm - 1 . The favorable comparison of this result with experiment indicates that the uncertainty in the previously calculated spin splitting in MgH is likely to be of the order of a few percent. Calculations are presented of the so-called core polarization contribution to the spin-orbit coupling constant in the A 2 Pi/sub r/ state of AlH + . Results are also given for MgH and SiH. Astronomical applications of such calculations are discussed and the abundances of aluminum-bearing molecules in interstellar clouds are estimated

  8. Studying Antarctic Ordinary Chondrite (OC) and Miller Range (MIL) Nakhlite Meteorites to Assess Carbonate Formation on Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Michael Ellis

    Carbonates are found in meteorites collected from Antarctica. The stable isotope composition of these carbonates records their formation environment on either Earth or Mars. The first research objective of this dissertation is to characterize the delta18O and delta 13C values of terrestrial carbonates formed on Ordinary Chondrites (OCs) collected in regions near known martian meteorites. The second objective is to characterize the delta18O and delta13C values of martian carbonates from Nakhlites collected from the Miller Range (MIL). The third objective is to assess environmental changes on Mars since the Noachian period. The OCs selected had no pre-terrestrial carbonates so any carbonates detected are presumed terrestrial in origin. The study methodology is stepped extraction of CO2 created from phosphoric acid reaction with meteorite carbonate. Stable isotope results show that two distinct terrestrial carbonate species (Ca-rich and Fe/Mg-rich) formed in Antarctica on OCs from a thin-film of meltwater containing dissolved CO2. Carbon isotope data suggests the terrestrial carbonates formed in equilibrium with atmospheric CO2 delta 13C = -7.5‰ at >15°C. The wide variation in delta 18O suggests the carbonates did not form in equilibrium with meteoric water alone, but possibly formed from an exchange of oxygen isotopes in both water and dissolved CO2. Antarctica provides a model for carbonate formation in a low water/rock ratio, near 0°C environment like modern Mars. Nakhlite parent basalt formed on Mars 1.3 billion years ago and the meteorites were ejected by a single impact approximately 11 million years ago. They traveled thru space before eventually falling to the Earth surface 10,000-40,000 years ago. Nakhlite samples for this research were all collected from the Miller Range (MIL) in Antarctica. The Nakhlite stable isotope results show two carbonate species (Ca-rich and Fe/Mg-rich) with a range of delta18O values that are similar to the terrestrial OC

  9. Improved Dehydrogenation Properties of 2LiNH2-MgH2 by Doping with Li3AlH6

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shujun Qiu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Doping with additives in a Li-Mg-N-H system has been regarded as one of the most effective methods of improving hydrogen storage properties. In this paper, we prepared Li3AlH6 and evaluated its effect on the dehydrogenation properties of 2LiNH2-MgH2. Our studies show that doping with Li3AlH6 could effectively lower the dehydrogenation temperatures and increase the hydrogen content of 2LiNH2-MgH2. For example, 2LiNH2-MgH2-0.1Li3AlH6 can desorb 6.43 wt % of hydrogen upon heating to 300 °C, with the onset dehydrogenation temperature at 78 °C. Isothermal dehydrogenation testing indicated that 2LiNH2-MgH2-0.1Li3AlH6 had superior dehydrogenation kinetics at low temperature. Moreover, the release of byproduct NH3 was successfully suppressed. Measurement of the thermal diffusivity suggests that the enhanced dehydrogenation properties may be ascribed to the fact that doping with Li3AlH6 could improve the heat transfer for solid–solid reaction.

  10. Potential Antifreeze Compounds in Present-Day Martian Seepage Groundwater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiin-Shuh Jean

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Is the recently found seepage groundwater on Mars pure H2O, or mixed with salts and other antifreeze compounds? Given the surface conditions of Mars, it is unlikely that pure water could either exist in its liquid state or have shaped Mars¡¦ fluid erosional landforms (gullies, channels, and valley networks. More likely is that Mars¡¦ seepage groundwater contains antifreeze and salt compounds that resist freezing and suppress evaporation. This model better accounts for Mars¡¦ enigmatic surface erosion. This paper suggests 17 antifreeze compounds potentially present in Martian seepage groundwater. Given their liquid state and physical properties, triethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, ethylene glycol, and 1,3-propylene glycol are advanced as the most likely candidate compounds. This paper also explores how a mixing of glycol or glycerol with salts in the Martian seepage groundwater may have lowered water¡¦s freezing point and raised its boiling point, with consequences that created fluid gully and channel erosion. Ethylene glycol and related hydrocarbon compounds have been identified in Martian and other interstellar meteorites. We suggest that these compounds and their proportions to water be included for detection in future explorations.

  11. Martian fluid and Martian weathering signatures identified in Nakhla, NWA 998 and MIL 03346 by halogen and noble gas analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, J. A.; Gilmour, J. D.; Burgess, R.

    2013-03-01

    We report argon (Ar) noble gas, Ar-Ar ages and halogen abundances (Cl, Br, I) of Martian nakhlites Nakhla, NWA 998 and MIL 03346 to determine the presence of Martian hydrous fluids and weathering products. Neutron-irradiated samples were either crushed and step-heated (Nakhla only), or simply step-heated using a laser or furnace, and analysed for noble gases using an extension of the 40Ar-39Ar technique to determine halogen abundances. The data obtained provide the first isotopic evidence for a trapped fluid that is Cl-rich, has a strong correlation with 40ArXS (40ArXS = 40Armeasured - 40Arradiogenic) and displays 40ArXS/36Ar of ˜1000 - consistent with the Martian atmosphere. This component was released predominantly in the low temperature and crush experiments, which may suggest a fluid inclusion host. For the halogens, we observe similar Br/Cl and I/Cl ratios between the nakhlites and terrestrial reservoirs, which is surprising given the absence of crustal recycling, organic matter and frequent fluid activity on Mars. In particular, Br/Cl ratios in our Nakhla samples (especially olivine) are consistent with previously analysed Martian weathering products, and both low temperature and crush analyses show a similar trend to the evaporation of seawater. This may indicate that surface brines play an important role on Mars and on halogen assemblages within Martian meteorites and rocks. Elevated I/Cl ratios in the low temperature NWA 998 and MIL 03346 releases may relate to in situ terrestrial contamination, though we are unable to distinguish between low temperature terrestrial or Martian components. Whilst estimates of the amount of water present based on the 36Ar concentrations are too high to be explained by a fluid component alone, they are consistent with a mixed-phase inclusion (gas and fluid) or with shock-implanted Martian atmospheric argon. The observed fluid is dilute (low salinity, but high Br/Cl and I/Cl ratios), contains a Martian atmospheric component

  12. Abundance and Isotopic Composition of Gases in the Martian Atmosphere: First Results from the Mars Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul; Webster, Chris R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Franz, Heather; Wong, Michael; Conrad, Pamela G.; Harpold, Dan; Jones, John J.; Leshin, Laurie, A.; Manning, Heidi; hide

    2013-01-01

    Repeated measurements of the composition of the Mars atmosphere from Curiosity Rover yield a (40)Ar/N2 ratio 1.7 times greater and the (40)Ar/(36)Ar ratio 1.6 times smaller than the Viking Lander values in 1976. The unexpected change in (40)Ar/N2 ratio probably results from different instrument characteristics although we cannot yet rule out some unknown atmospheric process. The new (40)Ar/(36)Ar ratio is more aligned with Martian meteoritic values. Besides Ar and N2 the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on the Curiosity Rover has measured the other principal components of the atmosphere and the isotopes. The resulting volume mixing ratios are: CO2 0.960(+/- 0.007); (40)Ar 0.0193(+/- 0.0001); N2 0.0189(+/- 0.0003); O2 1.45(+/- 0.09) x 10(exp -3); and CO 5.45(+/- 3.62) x 10(exp 4); and the isotopes (40)Ar/(36)Ar 1.9(+/- 0.3) x 10(exp 3), and delta (13)C and delta (18)O from CO2 that are both several tens of per mil more positive than the terrestrial averages. Heavy isotope enrichments support the hypothesis of large atmospheric loss. Moreover, the data are consistent with values measured in Martian meteorites, providing additional strong support for a Martian origin for these rocks.

  13. Fe-Ti-Cr-Oxides in Martian Meteorite EETA79001 Studied by Point-counting Procedure Using Raman Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Alian; Kuebler, Karla E.; Jolliff, Bradley L.; Haskin, Larry A.

    2003-01-01

    Fe-Ti-Cr-Oxide minerals contain much information about rock petrogenesis and alteration. Among the most important in the petrology of common intrusive and extrusive rocks are those of the FeO-TiO2-Cr2O3 compositional system chromite, ulv spinel-magnetite, and ilmenite-hematite. These minerals retain memories of oxygen fugacity. Their exsolution into companion mineral pairs give constraints on formation temperature and cooling rate. Laser Raman spectroscopy is anticipated to be a powerful technique for characterization of materials on the surface of Mars. A Mars Microbeam Raman Spectrometer (MMRS) is under development. It combines a micro sized laser beam and an automatic point-counting mechanism, and so can detect minor minerals or weak Raman-scattering phases such as Fe- Ti-Cr-oxides in mixtures (rocks & soils), and provide information on grain size and mineral mode. Most Fe-Ti-Cr-oxides produce weaker Raman signals than those from oxyanionic minerals, e.g. carbonates, sulfates, phosphates, and silicates, partly because most of them are intrinsically weaker Raman scatters, and partly because their dark colors limit the penetration depth of the excitation laser beam (visible wavelength) and of the Raman radiation produced. The purpose of this study is to show how well the Fe-Ti-Cr-oxides can be characterized by on-surface planetary exploration using Raman spectroscopy. We studied the basic Raman features of common examples of these minerals using well-characterized individual mineral grains. The knowledge gained was then used to study the Fe-Ti-Cr-oxides in Martian meteorite EETA79001, especially effects of compositional and structural variations on their Raman features.

  14. Origin and Reactivity of the Martian Soil: A 2003 Micromission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yen, Albert S.; Kim, S. Sam; Marshall, John; Murray, Bruce C.

    1999-01-01

    The role of water in the development of the martian surface remains a fundamental scientific question. Did Mars have one or more "warm and wet" climatic episodes where liquid water was stable at the surface? If so, the mineral phases present in the soils should be consistent with a history of aqueous weathering. More generally, the formation of hydrated mineral phases on Mars is a strong indicator of past habitable surface environments. The primary purpose of this investigation is to help resolve the question of whether such aqueous indicators are present on Mars by probing the upper meter for diagnostic mineral species. According to Burns [1993], the formation of the ferric oxides responsible for the visible color of Mars are the result of dissolution of Fe (+2) phases from basalts followed by aqueous oxidation and precipitation of Fe" mineral assemblages. These precipitates likely included iron oxyhydroxides such as goethite (a-FeOOH) and lepidocrocite (g-FeOOH), but convincing evidence for these phases at the surface is still absent. The stability of these minerals is enhanced beneath the surface, and thus we propose a subsurface search for hydroxylated iron species as a test for a large-scale chemical weathering process based on interactions with liquid water. It is also possible that the ferric minerals on Mars are not aqueous alteration products of the rocks. A chemical study of the Pathfinder landing site concluded that the soils are not directly derived from the surrounding rocks and are enhanced in Mg and Fe. The additional source of these elements might be from other regions of Mars and transported by winds, or alternatively, from exogenic sources. Gibson [1970] proposed that the spectral reflectivity of Mars is consistent with oxidized meteoritic material. Yen and Murray [1998] further extend Gibson's idea and show, in the laboratory, that metallic iron can be readily oxidized to maghemite and hematite under present-day martian surface conditions (in the

  15. Reconstruction of the Exposure Histories of 20 Allan Hills Ordinary Chondrites on the Basis of Cosmogenic 10Be, 26Al, Noble Gases, and Cosmic Ray Tracks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neupert, U.; Knauer, M.; Michel, R.; Loeken, Th.; Schultz, L.; Dittrich-Hannen, B.; Suter, M.; Kubik, P. W.; Metzler, K.; Romstedt, J.

    1995-09-01

    Twenty ordinary chondrites from the 1988/89 meteorite search (ALH 88004, 88008, 88010, 88011, 88013, 88016 to 88021, 88026 to 88031, 88033, 88039, 88042) [1,2] were investigated for 10Be and 26Al, and for He, Ne and Ar by accelerator and rare gas mass spectrometry, respectively. Cosmic ray tracks were measured in samples of ALH 88019. Using theoretical production rates calculated by a physical model [3] the experimental data are interpreted with respect to the reconstruction of the preatmospheric exposure conditions and exposure histories of the meteoroids. Ordinary chondrites are particularly well suited to exemplify the capabilities of an interpretation of many cosmogenic nuclides measured in one sample. Model calculations of GCR production rates were performed for 10Be, 26Al, 3He, 21Ne, 22Ne and 38Ar as reported elsewhere [4,5]. For all meteorites, except for ALH 88019, the cosmogenic nuclide data can be explained by simple one stage exposure histories between 3 Ma and 44 Ma in meteoroids with radii between 5 cm and 85 cm. Exposure ages were derived from cosmogenic 3He, 21Ne and 38Ar on the basis of the theoretical production rates as function of3He/21Ne and 22Ne/21Ne as well as on the empirical ones proposed by Eugster [6]. The average ratios of exposure ages determined from theoretical production rates to those calculated according to Eugster [6] were 1.08+/-0.11, 1.11+/-0.25 and 1.12+/-0.17 in case of 3He, 21Ne and 38Ar, respectively. Repeated measurements of 10Be and 26Al in ALH 88019 resulted in 10.4+/-1.3 dpm/kg and 5.6+/-0.5 dpm/kg, respectively. But, the cosmogenic rare gas concentrations point to a (single stage) exposure age of 39 Ma in a meteoroid. This is in accordance with a measured cosmic ray track density in olivine of 2.8 * 10^6 cm^-2. The samples are from depths betwen 3 cm and 8 cm. Based on the track data we obtain a minimum meteoroid radius of 8 cm. The low 10Be and 26Al cannot be explained by a one stage exposure history and a long

  16. Analysis of Siderite Thermal Decomposition by Differential Scanning Calorimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, M. S.; Lin, I.-C.; McKay, D. S.

    2000-01-01

    Characterization of carbonate devolitilization has important implications for atmospheric interactions and climatic effects related to large meteorite impacts in platform sediments. On a smaller scale, meteorites contain carbonates which have witnessed shock metamorphic events and may record pressure/temperature histories of impact(s). ALH84001 meteorite contains zoned Ca-Mg-Fe-carbonates which formed on Mars. Magnetite crystals are found in the rims and cores of these carbonates and some are associated with void spaces leading to the suggestion by Brearley et al. that the crystals were produced by thermal decomposition of the carbonate at high temperature, possibly by incipient shock melting or devolitilization. Golden et al. recently synthesized spherical Mg-Fe-Ca-carbonates from solution under mild hydrothermal conditions that have similar carbonate compositional zoning to those of ALH84001. They have shown experimental evidence that the carbonate-sulfide-magnetite assemblage in ALH84001 can result from a multistep inorganic process involving heating possibly due to shock events. Experimental shock studies on calcium carbonate prove its stability to approx. 60 GPa, well in excess of the approx. 45 GPa peak pressures indicated by other shock features in ALH84001. In addition, Raman spectroscopy of carbonate globules in ALH84001 indicates no presence of CaO and MgO. Such oxide phases should be found associated with the magnetites in voids if these magnetites are high temperature shock products, the voids resulting from devolitilization of CO2 from calcium or magnesium carbonate. However, if the starting material was siderite (FeCO3), thermal breakdown of the ALH84001 carbonate at 470 C would produce iron oxide + CO2. As no documentation of shock effects in siderite exists, we have begun shock experiments to determine whether or not magnetite is produced by the decomposition of siderite within the < 45GPa pressure window and by the resultant thermal pulse to approx

  17. The Search for Ammonia in Martian Soils with Curiosity's SAM Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wray, James J.; Archer, P. D.; Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Franz, H. B.; Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D. P.; Mahaffy, P. R.; McKay, C. P.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; hide

    2013-01-01

    Nitrogen is the second or third most abundant constituent of the Martian atmosphere [1,2]. It is a bioessential element, a component of all amino acids and nucleic acids that make up proteins, DNA and RNA, so assessing its availability is a key part of Curiosity's mission to characterize Martian habitability. In oxidizing desert environments it is found in nitrate salts that co-occur with perchlorates [e.g., 3], inferred to be widespread in Mars soils [4-6]. A Mars nitrogen cycle has been proposed [7], yet prior missions have not constrained the state of surface N. Here we explore Curiosity's ability to detect N compounds using data from the rover's first solid sample. Companion abstracts describe evidence for nitrates [8] and for nitriles (C(triple bond)N) [9]; we focus here on nonnitrile, reduced-N compounds as inferred from bonded N-H. The simplest such compound is ammonia (NH3), found in many carbonaceous chondrite meteorites in NH4(+) salts and organic compounds [e.g., 10].

  18. A Martian origin for the Mars Trojan asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polishook, D.; Jacobson, S. A.; Morbidelli, A.; Aharonson, O.

    2017-08-01

    Seven of the nine known Mars Trojan asteroids belong to an orbital cluster1,2 named after its largest member, (5261) Eureka. Eureka is probably the progenitor of the whole cluster, which formed at least 1 Gyr ago3. It has been suggested3 that the thermal YORP (Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack) effect spun up Eureka, resulting in fragments being ejected by the rotational-fission mechanism. Eureka's spectrum exhibits a broad and deep absorption band around 1 μm, indicating an olivine-rich composition4. Here we show evidence that the Trojan Eureka cluster progenitor could have originated as impact debris excavated from the Martian mantle. We present new near-infrared observations of two Trojans ((311999) 2007 NS2 and (385250) 2001 DH47) and find that both exhibit an olivine-rich reflectance spectrum similar to Eureka's. These measurements confirm that the progenitor of the cluster has an achondritic composition4. Olivine-rich reflectance spectra are rare amongst asteroids5 but are seen around the largest basins on Mars6. They are also consistent with some Martian meteorites (for example, Chassigny7) and with the material comprising much of the Martian mantle8,9. Using numerical simulations, we show that the Mars Trojans are more likely to be impact ejecta from Mars than captured olivine-rich asteroids transported from the main belt. This result directly links specific asteroids to debris from the forming planets.

  19. Principles of meteoritics

    CERN Document Server

    Krinov, E L

    1960-01-01

    Principles of Meteoritics examines the significance of meteorites in relation to cosmogony and to the origin of the planetary system. The book discusses the science of meteoritics and the sources of meteorites. Scientists study the morphology of meteorites to determine their motion in the atmosphere. The scope of such study includes all forms of meteorites, the circumstances of their fall to earth, their motion in the atmosphere, and their orbits in space. Meteoric bodies vary in sizes; in calculating their motion in interplanetary space, astronomers apply the laws of Kepler. In the region of

  20. Evidence for a Heterogeneous Distribution of Water in the Martian Interior

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, Francis; Boyce, Jeremy W.; Srinvasan, Poorna; Santos, Alison R.; Elardo, Stephen M.; Filiberto, Justin; Steele, Andrew; Shearer, Charles K.

    2016-01-01

    The abundance and distribution of H2O within the terrestrial planets, as well as its timing of delivery, is a topic of vital importance for understanding the chemical and physical evolution of planets and their potential for hosting habitable environments. Analysis of planetary materials from Mars, the Moon, and the eucrite parent body (i.e., asteroid 4Vesta) have confirmed the presence of H2O within their interiors. Moreover, H and N isotopic data from these planetary materials suggests H2O was delivered to the inner solar system very early from a common source, similar in composition to the carbonaceous chondrites. Despite the ubiquity of H2O in the inner Solar System, the only destination with any prospects for past or present habitable environments at this time, outside of the Earth, is Mars. Although the presence of H2O within the martian interior has been confirmed, very little is known regarding its abundance and distribution within the martian interior and how the martian water inventory has changed over time. By combining new analyses of martian apatites within a large number of martian meteorite types with previously published volatile data and recently determined mineral-melt partition coefficients for apatite, we report new insights into the abundance and distribution of volatiles in the martian crust and mantle. Using the subset of samples that did not exhibit crustal contamination, we determined that the enriched shergottite mantle source has 36-73 ppm H2O and the depleted shergottite mantle source has 14-23 ppm H2O. This result is consistent with other observed geochemical differences between enriched and depleted shergottites and supports the idea that there are at least two geochemically distinct reservoirs in the martian mantle. We also estimated the H2O content of the martian crust using the revised mantle H2O abundances and known crust-mantle distributions of incompatible lithophile elements. We determined that the bulk martian crust has

  1. Meteorites for K-12 Classrooms: NASA Meteorite Educational Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, M.; Allen, J.

    1995-09-01

    The fall of a new meteorite is an event that catches the interest of the public in matters of science. The threat of a huge impact like last year's comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 gives us all reason to evaluate such potential risks. NASA's meteorite educational materials use our natural interest in rocks from space to present classroom activities on planetary science. The meteorite educational package includes a meteorite sample disk, a teachers's guide and a slide set. The sample disk is a lucite disk containing chips of six different kinds of meteorites (3 chondrites, achondrite, iron, stony-iron). EXPLORING METEORITE MYSTERIES is a teacher's guide with background information and 19 hands-on or heads-on activities for grades 4-12. It was prepared in a partnership of planetary scientists and teachers. The slide set consists of 48 slides with captions to be used with the activities. The materials will be available in Fall 1995. Teachers may obtain a loan of the whole package from NASA Teacher Resource Centers; researchers may borrow them from the JSC meteorite curator. The booklet is available separately from the same sources, and the slide set will be available from NASA CORE. EXPLORING METEORITE MYSTERIES is an interdisciplinary planetary science unit which teaches basic science concepts and techniques together with math, reading, writing and social studies The activities are done in a variety of different teaching styles which emphasize observation, experimentation and critical thinking. The activities are ideal for middle schools where teaming makes interdisciplinary units desireable, but most of the activities can be easily modified for grade levels from upper elementary through high school. Meteorites are a natural subject for interdisciplinary teaching because their study involves all fields of science and offers fascinating historical accounts and possibilities for creative expression. Topics covered in EXPLORING METEORITE MYSTERES are centered around basic

  2. Kosice meteorite analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sitek, J.; Degmova, J.; Dekan, J.

    2011-01-01

    Meteorite Kosice fell down 28 th of February 2010 near the Kosice and represents an unique find, because the last fall of meteorite was observed in Slovakia at the year 1895. It supposes that for this kind of meteorite the orbit in cosmic space could be calculated. This is one of most important part because until now 13 places of meteorite find are known in the world of which cosmic orbit in space have been calculated. Slovakia is member of international bolide net, dealing with meteorite analysis in Middle Europe .Analysis of Kosice meteorite will also concern at the long live and short live nuclides. Results should be a contribution to determination of radiation and formative ages. From structural analysis of meteorite it will be possible to compare it with similar types of meteorites. In this work Moessbauer spectroscopy will be used for phase analysis from point of view iron contain components with the aim to identify magnetic and non magnetic fractions. From the analysis of magnetic part we can find that the first sextet with hyperfine magnetic field 33.5 T corresponds to bcc Fe-Ni alloy (kamacite) and second with field 31.5 T to FeS (triolite). Meteorites with mentioned composition belong to the mineral group of chondrites. Comparing our parameters with results of measurements at the similar meteorites we can conclude that Kosice meteorite contains the same components. According all Moessbauer parameters we can also include this meteorite in the mineral group of chondrites. (authors)

  3. Dating the Martian meteorite Zagami by the ⁸⁷Rb-⁸⁷Sr isochron method with a prototype in situ resonance ionization mass spectrometer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, F Scott; Levine, Jonathan; Whitaker, Tom J

    2015-01-30

    The geologic history of the Solar System builds on an extensive record of impact flux models, crater counts, and ~270 kg of lunar samples analyzed in terrestrial laboratories. However, estimates of impactor flux may be biased by the fact that most of the dated Apollo samples were only tenuously connected to an assumed geologic context. Moreover, uncertainties in the modeled cratering rates are significant enough to lead to estimated errors for dates on Mars and the Moon of ~1 Ga. Given the great cost of sample return missions, combined with the need to sample multiple terrains on multiple planets, we have developed a prototype instrument that can be used for in situ dating to better constrain the age of planetary samples. We demonstrate the first use of laser ablation resonance ionization mass spectrometry for (87)Rb-(87)Sr isochron dating of geological specimens. The demands of accuracy and precision have required us to meet challenges including regulation of the ambient temperature, measurement of appropriate backgrounds, sufficient ablation laser intensity, avoidance of the defocusing effect of the plasma created by ablation pulses, and shielding of our detector from atoms and ions of other elements. To test whether we could meaningfully date planetary materials, we have analyzed a piece of the Martian meteorite Zagami. In each of four separate measurements we obtained (87)Rb-(87)Sr isochron ages for Zagami consistent with its published age, and, in both of two measurements that reached completion, we obtained better than 200 Ma precision. Combining all our data into a single isochron with 581 spot analyses gives an (87)Rb-(87)Sr age for this specimen of 360 ±90 Ma. Our analyses of the Zagami meteorite represent the first successful application of resonance ionization mass spectrometry to isochron geochronology. Furthermore, the technique is miniaturizable for spaceflight and in situ dating on other planetary bodies. © 2014 The Authors. Rapid Communications in

  4. The Martian Oasis Detector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, P. H.; tomasko, M. G.; McEwen, A.; Rice, J.

    2000-07-01

    The next phase of unmanned Mars missions paves the way for astronauts to land on the surface of Mars. There are lessons to be learned from the unmanned precursor missions to the Moon and the Apollo lunar surface expeditions. These unmanned missions (Ranger, Lunar Orbiter, and Surveyor) provided the following valuable information, useful from both a scientific and engineering perspective, which was required to prepare the way for the manned exploration of the lunar surface: (1) high resolution imagery instrumental to Apollo landing site selection also tremendously advanced the state of Nearside and Farside regional geology; (2) demonstrated precision landing (less than two kilometers from target) and soft landing capability; (3) established that the surface had sufficient bearing strength to support a spacecraft; and (4) examination of the chemical composition and mechanical properties of the surface. The search for extinct or extant life on Mars will follow the water. However, geomorphic studies have shown that Mars has had liquid water on its surface throughout its geologic history. A cornucopia of potential landing sites with water histories (lakes, floodplains, oceans, deltas, hydrothermal regions) presently exist. How will we narrow down site selection and increase the likelihood of finding the signs of life? One way to do this is to identify 'Martian oases.' It is known that the Martian surface is often highly fractured and some areas have karst structures that support underground caves. Much of the water that formed the channels and valley networks is thought to be frozen underground. All that is needed to create the potential for liquid water is a near surface source of heat; recent lava flows and Martian meteorites attest to the potential for volcanic activity. If we can locate even one spot where fracturing, ice, and underground heat are co-located then we have the potential for an oasis. Such a discovery could truly excite the imaginations of both the

  5. Enrichment of Inorganic Martian Dust Simulant with Carbon Component can Provoke Neurotoxicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pozdnyakova, Natalia; Pastukhov, Artem; Dudarenko, Marina; Borysov, Arsenii; Krisanova, Natalia; Nazarova, Anastasia; Borisova, Tatiana

    2017-02-01

    Carbon is the most abundant dust-forming element in the interstellar medium. Tremendous amount of meteorites containing plentiful carbon and carbon-enriched dust particles have reached the Earth daily. National Institute of Health panel accumulates evidences that nano-sized air pollution components may have a significant impact on the central nervous system (CNS) in health and disease. During inhalation, nano-/microsized particles are efficiently deposited in nasal, tracheobronchial, and alveolar regions and can be transported to the CNS. Based on above facts, here we present the study, the aims of which were: 1) to upgrade inorganic Martian dust simulant derived from volcanic ash (JSC-1a/JSC, ORBITEC Orbital Technologies Corporation, Madison, Wisconsin) by the addition of carbon components, that is, nanodiamonds and carbon dots; 2) to analyse acute effects of upgraded simulant on key characteristics of synaptic neurotransmission; and 3) to compare above effects with those of inorganic dust and carbon components per se. Acute administration of carbon-containing Martian dust analogues resulted in a significant decrease in transporter-mediated uptake of L-[14C]glutamate (the major excitatory neurotransmitter) and [3H]GABA (the main inhibitory neurotransmitter) by isolated rat brain nerve terminals. The extracellular level of both neurotransmitters increased in the presence of carbon-containing Martian dust analogues. These effects were associated with action of carbon components of upgraded Martian dust simulant, but not with its inorganic constituent. This fact indicates that carbon component of native Martian dust can have deleterious effects on extracellular glutamate and GABA homeostasis in the CNS, and so glutamate- and GABA-ergic neurotransmission disballansing exitation and inhibition.

  6. Alteration of the Carbon and Nitrogen Isotopic Composition in the Martian Surface Rocks Due to Cosmic Ray Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlov, A. A.; Pavlov, A. K.; Ostryakov, V. M.; Vasilyev, G. I.; Mahaffy, P.; Steele, A.

    2014-01-01

    C-13/C-12 and N-15/N-14 isotopic ratios are pivotal for our understanding of the Martian carbon cycle, history of the Martian atmospheric escape, and origin of the organic compounds on Mars. Here we demonstrate that the carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of the surface rocks on Mars can be significantly altered by the continuous exposure of Martian surface to cosmic rays. Cosmic rays can effectively produce C-13 and N-15 isotopes via spallation nuclear reactions on oxygen atoms in various Martian rocks. We calculate that in the top meter of the Martian rocks, the rates of production of both C-13 and N-15 due to galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) exposure can vary within 1.5-6 atoms/cm3/s depending on rocks' depth and chemical composition. We also find that the average solar cosmic rays can produce carbon and nitrogen isotopes at a rate comparable to GCRs in the top 5-10 cm of the Martian rocks. We demonstrate that if the total carbon content in a surface Martian rock is <10 ppm, then the "light," potentially "biological" C-13/C-12 ratio would be effectively erased by cosmic rays over 3.5 billion years of exposure. We found that for the rocks with relatively short exposure ages (e.g., 100 million years), cosmogenic changes in N-15/N-14 ratio are still very significant. We also show that a short exposure to cosmic rays of Allan Hills 84001 while on Mars can explain its high-temperature heavy nitrogen isotopic composition (N-15/N-14). Applications to Martian meteorites and the current Mars Science Laboratory mission are discussed.

  7. The deprotonation energies of BH5 and AlH5: Comparisons to GaH5

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Speakman, Lucas D.; Turney, Justin M.; Schaefer, Henry F.

    2007-01-01

    Hypercoordinate boron is most unusual, leading to considerable theoretical and experimental research on the parent BH 5 molecule. The deprotonation energies of BH 5 and the related molecules AlH 5 and GaH 5 have been of particular interest. Here the energy differences for XH 5 ->XH 4 - +H(X=BandAl) are computed to be 332.4 and 326.3kcalmol -1 , respectively, with an aug-cc-pVQZ basis set at the CCSD(T) level of theory. Vibrational frequencies for BH 4 - and AlH 4 - are also reported as 1098, 1210, 2263, and 2284cm -1 and 760, 779, 1658, and 1745cm -1 , respectively, again at the CCSD(T) aug-cc-pVQZ level of theory. Comparisons with the valence isoelectronic GaH 5 molecule are made

  8. Asteroid/meteorite streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, J.

    The independent discovery of the same three streams (named alpha, beta, and gamma) among 139 Earth approaching asteroids and among 89 meteorite producing fireballs presents the possibility of matching specific meteorites to specific asteroids, or at least to asteroids in the same stream and, therefore, presumably of the same composition. Although perhaps of limited practical value, the three meteorites with known orbits are all ordinary chondrites. To identify, in general, the taxonomic type of the parent asteroid, however, would be of great scientific interest since these most abundant meteorite types cannot be unambiguously spectrally matched to an asteroid type. The H5 Pribram meteorite and asteroid 4486 (unclassified) are not part of a stream, but travel in fairly similar orbits. The LL5 Innisfree meteorite is orbitally similar to asteroid 1989DA (unclassified), and both are members of a fourth stream (delta) defined by five meteorite-dropping fireballs and this one asteroid. The H5 Lost City meteorite is orbitally similar to 1980AA (S type), which is a member of stream gamma defined by four asteroids and four fireballs. Another asteroid in this stream is classified as an S type, another is QU, and the fourth is unclassified. This stream suggests that ordinary chondrites should be associated with S (and/or Q) asteroids. Two of the known four V type asteroids belong to another stream, beta, defined by five asteroids and four meteorite-dropping (but unrecovered) fireballs, making it the most probable source of the eucrites. The final stream, alpha, defined by five asteroids and three fireballs is of unknown composition since no meteorites have been recovered and only one asteroid has an ambiguous classification of QRS. If this stream, or any other as yet undiscovered ones, were found to be composed of a more practical material (e.g., water or metalrich), then recovery of the associated meteorites would provide an opportunity for in-hand analysis of a potential

  9. From Fossils to Astrobiology Records of Life on Earth and Search for Extraterrestrial Biosignatures

    CERN Document Server

    Seckbach, Joseph

    2008-01-01

    From Fossils to Astrobiology reviews developments in paleontology and geobiology that relate to the rapidly-developing field of Astrobiology, the study of life in the Universe. Many traditional areas of scientific study, including astronomy, chemistry and planetary science, contribute to Astrobiology, but the study of the record of life on planet Earth is critical in guiding investigations in the rest of the cosmos. In this varied book, expert scientists from 15 countries present peer-reviewed, stimulating reviews of paleontological and astrobiological studies. The overviews of established and emerging techniques for studying modern and ancient microorganisms on Earth and beyond, will be valuable guides to evaluating biosignatures which could be found in the extraterrestrial surface or subsurface within the Solar System and beyond. This volume also provides discussion on the controversial reports of "nanobacteria" in the Martian meteorite ALH84001. It is a unique volume among Astrobiology monographs in focusi...

  10. Hydrogen Isotopic Composition of Apatite in Northwest Africa 7034: A Record of the "Intermediate" H-Isotopic Reservoir in the Martian Crust?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, F. M.; Barnes, J. J.; Santos, A. R.; Boyce, J. W.; Anand, M.; Franchi, I. A.; Agee, C. B.

    2016-01-01

    Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034 and its pairings comprise a regolith breccia with a basaltic bulk composition [1] that yields a better match than any other martian meteorite to visible-infrared reflectance spectra of the martian surface measured from orbit [2]. The composition of the fine-grained matrix within NWA 7034 bears a striking resemblance to the major element composition estimated for the martian crust, with several exceptions. The NWA 7034 matrix is depleted in Fe, Ti, and Cr and enriched in Al, Na, and P [3]. The differences in Al and Fe are the most substantial, but the Fe content of NWA 7034 matrix falls within the range reported for the southern highlands crust [6]. It was previously suggested by [4] that NWA 7034 was sourced from the southern highlands based on the ancient 4.4 Ga ages recorded in NWA 7034/7533 zircons [4, 5]. In addition, the NWA 7034 matrix material is enriched in incompatible trace elements by a factor of 1.2-1.5 [7] relative to estimates of the bulk martian crust. The La/Yb ratio of the bulk martian crust is estimated to be approximately 3 [7], and the La/Yb of the NWA 7034 matrix materials ranges from approximately 3.9 to 4.4 [3, 8], indicating a higher degree of LREE enrichment in the NWA 7034 matrix materials. This elevated La/Yb ratio and enrichment in incompatible lithophile trace elements is consistent with NWA 7034 representing a more geochemically enriched crustal terrain than is represented by the bulk martian crust, which would be expected if NWA 7034 represents the bulk crust from the southern highlands. Given the similarities between NWA 7034 and the martian crust, NWA 7034 may represent an important sample for constraining the composition of the martian crust, particularly the ancient highlands. In the present study, we seek to constrain the H isotopic composition of the martian crust using Cl-rich apatite in NWA 7034. Usui et al., [9] recently proposed that a H isotopic reservoir exists within the martian crust that has

  11. Foundations of Forensic Meteoritics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treiman, A. H.

    1992-07-01

    It may be useful to know if a meteorite was found at the site where it fell. For instance, the polymict ureilites North Haig and Nilpena were found 1100 km apart, yet are petrologically identical [1]. Could this distance represent transport from a single strewn field, or does it represent distinct fall sites? A meteorite may contain sufficient clues to suggest some characteristics of its fall site. If these inferences are inconsistent with the find site, one may infer that the meteorite has been transported. It will likely be impossible to determine the exact fall site of a transported meteorite. Data relevant to a meteorite's fall site may be intrinsic to the meteorite, or acquired at the site. For instance, an intrinsic property is terrestrial residence age (from abundances of cosmogenic radioisotopes and their decay products); a meteorite's terrestrial residence age must be the same or less than that of the surface on which it fell. After falling, a meteorite may acquire characteristic telltales of terrestrial geological, geochemical, and biological processes. These telltale clues may include products of chemical weathering, adhering geological materials, biological organisms living (or once living) on the meteorite, and biological materials adhering to (but never living on) the meteorite. The effects of chemical weathering, present in all but the freshest finds, range from slight rusting to extensive decomposition and veining The ages of weathering materials and veins, as with terrestrial residence ages above, must be less than the age of the fall surface. The mineralogy and chemistry, elemental and isotopic, of weathering materials will differ according to the mineralogy and composition of the meteorite, and the mineralogy, geochemistry, hydrology, and climate of the fall site. Weathering materials may also vary as climate changes and may vary among the microenvironments associated with a meteorite on the Earth's surface. Geological materials (rock, sediment

  12. Micro-mapping Meteorite Surfaces on Mars using Microscopic Imager Mosaics — A Tool for Unraveling Weathering History at Meridiani Planum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashley, J. W.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Golombek, M. P.; Johnson, J. R.

    2012-12-01

    Meteorites found on Mars provide valuable insights into martian surface processes. During the course of Mars Exploration Rover (MER) extended missions, Spirit and Opportunity have identified 17 confirmed and candidate meteorites on Mars, most of which are irons. The iron meteorites exhibit morphologies and coatings that communicate complex post-fall exposure histories relevant to an understanding of climate near the martian equator [1-4]. Both chemical and mechanical weathering effects are represented. Among the more significant of these are: 1) cm-scale hollowing, 2) surficial rounding, 3) mass excavation/dissolution and removal, 4) differential etching of kamacite plates and taenite lamellae, revealing Widmanstätten patterns, 5) discontinuous iron oxide coatings, and 6) the effects of cavernous weathering, which often penetrate to rock interiors. Determining the nature, magnitude, and timing of each process and its associated features is a complex problem that will be aided by laboratory experiments, image processing, and careful surface evaluation. Because some features appear to superpose others in ways analogous to stratigraphic relationships, Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaics are useful for sketching "geologic maps" of meteorite surfaces. Employing the techniques of conventional planetary mapping [5], each map was drafted manually using full-resolution MI mosaics and Adobe Photoshop software. Units were selected to represent the oxide coating, dust-coated surfaces, sand-coated surfaces, taenite lamellae, and uncoated metal. Also included are areas in shadow, and regions of blooming caused by specular reflection of metal. Regmaglypt rim crests are presented as lineations. As with stratigraphic relationships, noting embayments and other cross-cutting relationships assists with establishing the relative timing for observed weathering effects. In addition to suggesting alternating sequences of wind and water exposure [1], patterns in oxide coating occurrence show

  13. Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, Marilyn

    2000-01-01

    This newsletter contains something for everyone! It lists classifications of about 440 meteorites mostly from the 1997 and 1998 ANSMET (Antarctic Search for Meteorites) seasons. It also gives descriptions of about 45 meteorites of special petrologic type. These include 1 iron, 17 chondrites (7 CC, 1 EC, 9 OC) and 27 achondrites (25 HED, UR). Most notable are an acapoloite (GRA98028) and an olivine diogenite (GRA98108).

  14. Iron and stony-iron meteorites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ruzicka, Alex M.; Haack, Henning; Chabot, Nancy L.

    2017-01-01

    By far most of the melted and differentiated planetesimals that have been sampled as meteorites are metal-rich iron meteorites or stony iron meteorites. The parent asteroids of these meteorites accreted early and differentiated shortly after the solar system formed, producing some of the oldest...... and interpretations for iron and stony iron meteorites (Plate 13.1). Such meteorites provide important constraints on the nature of metal-silicate separation and mixing in planetesimals undergoing partial to complete differentiation. They include iron meteorites that formed by the solidification of cores...... (fractionally crystallized irons), irons in which partly molten metal and silicates of diverse types were mixed together (silicate-bearing irons), stony irons in which partly molten metal and olivine from cores and mantles were mixed together (pallasites), and stony irons in which partly molten metal...

  15. Meteorites as space probes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaques, A.L.

    1982-01-01

    Meteorites are a major source of information on evolution of the solar system. The BMR-Hollmayer meteorite collection consists mainly of chondrites but also includes a carbonaceous chondrite and a ureilite from the achondrite group. The mineralogy and chemical composition of the meteorites have been studied

  16. Abundance and Isotopic Composition of Gases in the Martian Atmosphere from the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.; Webster, Christopher R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Franz, Heather; Wong, Michael; Conrad, Pamela G.; Harpold, Dan; Jones, John J.; Leshin, Laurie A.; Manning, Heidi; Owen, Tobias; Pepin, Robert O.; Squyres, Steven; Trainer, Melissa; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Minitti, Michelle; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Grotzinger, John; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Stolper, Edward; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Steele, Andrew; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Maurice, Sylvestre; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; Cousin, Agnès; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Treiman, Allan; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Summons, Roger; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Dworkin, Jason P.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Meyer, Michael; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Brinza, David; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Cucinotta, Francis; Ming, Douglas; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Vaniman, David; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, Aileen; Lewis, Kevin; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Bullock, Mark; Ehresmann, Bent; Hamilton, Victoria; Hassler, Donald; Peterson, Joseph; Rafkin, Scot; Zeitlin, Cary; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; McLennan, Scott; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Kim, Myung-Hee; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Gellert, Ralf; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; Boehm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2013-07-01

    Volume mixing and isotope ratios secured with repeated atmospheric measurements taken with the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on the Curiosity rover are: carbon dioxide (CO2), 0.960(±0.007); argon-40 (40Ar), 0.0193(±0.0001); nitrogen (N2), 0.0189(±0.0003); oxygen, 1.45(±0.09) × 10-3; carbon monoxide, < 1.0 × 10-3; and 40Ar/36Ar, 1.9(±0.3) × 103. The 40Ar/N2 ratio is 1.7 times greater and the 40Ar/36Ar ratio 1.6 times lower than values reported by the Viking Lander mass spectrometer in 1976, whereas other values are generally consistent with Viking and remote sensing observations. The 40Ar/36Ar ratio is consistent with martian meteoritic values, which provides additional strong support for a martian origin of these rocks. The isotopic signature δ13C from CO2 of ~45 per mil is independently measured with two instruments. This heavy isotope enrichment in carbon supports the hypothesis of substantial atmospheric loss.

  17. Halite as a Methane Sequestration Host: A Possible Explanation for Periodic Methane Release on Mars, and a Surface-accessible Source of Ancient Martian Carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M. D.; Steele, Andrew; Hynek, B. M.

    2015-01-01

    We present the hypothesis that halite may play a role in methane sequestration on the martian surface. In terrestrial examples, halite deposits sequester large volumes of methane and chloromethane. Also, examples of chloromethane-bearing, approximately 4.5 Ga old halite from the Monahans meteorite show that this system is very stable unless the halite is damaged. On Mars, methane may be generated from carbonaceous material trapped in ancient halite deposits and sequestered. The methane may be released by damaging its halite host; either by aqueous alteration, aeolian abrasion, heating, or impact shock. Such a scenario may help to explain the appearance of short-lived releases of methane on the martian surface. The methane may be of either biogenic or abiogenic origin. If this scenario plays a significant role on Mars, then martian halite deposits may contain samples of organic compounds dating to the ancient desiccation of the planet, accessible at the surface for future sample return missions.

  18. Simulation of Martian EVA at the Mars Society Arctic Research Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pletser, V.; Zubrin, R.; Quinn, K.

    The Mars Society has established a Mars Arctic Research Station (M.A.R.S.) on Devon Island, North of Canada, in the middle of the Haughton crater formed by the impact of a large meteorite several million years ago. The site was selected for its similarities with the surface of the Mars planet. During the Summer 2001, the MARS Flashline Research Station supported an extended international simulation campaign of human Mars exploration operations. Six rotations of six person crews spent up to ten days each at the MARS Flashline Research Station. International crews, of mixed gender and professional qualifications, conducted various tasks as a Martian crew would do and performed scientific experiments in several fields (Geophysics, Biology, Psychology). One of the goals of this simulation campaign was to assess the operational and technical feasibility of sustaining a crew in an autonomous habitat, conducting a field scientific research program. Operations were conducted as they would be during a Martian mission, including Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVA) with specially designed unpressurized suits. The second rotation crew conducted seven simulated EVAs for a total of 17 hours, including motorized EVAs with All Terrain Vehicles, to perform field scientific experiments in Biology and Geophysics. Some EVAs were highly successful. For some others, several problems were encountered related to hardware technical failures and to bad weather conditions. The paper will present the experiment programme conducted at the Mars Flashline Research Station, the problems encountered and the lessons learned from an EVA operational point of view. Suggestions to improve foreseen Martian EVA operations will be discussed.

  19. Organic Molecules in Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Zita

    2015-08-01

    Carbonaceous meteorites are primitive samples from the asteroid belt, containing 3-5wt% organic carbon. The exogenous delivery of organic matter by carbonaceous meteorites may have contributed to the organic inventory of the early Earth. The majority (>70%) of the meteoritic organic material consist of insoluble organic matter (IOM) [1]. The remaining meteoritic organic material (meteorites contain soluble organic molecules with different abundances and distributions, which may reflect the extension of aqueous alteration or thermal metamorphism on the meteorite parent bodies. Extensive aqueous alteration on the meteorite parent body may result on 1) the decomposition of α-amino acids [5, 6]; 2) synthesis of β- and γ-amino acids [2, 6-9]; 3) higher relative abundances of alkylated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) [6, 10]; and 4) higher L-enantiomer excess (Lee) value of isovaline [6, 11, 12].The soluble organic content of carbonaceous meteorites may also have a contribution from Fischer-Tropsch/Haber-Bosch type gas-grain reactions after the meteorite parent body cooled to lower temperatures [13, 14].The analysis of the abundances and distribution of the organic molecules present in meteorites helps to determine the physical and chemical conditions of the early solar system, and the prebiotic organic compounds available on the early Earth.[1] Cody and Alexander (2005) GCA 69, 1085. [2] Cronin and Chang (1993) in: The Chemistry of Life’s Origin. pp. 209-258. [3] Martins and Sephton (2009) in: Amino acids, peptides and proteins in organic chemistry. pp. 1-42. [4] Martins (2011) Elements 7, 35. [5] Botta et al. (2007) MAPS 42, 81. [6] Martins et al. (2015) MAPS, in press. [7] Cooper and Cronin (1995) GCA 59, 1003. [8] Glavin et al. (2006) MAPS. 41, 889. [9] Glavin et al. (2011) MAPS 45, 1948. [10] Elsila et al. (2005) GCA 5, 1349. [11] Glavin and Dworkin (2009) PNAS 106, 5487. [12] Pizzarello et al. (2003) GCA 67, 1589. [13] Chan et al. (2012) MAPS. 47, 1502

  20. Lunar Meteorites: A Global Geochemical Dataset

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeigler, R. A.; Joy, K. H.; Arai, T.; Gross, J.; Korotev, R. L.; McCubbin, F. M.

    2017-01-01

    To date, the world's meteorite collections contain over 260 lunar meteorite stones representing at least 120 different lunar meteorites. Additionally, there are 20-30 as yet unnamed stones currently in the process of being classified. Collectively these lunar meteorites likely represent 40-50 distinct sampling locations from random locations on the Moon. Although the exact provenance of each individual lunar meteorite is unknown, collectively the lunar meteorites represent the best global average of the lunar crust. The Apollo sites are all within or near the Procellarum KREEP Terrane (PKT), thus lithologies from the PKT are overrepresented in the Apollo sample suite. Nearly all of the lithologies present in the Apollo sample suite are found within the lunar meteorites (high-Ti basalts are a notable exception), and the lunar meteorites contain several lithologies not present in the Apollo sample suite (e.g., magnesian anorthosite). This chapter will not be a sample-by-sample summary of each individual lunar meteorite. Rather, the chapter will summarize the different types of lunar meteorites and their relative abundances, comparing and contrasting the lunar meteorite sample suite with the Apollo sample suite. This chapter will act as one of the introductory chapters to the volume, introducing lunar samples in general and setting the stage for more detailed discussions in later more specialized chapters. The chapter will begin with a description of how lunar meteorites are ejected from the Moon, how deep samples are being excavated from, what the likely pairing relationships are among the lunar meteorite samples, and how the lunar meteorites can help to constrain the impactor flux in the inner solar system. There will be a discussion of the biases inherent to the lunar meteorite sample suite in terms of underrepresented lithologies or regions of the Moon, and an examination of the contamination and limitations of lunar meteorites due to terrestrial weathering. The

  1. Meteors, meteorites and cosmic dust

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lebedinets, V.N.

    1987-01-01

    The problem of meteorite origin and meteorite composition is discussed. Nowadays, most scientists suppose that the giant Oort cloud consisting of ice comet nuclei is the sourse of the meteor matter. A principle unity of the matter of meteorites falling to the Earth and cosmic dust is noted as well as that of meteorite bodies evaporating in the atmosphere and bearing meteors and bodies

  2. Antarctic Meteorite Classification and Petrographic Database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, Nancy S.; Satterwhite, C. E.; Righter, Kevin

    2011-01-01

    The Antarctic Meteorite collection, which is comprised of over 18,700 meteorites, is one of the largest collections of meteorites in the world. These meteorites have been collected since the late 1970's as part of a three-agency agreement between NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution [1]. Samples collected each season are analyzed at NASA s Meteorite Lab and the Smithsonian Institution and results are published twice a year in the Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter, which has been in publication since 1978. Each newsletter lists the samples collected and processed and provides more in-depth details on selected samples of importance to the scientific community. Data about these meteorites is also published on the NASA Curation website [2] and made available through the Meteorite Classification Database allowing scientists to search by a variety of parameters

  3. Meteorites, Ice, and Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassidy, William A.

    2003-08-01

    Bill Cassidy led meteorite recovery expeditions in the Antarctic for fifteen years and his searches have resulted in the collection of thousands of meteorite specimens from the ice. This personal account of his field experiences on the U.S. Antarctic Search for Meteorites Project reveals the influence the work has had on our understanding of the moon, Mars and the asteroid belt. Cassidy describes the hardships and dangers of fieldwork in a hostile environment, as well as the appreciation he developed for its beauty. William Cassidy is Emeritus Professor of Geology and Planetary Science at the University of Pittsburgh. He initiated the U.S. Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) nroject and led meteorite recovery expeditions in Antarctica in1976. His name is found attached to a mineral (cassidyite), on the map of Antarctica (Cassidy Glacier), and in the Catalog of Asteroids (3382 Cassidy). Profiled in "American Men of Science," and "Who's Who in America," he is also a recipient of The Antarctic Service Medal from the United States and has published widely in Science, Meteoritics and Planetary Science, and The Journal of Geophysical Research.

  4. A massive hydrogen-rich Martian greenhouse recorded in D/H

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pahlevan, K.; Schaefer, L. K.; Desch, S. J.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.

    2017-12-01

    The deuterium-to-hydrogen (D/H) ratio in Martian atmospheric water ( 6x standard mean ocean water, SMOW) [1,2] is higher than that of known sources [3,4] alluding to a planetary enrichment process. A recent measurement by the Curiosity rover of Hesperian clays yields a D/H value 3x higher than SMOW [5], demonstrating that most enrichment occurred early in planetary history, buttressing the conclusions of Martian meteorite studies [6,7]. Extant models of the isotopic evolution of the Martian hydrosphere have not incorporated primordial H2, despite its likely abundance on early Mars. Here, we report the first 1D climate calculations with an atmospheric composition determined via degassing from a reducing magma ocean to study Martian climate during an early water ocean stage. A reducing Martian magma ocean is expected based on experimental petrology [8], the degassing of which gives rise to an H2-rich steam atmosphere [9] with strong attendant greenhouse warming [10,11] even after the removal of steam via condensation. At the pressures and temperatures prevailing in such a degassed greenhouse, we find that isotopic exchange in the fluid envelope is rapid, strongly concentrating deuterium in water molecules over molecular hydrogen [12]. The subsequent loss of the isotopically light H2-rich atmosphere results in a 2x D/H enrichment in the oceans via isotopic equilibration alone. These calculations suggest that most of the D/H enrichment observed in the first billion years of Martian history is produced by the evolution of a massive ( 100 bar) H2-rich greenhouse in the aftermath of magma ocean crystallization. The proposed link between early planetary process and modern isotopic observable opens a new window into the earliest history of Mars. [1] Owen, T. et al. Science 240, 1767-1770 (1988). [2] Webster, C. R. et al. Science 341, 260-263 (2013). [3] Lunine, J. I. et al. Icarus 165, 1-8, (2003). [4] Marty, B. et al. EPSL 441, 91-102, (2016). [5] Mahaffy, P. et al

  5. Signatures in magnetites formed by (Ca,Mg,Fe)CO3 thermal decomposition: Terrestrial and extraterrestrial implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimenez-Lopez, Concepcion; Rodriguez-Navarro, Carlos; Rodriguez-Navarro, Alejandro; Perez-Gonzalez, Teresa; Bazylinski, Dennis A.; Lauer, Howard V.; Romanek, Christopher S.

    2012-06-01

    It has never been demonstrated whether magnetite synthesized through the heat-dependent decomposition of carbonate precursors retains the chemical and structural features of the carbonates. In this study, synthetic (Ca,Mg,Fe)CO3 was thermally decomposed by heating from 25 to 700 °C under 1 atm CO2, and by in situ exposure under vacuum to the electron beam of a transmission electron microscope. In both cases, the decomposition of the carbonate was topotactic and resulted in porous pseudomorphs composed of oriented aggregates of magnetite nanocrystals. Both calcium and magnesium were incorporated into nanophase magnetite, forming (Ca,Mg)-magnetites and (Ca,Mg)-ferrites when these elements were present in the parent material, thus preserving the chemical signature of the precursor. These results show that magnetites synthesized in this way acquire a chemical and structural inheritance from their carbonate precursor that indicates how they were produced. These results are not only important in the determination of the origin of chemically-impure, oriented nanophase magnetite crystals in general, but they also provide important insights into the origin of the large, euhedral, chemically-pure, [111]-elongated magnetites found within Ca-, Mg- and Fe-rich carbonates of the Martian meteorite ALH84001. Based on our experimental results, the chemically-pure magnetites within ALH84001 cannot be genetically related to the Ca-, Mg- and Fe-rich carbonate matrix within which they are embedded, and an alternative explanation for their occurrence is warranted.

  6. Magnetism in meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herndon, J. M.; Rowe, M. W.

    1974-01-01

    An overview is presented of magnetism in meteorites. A glossary of magnetism terminology followed by discussion of the various techniques used for magnetism studies in meteorites are included. The generalized results from use of these techniques by workers in the field are described. A brief critical analysis is offered.

  7. Organics In Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Sherwood

    1996-01-01

    The variety of classes of organic compounds that occur in carbonaceous meteorites suggests a rich pre-planetary chemistry with possible connections to interstellar, solar nebular and parent body processes. Structural diversity prevails within all classes examined in detail. Among amino acids for instance, all possible isomers are found up to species containing 4-6 carbon atoms, with abundances decreasing with increasing molecular weight. Such diversity seems limited to those carbonaceous meteorites which show evidence of having been exposed to liquid water; meteorites lacking such evidence also show much lower abundances and less structural diversity in their organic contents. This apparent dependency on water suggests a role for cometary ices in the chemical evolution of organic compounds on parent bodies. Measurements of the stable isotope compositions of C, H, N and S in classes of compounds and at the individual compound level show strong deviations from average chondritic values. These deviations are difficult to explain by solar system or parent body processes, and precedents for some of these isotopic anomalies exist in interstellar (e.g., high D/H ratios) and circumstellar chemistry. Therefore, presolar origins for much if not all of the meteoritic organic compounds (or their precursors) is a distinct possibility. In contrast, evidence of solar nebular origins is either lacking or suspect. Results from molecular and isotopic analyses of meteoritic organics, from laboratory simulations and from a model of interstellar grain reactions will be used to flesh out the hypothesis that this material originated with interstellar chemistry, was distributed within the early solar system as cometary ices, and was subsequently altered on meteorite parent bodies to yield the observed compounds.

  8. Indigenous Carbonaceous Matter and Boron Associated with Halite Crystals in Nakhla

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Clemett, S. J.; McKay, D. S.; Gibson, E. K.; Wentworth, S. J.

    2015-01-01

    We report here the observation of indigenous organic matter spatially associated with, and in several cases embedded within, halite crystals located in alteration veins inside the Martian meteorite Nakhla. Further-more, we have also detected enrichments of boron (B) in these halites far in excess of those previously reported in bulk Martian meteorites. Boron in Martian halites has not been detected previously.

  9. Stable isotope genealogy of meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pillinger, C.T.

    1988-01-01

    One of the oldest problems in meteoritics is that of taxonomically grouping samples. In recent years the use of isotopes, particularly oxygen isotopes has proved very successful in this respect. Other light-element systematics potentially can perform the same function. For example, nitrogen in iron meteorites, and nitrogen and carbon in ureilites and SNC meteorites. These measurements will serve to extend and augment existing classification schemes and provide clues to the nature of meteorite parent bodies. They can also aid in the recognition of the isotopic signatures relating to inaccessible regions of the Earth. (author)

  10. HYDROGEN CYANIDE IN THE MURCHISON METEORITE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pizzarello, Sandra, E-mail: pizzar@asu.edu [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85018-1604 (United States)

    2012-08-01

    Carbonaceous chondrites are meteorites that may contain abundant organic materials, including soluble compounds as diverse as amino acids and hydrocarbons. We report here the finding of hydrogen cyanide in the Murchison meteorite in amounts {<=} 10 ppm. HCN was never searched for in meteorites and its detection in sizeable amount is surprising in view of the extensive water phase that is recorded by the petrology of this type of meteorites and could have exhausted their HCN content through multiple reactions. The finding adds to the inventory of simple volatile molecules found in both comets and meteorites.

  11. Mysterious iodine-overabundance in Antarctic meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreibus, G.; Waenke, H.; Schultz, L.

    1986-01-01

    Halogen as well as other trace element concentrations in meteorite finds can be influenced by alteration processes on the Earth's surface. The discovery of Antarctic meteorites offered the opportunity to study meteorites which were kept in one of the most sterile environment of the Earth. Halogen determination in Antartic meteorites was compared with non-Antarctic meteorites. No correlation was found between iodine concentration and the weathering index, or terrestrial age. The halogen measurements indicate a contaminating phase rich in iodine and also containing chlorine. Possible sources for this contamination are discussed.

  12. Mysterious iodine-overabundance in Antarctic meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dreibus, G.; Waenke, H.; Schultz, L.

    1986-01-01

    Halogen as well as other trace element concentrations in meteorite finds can be influenced by alteration processes on the Earth's surface. The discovery of Antarctic meteorites offered the opportunity to study meteorites which were kept in one of the most sterile environment of the Earth. Halogen determination in Antartic meteorites was compared with non-Antarctic meteorites. No correlation was found between iodine concentration and the weathering index, or terrestrial age. The halogen measurements indicate a contaminating phase rich in iodine and also containing chlorine. Possible sources for this contamination are discussed

  13. Moessbauer study of El-Bahrain meteorite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bahgat, A.A.; Ahmed, M.A.; Ramadan, T.M.

    2000-01-01

    A stone of brick-like shape, measuring roughly 25 x 12.5 x 10.5 cm 3 and weighing 14 kg was found in 1983, in the western desert of Egypt. The meteorite was named El-Bahrain meteorite and classified as L-chondrite. Principal constituents of El-Bahrain meteorite have been studied by means of Moessbauer spectroscopy. The chemical composition as obtained by the conventional wet analyses of L-chondritic meteorites showed that the meteorite contains 23,38% Fe and 1.23% Ni. While the analysis of the atomic absorption showed the presence of 27.03% as a total iron. The Moessbauer analysis of El-Bahrain meteorite showed that the iron constituent minerals were determined to be olivine, metallic iron-nickel alloys (kamacite, taenite and tetrataenite), ferrous sulfide (troilite) and weathering products such as maghemite and nanocrystalline hematite. The structure of meteoritic iron obtained by the Moessbauer analysis has been discussed on the basis of these constituents. (author)

  14. Annual Occurrence of Meteorite-Dropping Fireballs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konovalova, Natalia; Jopek, Tadeusz J.

    2016-07-01

    The event of Chelyabinsk meteorite has brought about change the earlier opinion about limits of the sizes of potentially dangerous asteroidal fragments that crossed the Earth's orbit and irrupted in the Earth's atmosphere making the brightest fireball. The observations of the fireballs by fireball networks allows to get the more precise data on atmospheric trajectories and coordinates of predicted landing place of the meteorite. For the reason to search the periods of fireball activity is built the annual distribution of the numbers of meteorites with the known fall dates and of the meteorite-dropping fireballs versus the solar longitude. The resulting profile of the annual activity of meteorites and meteorite-dropping fireballs shows several periods of increased activity in the course of the year. The analysis of the atmospheric trajectories and physical properties of sporadic meteorite-dropping fireballs observed in Tajikistan by instrumental methods in the summer‒autumn periods of increased fireballs activity has been made. As a result the structural strength, the bulk density and terminal mass of the studied fireballs that can survive in the Earth atmosphere and became meteorites was obtained. From the photographic IAU MDC_2003 meteor database and published sources based on the orbit proximity as determined by D-criterion of Southworth and Hawkins the fireballs that could be the members of group of meteorite-dropping fireballs, was found. Among the near Earth's objects (NEOs) the searching for parent bodies for meteorite-dropping fireballs was made and the evolution of orbits of these objects in the past on a long interval of time was investigated.

  15. Mineralogy of the Martian Surface: Crustal Composition to Surface Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mustard, John F.

    1999-01-01

    Over the course of this award we have: 1) Completed and published the results of a study of the effects of hyperfine particles on reflectance spectra of olivine and quartz, which included the development of scattering codes. Research has also progressed in the analysis of the effects of fine particle sizes on clay spectra. 2) Completed the analysis of the mineralogy of dark regions, showed the insitu compositions are highly correlated to the SNC meteorites, and determined that the martian mantle was depleted in aluminum prior to 2-3 GA ago; Studies of the mineralogic heterogeneity of surficial materials on Mars have also been conducted. and 3) Performed initial work on the study of the physical and chemical processes likely to form and modify duricrust. This includes assessments of erosion rates, solubility and transport of iron in soil environments, and models of pedogenic crust formation.

  16. Water in Nominally Anhydrous Minerals from Nakhlites and Shergottites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peslier, Anne H.

    2013-01-01

    Estimating the amount of water in the interior of terrestrial planets has tremendous implications on our understanding of solar nebula evolution, planet formation and geological history, and extraterrestrial volcanism. Mars has been a recent focus of such enquiry with complementary datasets from spacecrafts, rovers and martian meteorite studies. In planetary interiors, water can be dissolved in fluids or melts and hydrous phases, but can also be locked as protons attached to structural oxygen in lattice defects in nominally anhydrous minerals (NAM) such as olivine, pyroxene, or feldspar [1-3]. Measuring water in Martian meteorite NAM is challenging because the minerals are fragile and riddled with fractures from impact processes that makes them break apart during sample processing. Moreover, curing the sample in epoxy causes problems for the two main water analysis techniques, Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR) and secondary ionization mass spectrometry (SIMS). Measurements to date have resulted in a heated debate on how much water the mantle of Mars contains. SIMS studies of NAM [4], amphiboles [5], and apatites [6-8] from Martian meteorites report finding enough water in these phases to infer that the martian mantle is as hydrous as that of the Earth. On the other hand, a SIMS study of glass in olivine melt inclusions from shergottites concludes that the Martian mantle is much drier [9]. The latter interpretation is also supported by the fact that most martian hydrous minerals generally have the relevant sites filled with Cl and F instead of H [10,11]. As for experimental results, martian basalt compositions can be reproduced using water as well as Cl in the parent melts [12,13]. Here FTIR is used to measure water in martian meteorite minerals in order to constrain the origin of the distribution of water in martian meteorite phases.

  17. Diradicaloids in the insoluble organic matter from the Tagish Lake meteorite: Comparison with the Orgueil and Murchison meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binet, L.; Gourier, D.; Derenne, S.; Pizzarello, S.; Becker, L.

    2004-10-01

    The radicals in the insoluble organic matter (IOM) from the Tagish Lake meteorites were studied by electron paramagnetic resonance and compared to those existing in the Orgueil and Murchison meteorites. As in the Orgueil and Murchison meteorites, the radicals in the Tagish Lake meteorite are heterogeneously distributed and comprise a substantial amount (~42%) of species with a thermally acessible triplet state and with the same singlet-triplet gap, ?E ??0.1 eV, as in the Orgueil and Murchison meteorites. These species were identified as diradicaloid moieties. The existence of similar diradicaloid moieties in three different carbonaceous chondrites but not in terrestrial IOM strongly suggests that these moieties could be "fingerprints" of the extraterrestrial origin of meteoritic IOM and markers of its synthetic pathway before its inclusion into a parent body.

  18. Martian Chlorobenzene Identified by Curiosity in Yellowknife Bay: Evidence for the Preservation of Organics in a Mudstone on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Freissinet, Caroline; Mahaffy, P.; Miller, K.; Eigenbrode, J.; Summons, R.; Martin, M.; Franz, H.; Steele, A.; Archer, D.; hide

    2015-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Curiosity rover is designed to determine the inventory of organic and inorganic volatiles thermally evolved from solid samples using a combination of evolved gas analysis (EGA), gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS), and tunable laser spectroscopy. The first sample analyzed by SAM at the Rocknest (RN) aeolian deposit revealed chlorohydrocarbons derived primarily from reactions between a martian oxychlorine phase (e.g. perchlorate) and terrestrial carbon from N-methyl-N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl) trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA) vapor present in the SAM instrument background. No conclusive evidence for martian chlorohydrocarbons in the RN sand was found. After RN, Curiosity traveled to Yellowknife Bay and drilled two holes separated by 2.75 m designated John Klein (JK) and Cumberland (CB). Analyses of JK and CB by both SAM and the CheMin x-ray diffraction instrument revealed a mudstone (called Sheepbed) consisting of approx.20 wt% smectite clays, which on Earth are known to aid the concentration and preservation of organic matter. Last year at LPSC we reported elevated abundances of chlorobenzene (CBZ) and a more diverse suite of chlorinated hydrocarbons including dichloroalkanes in CB compared to RN, suggesting that martian or meteoritic organic compounds may be preserved in the mudstone. Here we present SAM data from additional analyses of the CB sample and of Confidence Hills (CH), another drill sample collected at the base of Mt. Sharp. This new SAM data along with supporting laboratory analog experiments indicate that most of the chlorobenzene detected in CB is derived from martian organic matter preserved in the mudstone.

  19. Detection of a meteorite 'stream' - Observations of a second meteorite fall from the orbit of the Innisfree chondrite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halliday, I.

    1987-03-01

    The first observational evidence of multiple meteorite falls from the same orbit is adduced from the February 6, 1980 fall of a meteorite precisely 3 yr after the fall of the Innisfree meteorite. Due consideration of the detection probability for two related objects with the meteorite camera network in western Canada suggests that the Innisfree brecciated LL chondrite was a near-surface fragment from a parent object whose radius was of the order of several tens of meters. A meteorite mass of 1.8 kg is predicted for the new object, whose recovery in the vicinity of Ridgedale, Saskatchewan, is now sought for the sake of comparison with the Innisfree chondrite.

  20. An integrated view of the chemistry and mineralogy of martian soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yen, A. S.; Gellert, Ralf; Schroder, C.; Morris, R.V.; Bell, J.F.; Knudson, A.T.; Clark, B. C.; Ming, D. W.; Crisp, J.A.; Arvidson, R. E.; Blaney, D.; Brückner, J.; Christensen, P.R.; DesMarais, D.J.; De Souza, P.A.; Economou, T.E.; Ghosh, A.; Hahn, B.C.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Haskin, L.A.; Hurowitz, J.A.; Joliff, B.L.; Johnson, J. R.; Klingelhofer, G.; Madsen, M.B.; McLennan, S.M.; McSween, H.Y.; Richter, L.; Rieder, R.; Rodionov, D.; Soderblom, L.; Squyres, S. W.; Tosca, N.J.; Wang, A.; Wyatt, M.; Zipfel, J.

    2005-01-01

    The mineralogical and elemental compositions of the martian soil are indicators of chemical and physical weathering processes. Using data from the Mars Exploration Rovers, we show that bright dust deposits on opposite sides of the planet are part of a global unit and not dominated by the composition of local rocks. Dark soil deposits at both sites have similar basaltic mineralogies, and could reflect either a global component or the general similarity in the compositions of the rocks from which they were derived. Increased levels of bromine are consistent with mobilization of soluble salts by thin films of liquid water, but the presence of olivine in analysed soil samples indicates that the extent of aqueous alteration of soils has been limited. Nickel abundances are enhanced at the immediate surface and indicate that the upper few millimetres of soil could contain up to one per cent meteoritic material.

  1. Planetary sciences and exploration: An Indian perspective

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Studies of impact craters records in the Indian shield have also been pursued and led to ... and emission of X-rays from planets as well as analytical modelling of martian ionosphere and ... Meteorite; moon; solar activity; solar system; martian atmosphere; planetary .... face layers of any meteorite reaching the earth, one.

  2. Searching for Extraterrestrial Amino Acids in a Contaminated Meteorite: Amino Acid Analyses of the Canakkale L6 Chondrite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, A. S.; Elsila, J. E.; Glavin, D. P.; Dworkin, J. P.; Ornek, C. Y.; Esenoglu, H. H.; Unsalan, O.; Ozturk, B.

    2016-01-01

    Amino acids can serve as important markers of cosmochemistry, as their abundances and isomeric and isotopic compositions have been found to vary predictably with changes in parent body chemistry and alteration processes. Amino acids are also of astrobiological interest because they are essential for life on Earth. Analyses of a range of meteorites, including all groups of carbonaceous chondrites, along with H, R, and LL chondrites, ureilites, and a martian shergottite, have revealed that amino acids of plausible extraterrestrial origin can be formed in and persist after a wide range of parent body conditions. However, amino acid analyses of L6 chondrites to date have not provided evidence for indigenous amino acids. In the present study, we performed amino acid analysis on larger samples of a different L6 chondite, Canakkale, to determine whether or not trace levels of indigenous amino acids could be found. The Canakkale meteor was an observed fall in late July, 1964, near Canakkale, Turkey. The meteorite samples (1.36 and 1.09 g) analyzed in this study were allocated by C. Y. Ornek, along with a soil sample (1.5 g) collected near the Canakkale recovery site.

  3. Organic Chemistry of Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, S.; Morrison, David (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    Studies of the molecular structures and C,N,H-isotopic compositions of organic matter in meteorites reveal a complex history beginning in the parent interstellar cloud which spawned the solar system. Incorporation of interstellar dust and gas in the protosolar nebula followed by further thermal and aqueous processing on primordial parent bodies of carbonaceous, meteorites have produced an inventory of diverse organic compounds including classes now utilized in biochemistry. This inventory represents one possible set of reactants for chemical models for the origin of living systems on the early Earth. Evidence bearing on the history of meteoritic organic matter from astronomical observations and laboratory investigations will be reviewed and future research directions discussed.

  4. Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter. Volume 20

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, Marilyn M.; Satterwhite, Cecilia E.

    1997-01-01

    The availability of 116 new meteorites from the 1994-1996 collections is announced. There are 4 special chondrites, 2 carbonaceous chondrites, and 1 achondrite among the new meteorites. Also included is a redescription of Lodranite GRA95209.

  5. Contemporary Inuit Traditional Beliefs Concerning Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mardon, A. A.; Mardon, E. G.; Williams, J. S.

    1992-07-01

    Inuit religious mythology and the importance of meteorites as "messages" from the Creator of all things is only now being recognized. Field investigations near Resolute, Cornwallis Island in the high Canadian Arctic in 1988 are the bases for this paper. Through interpreters, several elders of the local Inuit described in detail the Inuit belief, recognition, and wonder at the falling meteors & meteorites during the long Polar Night and Polar Day. Such events are passed on in the oral tradition from generation to generation by the elders and especially those elders who fulfill the shamanistic roles. The Inuit have come across rocks that they immediately recognize as not being "natural" and in the cases of a fall that was observed and the rock recovered the meteorite is kept either on the person or in some hidden niche known only to that person. In one story recounted a meteorite fell and was recovered at the birth of one very old elder and the belief was that if the rock was somehow damaged or taken from his possession he would die. Some indirect indication also was conveyed that the discovery and possession of meteorites allow shaman to have "supernatural" power. This belief in the supernatural power of meteorites can be seen historically in many societies, including Islam and the "black rock" (Kaaba) of Mecca. It should also be noted, however, that metallic meteorites were clearly once the major source of iron for Eskimo society as is indicated from the recovery of meteoritical iron arrow heads and harpoon heads from excavated pre-Viking contact sites. The one evident thing that became clear to the author is that the Inuit distinctly believe that these meteorites are religious objects of the highest order and it brings into question the current academic practice of sending meteorites south to research institutes. Any seeming conflict with the traditional use of meteoric iron is more apparent than real--the animals, the hunt, and the act of survival--all being

  6. Searching for signatures of life on Mars: an Fe-isotope perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anand, M; Russell, S S; Blackhurst, R L; Grady, M M

    2006-10-29

    Recent spacecraft and lander missions to Mars have reinforced previous interpretations that Mars was a wet and warm planet in the geological past. The role of liquid water in shaping many of the surface features on Mars has long been recognized. Since the presence of liquid water is essential for survival of life, conditions on early Mars might have been more favourable for the emergence and evolution of life. Until a sample return mission to Mars, one of the ways of studying the past environmental conditions on Mars is through chemical and isotopic studies of Martian meteorites. Over 35 individual meteorite samples, believed to have originated on Mars, are now available for lab-based studies. Fe is a key element that is present in both primary and secondary minerals in the Martian meteorites. Fe-isotope ratios can be fractionated by low-temperature processes which includes biological activity. Experimental investigations of Fe reduction and oxidation by bacteria have produced large fractionation in Fe-isotope ratios. Hence, it is considered likely that if there is/were any form of life present on Mars then it might be possible to detect its signature by Fe-isotope studies of Martian meteorites. In the present study, we have analysed a number of Martian meteorites for their bulk-Fe-isotope composition. In addition, a set of terrestrial analogue material has also been analysed to compare the results and draw inferences. So far, our studies have not found any measurable Fe-isotopic fractionation in bulk Martian meteorites that can be ascribed to any low-temperature process operative on Mars.

  7. Quantitative FT-IR Analysis for Chondritic Meteorites: Search for C_60 in Meteorites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunglee Kim

    1998-06-01

    Full Text Available Infrared absorption spectra of 9 bulk samples and 3 acid residues of meteorites were obtained in the mid-infrared region (4000 ~ 400 cm^(-1. From the known composition of meteorites studied, the possible absorption modes were investigated. Most bands of bulk samples occur in the region below 1200 cm^(-1 and they are due to metallic oxides and silicates. The spectra of each group can be distinguished by its own characteristic bands. Acid residues show very distinct features from their bulk samples, and absorption bands due to organic compounds are not evident in their spectra. Quantitative analyses for two carbonaceous (Allende CV3 and Murchison CM2 and one ordinary (Carraweena L3.9 chondrites were performed for the presence of fullerene (C_60 in the meteorites. We calculated the concentration of C_60 in the acid residues by curvefitting the spectra with Gaussian functions. The upper limit of C_60 concentration in these meteorites appears to be less than an order of a few hundred ppm.

  8. Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter. Volume 22

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satterwhite, Cecilia (Editor); Lindstrom, Marilyn (Editor)

    1999-01-01

    This Newsletter Contains Classifications of 143 New Meteorites from the 1997 ANSMET Collection. Descriptions are given for 6 meteorites;2 eucrites, and 4 ordinary chondrites. We don't expect much excitement from the rest of the 1997 collection. JSC has examined another 100 meteorites to send to the Smithsonian for classification and they appear to be more of the same LL5 shower. However, past experience tells us that there will be some treasures hidden in the remaining samples. Hope rings eternal, but we can't wait to see the 1998 collection described below.

  9. Meteorite Unit Models for Structural Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Parul; Carlozzi, Alexander A.; Karajeh, Zaid S.; Bryson, Kathryn L.

    2017-10-01

    To assess the threat posed by an asteroid entering Earth’s atmosphere, one must predict if, when, and how it fragments during entry. A comprehensive understanding of the asteroid material properties is needed to achieve this objective. At present, the meteorite material found on earth are the only objects from an entering asteroid that can be used as representative material and be tested inside a laboratory. Due to complex composition, it is challenging and expensive to obtain reliable material properties by means of laboratory test for a family of meteorites. In order to circumvent this challenge, meteorite unit models are developed to determine the effective material properties including Young’s modulus, compressive and tensile strengths and Poisson’s ratio, that in turn would help deduce the properties of asteroids. The meteorite unit model is a representative volume that accounts for diverse minerals, porosity, cracks and matrix composition.The Young’s Modulus and Poisson’s Ratio in the meteorite units are calculated by performing several hundreds of Monte Carlo simulations by randomly distributing the various phases inside these units. Once these values are obtained, cracks are introduced in these units. The size, orientation and distribution of cracks are derived by CT-scans and visual scans of various meteorites. Subsequently, simulations are performed to attain stress-strain relations, strength and effective modulus values in the presence of these cracks. The meteorite unit models are presented for H, L and LL ordinary chondrites, as well as for terrestrial basalt. In the case of the latter, data from the simulations is compared with experimental data to validate the methodology. These meteorite unit models will be subsequently used in fragmentation modeling of full scale asteroids.

  10. Meteoritics, Number 19

    Science.gov (United States)

    1964-06-01

    266, 1958. 131. Houziaux, L., Spectres d’absorption infra-rouge de quelques verres naturels entr 2 et 24 microns (Infrared Absorption Spectra of...Taking Pb20L’ 1), Given as a Function of Time. reteorites was made in a work by M. M. Shats (Ref. 10). M. M. Shats de - termined the uranium and lead...billion years. Table 6. Age, l09 Type of Data of Published Meteorite Years Meteorite Source, Investi- gator Kashin 3.00 Chondrite 1951 (Ref. 14), E.K

  11. Iron and stony-iron meteorites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Benedix, Gretchen K.; Haack, Henning; McCoy, T. J.

    2014-01-01

    Without iron and stony-iron meteorites, our chances of ever sampling the deep interior of a differentiated planetary object would be next to nil. Although we live on a planet with a very substantial core, we will never be able to sample it. Fortunately, asteroid collisions provide us with a rich...... sampling of the deep interiors of differentiated asteroids. Iron and stony-iron meteorites are fragments of a large number of asteroids that underwent significant geological processing in the early solar system. Parent bodies of iron and some stony-iron meteorites completed a geological evolution similar...... to that continuing on Earth – although on much smaller length- and timescales – with melting of the metal and silicates; differentiation into core, mantle, and crust; and probably extensive volcanism. Iron and stony-iron meteorites are our only available analogues to materials found in the deep interiors of Earth...

  12. Effects of meteorite impacts on the atmospheric evolution of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pham, Lê Binh San; Karatekin, Ozgür; Dehant, Véronique

    2009-01-01

    Early in its history, Mars probably had a denser atmosphere with sufficient greenhouse gases to sustain the presence of stable liquid water at the surface. Impacts by asteroids and comets would have played a significant role in the evolution of the martian atmosphere, not only by causing atmospheric erosion but also by delivering material and volatiles to the planet. We investigate the atmospheric loss and the delivery of volatiles with an analytical model that takes into account the impact simulation results and the flux of impactors given in the literature. The atmospheric loss and the delivery of volatiles are calculated to obtain the atmospheric pressure evolution. Our results suggest that the impacts alone cannot satisfactorily explain the loss of significant atmospheric mass since the Late Noachian (approximately 3.7-4 Ga). A period with intense bombardment of meteorites could have increased the atmospheric loss; but to explain the loss of a speculative massive atmosphere in the Late Noachian, other factors of atmospheric erosion and replenishment also need to be taken into account.

  13. Thermoluminescence of meteorites and their orbits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melcher, C. L.

    1981-01-01

    The thermoluminescence levels of 45 ordinary chondrites are measured in order to provide information on the orbital characteristics of the meteorites before impact. Glow curves of the photon emission response of powdered samples of the meteorites to temperatures up to 550 C in the natural state and following irradiation by a laboratory test dose of 110,000 rad were obtained as functions of terrestrial age and compared to those of samples of the Pribram, Lost City and Innisfree meteorites, for which accurate orbital data is available. The thermoluminescence levels in 40 out of 42 meteorites are found to be similar to those of the three control samples, indicating that the vast majority of ordinary chondrites that survive atmospheric entry have perihelia in the range 0.8-1 AU. Of the remaining two, Farmville is observed to exhibit an unusually large gradient in thermoluminescence levels with sample depth, which may be a result of a temperature gradient arising in a slowly rotating meteorite. Finally, the thermoluminescence measured in the Malakal meteorite is found to be two orders of magnitude lower than control samples, which is best explained by thermal draining by solar heating in an orbit with a perihelion distance of 0.5 to 0.6 AU.

  14. Thermoluminescence of meteorites and their orbits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Melcher, C.L.

    1981-01-01

    The thermolunimescence (TL) levels of 45 ordinary chondrites were measured to obtain information about the meteorite orbits. The low-temperature TL reaches equilibrium while the meteorite is in space and reflects the temperature of the meteorite at perihelion. Samples of Pribram, Lost City, and Innisfree, whose orbits are accurately known, were used as control samples. The TL levels in 40 out of 42 meteorites are similar to the three control samples, indicating that the vast majority of ordinary chondrites that survive atmospheric entry have perihelia similar to three known orbits, i.e., in the range 0.8-1 AU. The effects of albedo and rotation are also considered. A simple model indicates that temperature gradients of 1-2 0 K/cm are possible in slowly rotating meteoroids and such a temperature gradient is consistent with the unusually large TL gradient measured in the Farmville meteorite. Since slow rotation rates are improbable, other possibilities are examined but no satisfactory explanation has been found. The TL level measured in the Malakal meteorite is two orders of magnitude lower than control samples and is best explained by thermal draining due to solar heating in an orbit with a small perihelion distance. The perihelion is estimated to be approx. 0.5-0.6 AU. (orig.)

  15. Cosmic-ray exposure records and origins of meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reedy, R.C.

    1985-01-01

    The cosmic-ray records of meteorites are used to infer much about their origins and recent histories. The methods used to interpret meteorites cosmic-ray records, especially identifying simple or complex exposure histories, often are inadequate. Spallogenic radionuclides, stable nuclides, and measurements of products that have location-sensitive production rates, such as the tracks of heavy cosmic-ray nuclei or neutron-capture nuclides, are very useful in accurately determining a meteorite's history. Samples from different, known locations of a meteorite help in studying the cosmic-ray record. Such extensive sets of meteorite measuremetns, plus theoretical modeling of complex histories, improves the ability to predict the production of cosmogenic nuclides in meteorites, to distinguish simple and complex exposure histories, and to better determine exposure ages

  16. Cosmic-ray exposure records and origins of meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reedy, R.C.

    1985-01-01

    The cosmic-ray records of meteorites can be used to infer much about their origins and recent histories. Some meteorites had simple cosmic-ray exposure histories, while others had complex exposure histories with their cosmogenic products made both before and after a collision in space. The methods used to interpret meteorites' cosmic-ray records, especially identifying simple or complex exposure histories, often are inadequate. Besides spallogenic radionuclides and stable nuclides, measurements of products that have location-sensitive production rates, such as the tracks of heavy cosmic-ray nuclei or neutron-capture nuclides, are very useful in accurately determining a meteorite's history. Samples from different, known locations of a meteorite help in studying the cosmic-ray record. Such extensive sets of meteorite measurements, plus theoretical modeling of complex histories, will improve our ability to predict the production of cosmogenic nuclides in meteorites, to distinguish simple and complex exposure histories, and to better determine exposure ages

  17. The Virtual Museum for Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madiedo, J. M.

    2012-09-01

    Meteorites play a fundamental role in education and outreach, as these samples of extraterrestrial materials are very valuable tools to promote the public's interest in Astronomy and Planetary Sciences. Thus, for instance, meteorite exhibitions reveal the interest and fascination of students, educators and even researchers for these peculiar rocks and how these can provide information to explain many fundamental questions related to the origin and evolution of our Solar System. However, despite the efforts of private collectors, museums and other institutions to organize meteorite exhibitions, the reach of these is usually limited. But this issue can be addressed thanks to new technologies related to the Internet. In fact we can take advantage of HTML and related technologies to overcome local boundaries and open the possibility of offering these exhibitions for a global audience. With this aim a Virtual Museum for Meteorites has been created and a description of this web-based tool is given here.

  18. Moessbauer study of Slovak meteorites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipka, J.; Sitek, J.; Dekan, J., E-mail: julius.dekan@stuba.sk; Degmova, J. [Slovak University of Technology, Institute of Nuclear and Physical Engineering, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology (Slovakia); Porubcan, V. [Comenius University, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics (Slovakia)

    2013-04-15

    {sup 57}Fe Moessbauer spectroscopy was used as an analytical tool in the investigation of iron containing compounds of two meteorites (Rumanova and Kosice) out of total of six which had fallen on Slovak territory. In the magnetic fraction of the iron bearing compounds in the Rumanova meteorite, maghemite, troilite and Fe-Ni alloy were identified. In the non-magnetic fraction silicate phases were found, such as olivine and pyroxene. The paramagnetic component containing Fe{sup 3 + } ions corresponds probably to small superparamagnetic particles. The Kosice meteorite was found near the town of Kosice in February 2010. Its magnetic fraction consists of a Fe-Ni alloy with the Moessbauer parameters of the magnetic field corresponding to kamacite {alpha}-Fe(Ni, Co) and troilite. The non-magnetic part consists of Fe{sup 2 + } phases such as olivine and pyroxene and traces of a Fe{sup 3 + } phase. The main difference between these meteorites is their iron oxide content. These kinds of analyses can bring important knowledge about phases and compounds formed in extraterrestrial conditions, which have other features than their terrestrial analogues.

  19. Molecular and compound-specific hydrogen isotope analyses of insoluble organic matter from different carbonaceous chondrite groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yi; Huang, Yongsong; Alexander, Conel M. O.'D.; Fogel, Marilyn; Cody, George

    2005-07-01

    We have conducted the first systematic analyses of molecular distribution and δD values of individual compounds in pyrolysates of insoluble organic matter (IOM) from different carbonaceous chondrite groups, using flash pyrolysis coupled to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and compound-specific D/H analysis. IOM samples from six meteorites of different classifications, Elephant Moraine (EET) 92042 (CR2), Orgueil (CI1), Allan Hills (ALH) 83100 (CM1/2), Murchison (CM2), ALH 85013 (CM2), and Tagish Lake (C2) were isolated and studied. Except for the pyrolysate of Tagish Lake IOM, pyrolysates of all five meteorite IOM samples were dominated by an extensive series of aromatic (C 1 to C 7 alkyl-substituted benzenes, C 0 to C 2 alkyl-substituted naphthalenes), with aliphatic (straight chain and branched C 10 to C 15 alkanes) hydrocarbons and several S- and O- containing compounds (C 1 to C 2 alkylthiophenes, benzothiophene, benzaldehyde) being also present. The strong similarity in the pyrolysates of different carbonaceous chondrites suggests certain common characteristics in the formation mechanisms of IOM from different meteorites. The Tagish Lake IOM sample is unique in that its pyrolysate lacks most of the alkyl-substituted aromatic hydrocarbons detected in other meteorite IOM samples, suggesting distinctively different formation processes. Both bulk δD values of meteorite IOMs and weighted-average δD values of individual compounds in pyrolysates show a decreasing trend: CR2 > CI1 > CM2 > C2 (Tagish Lake), with the EET 92042 (CR2) IOM having the highest δD values (˜2000‰ higher than other samples). We attribute the high D contents in the IOM to primitive interstellar organic sources.

  20. Asteroid 2008 TC3 Breakup and Meteorite Fractions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodrich, C.; Jenniskens, P.; Shaddad, M. H.; Zolensky, M. E.; Fioretti, A. M.

    2017-01-01

    The recovery of meteorites from the impact of asteroid 2008 TC3 in the Nubian Desert of Sudan on October 7, 2008, marked the first time meteorites were collected from an asteroid observed in space by astronomical techniques before impacting. Search teams from the University of Khartoum traced the location of the strewn field and collected about 660 meteorites in four expeditions to the fall region, all of which have known fall coordinates. Upon further study, the Almahata Sitta meteorites proved to be a mixed bag of mostly ureilites (course grained, fine grained, and sulfide-metal assemblages), enstatite chondrites (EL3-6, EH3, EH5, breccias) and ordinary chondrites (H5-6, L4-5). One bencubbinite-like carbonaceous chondrite was identified, as well as one unique Rumuruti-like chondrite and an Enstatite achondrite. New analysis: The analysed meteorites so far suggest a high 30-40 percent fraction of non-ureilites among the recovered samples, but that high fraction does not appear to be in agreement with the meteorites in the University of Khartoum (UoK) collection. Ureilites dominate the meteorites that were recovered by the Sudanese teams. To better understand the fraction of recovered materials that fell to Earth, a program has been initiated to type the meteorites in the UoK collection in defined search areas. At this meeting, we will present some preliminary results from that investigation.

  1. Meteorite and meteoroid: New comprehensive definitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubin, A.E.; Grossman, J.N.

    2010-01-01

    Meteorites have traditionally been defined as solid objects that have fallen to Earth from space. This definition, however, is no longer adequate. In recent decades, man-made objects have fallen to Earth from space, meteorites have been identified on the Moon and Mars, and small interplanetary objects have impacted orbiting spacecraft. Taking these facts and other potential complications into consideration, we offer new comprehensive definitions of the terms "meteorite,""meteoroid," and their smaller counterparts: A meteoroid is a 10-??m to 1-m-size natural solid object moving in interplanetary space. A micrometeoroid is a meteoroid 10 ??m to 2 mm in size. A meteorite is a natural, solid object larger than 10 ??m in size, derived from a celestial body, that was transported by natural means from the body on which it formed to a region outside the dominant gravitational influence of that body and that later collided with a natural or artificial body larger than itself (even if it is the same body from which it was launched). Weathering and other secondary processes do not affect an object's status as a meteorite as long as something recognizable remains of its original minerals or structure. An object loses its status as a meteorite if it is incorporated into a larger rock that becomes a meteorite itself. A micrometeorite is a meteorite between 10 ??m and 2 mm in size. Meteorite- "a solid substance or body falling from the high regions of the atmosphere" (Craig 1849); "[a] mass of stone and iron that ha[s] been directly observed to have fallen down to the Earth's surface" (translated from Cohen 1894); "[a] solid bod[y] which came to the earth from space" (Farrington 1915); "A mass of solid matter, too small to be considered an asteroid; either traveling through space as an unattached unit, or having landed on the earth and still retaining its identity" (Nininger 1933); "[a meteoroid] which has reached the surface of the Earth without being vaporized" (1958

  2. In Situ Measurement of Atmospheric Krypton and Xenon on Mars with Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, P. G.; Malespin, C. A.; Franz, H. B.; Pepin, R. O.; Trainer, M. G.; Schwenzer, S. P.; Atreya, S. K.; Freissinet, C.; Jones, J. H.; Manning, H.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Mars Science Laboratorys Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation has measured all of the stable isotopes of the heavy noble gases krypton and xenon in the martian atmosphere, in situ, from the Curiosity Rover at Gale Crater, Mars. Previous knowledge of martian atmospheric krypton and xenon isotope ratios has been based upon a combination of the Viking missions krypton and xenon detections and measurements of noble gas isotope ratios in martian meteorites. However, the meteorite measurements reveal an impure mixture of atmospheric, mantle, and spallation contributions. The xenon and krypton isotopic measurements reported here include the complete set of stable isotopes, unmeasured by Viking. The new results generally agree with Mars meteorite measurements but also provide a unique opportunity to identify various non-atmospheric heavy noble gas components in the meteorites. Kr isotopic measurements define a solar-like atmospheric composition, but deviating from the solar wind pattern at 80Kr and 82Kr in a manner consistent with contributions originating from neutron capture in Br. The Xe measurements suggest an intriguing possibility that isotopes lighter than 132Xe have been enriched to varying degrees by spallation and neutron capture products degassed to the atmosphere from the regolith, and a model is constructed to explore this possibility. Such a spallation component, however, is not apparent in atmospheric Xe trapped in the glassy phases of martian meteorites.

  3. Modeling the Thermal Interactions of Meteorites Below the Antarctic Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldroyd, William Jared; Radebaugh, Jani; Stephens, Denise C.; Lorenz, Ralph; Harvey, Ralph; Karner, James

    2017-10-01

    Meteorites with high specific gravities, such as irons, appear to be underrepresented in Antarctic collections over the last 40 years. This underrepresentation is in comparison with observed meteorite falls, which are believed to represent the actual population of meteorites striking Earth. Meteorites on the Antarctic ice sheet absorb solar flux, possibly leading to downward tunneling into the ice, though observations of this in action are very limited. This descent is counteracted by ice sheet flow supporting the meteorites coupled with ablation near mountain margins, which helps to force meteorites towards the surface. Meteorites that both absorb adequate thermal energy and are sufficiently dense may instead reach a shallow equilibrium depth as downward melting overcomes upward forces during the Antarctic summer. Using a pyronometer, we have measured the incoming solar flux at multiple depths in two deep field sites in Antarctica, the Miller Range and Elephant Moraine. We compare these data with laboratory analogues and model the thermal and physical interactions between a variety of meteorites and their surroundings. Our Matlab code model will account for a wide range of parameters used to characterize meteorites in an Antarctic environment. We will present the results of our model along with depth estimates for several types of meteorites. The recovery of an additional population of heavy meteorites would increase our knowledge of the formation and composition of the solar system.

  4. Martian Chemical and Isotopic Reference Standards in Earth-based Laboratories — An Invitation for Geochemical, Astrobiological, and Engineering Dialog on Considering a Weathered Chondrite for Mars Sample Return.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashley, J. W.; Tait, A. W.; Velbel, M. A.; Boston, P. J.; Carrier, B. L.; Cohen, B. A.; Schröder, C.; Bland, P.

    2017-12-01

    Exogenic rocks (meteorites) found on Mars 1) have unweathered counterparts on Earth; 2) weather differently than indigenous rocks; and 3) may be ideal habitats for putative microorganisms and subsequent biosignature preservation. These attributes show the potential of meteorites for addressing hypothesis-driven science. They raise the question of whether chondritic meteorites, of sufficient weathering intensity, might be considered as candidates for sample return in a potential future mission. Pursuant to this discussion are the following questions. A) Is there anything to be learned from the laboratory study of a martian chondrite that cannot be learned from indigenous materials; and if so, B) is the science value high enough to justify recovery? If both A and B answer affirmatively, then C) what are the engineering constraints for sample collection for Mars 2020 and potential follow-on missions; and finally D) what is the likelihood of finding a favorable sample? Observations relevant to these questions include: i) Since 2005, 24 candidate and confirmed meteorites have been identified on Mars at three rover landing sites, demonstrating their ubiquity and setting expectations for future finds. All have been heavily altered by a variety of physical and chemical processes. While the majority of these are irons (not suitable for recovery), several are weathered stony meteorites. ii) Exogenic reference materials provide the only chemical/isotope standards on Mars, permitting quantification of alteration rates if residence ages can be attained; and possibly enabling the removal of Late Amazonian weathering overprints from other returned samples. iii) Recent studies have established the habitability of chondritic meteorites with terrestrial microorganisms, recommending their consideration when exploring astrobiological questions. High reactivity, organic content, and permeability show stony meteorites to be more attractive for colonization and subsequent biosignature

  5. The Okhansk Meteorite: Specifics of Composition, Structure, and Genesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.I. Bakhtin

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The Okhansk meteorite fell on August 18, 1887 near the village of Tabor, about 15 km away from the town of Okhansk in Perm province and weighed 186.5 kg (the total weight of collected fragments, according to P.I. Krotov, was more than 245 kg. The shock wave from the meteorite entry knocked down animals and riders on horses. Despite the fact that it was significantly stronger than that caused by the Chelyabinsk meteorite of 2013, all information about this meteorite has completely erased from people's memory. It has been shown that the meteorite is an ordinary olivine-bronzite chondrite. Its main silicate minerals are olivine, bronzite, plagioclase, and diopside. The main ore minerals are kamacite and troilite. The meteorite contains silicate glass in large amounts. The analysis of the composition and structure of the Okhansk meteorite has demonstrated that it was formed at the early stages of accretion of the melted substance of the protosolar nebula without undergoing endogenous, temperature, or pressure changes.

  6. Worlds beyond meteorite studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lipschutz, M.E.

    1986-01-01

    Meteorites are of essential interest because they contain the oldest Solar System materials available for research and sample a wide range of parent bodies - exteriors and interiors - some primitive, some highly evolved. Meteorites carry decipherable records of certain solar and galactic effects and yield otherwise unobtainable data about the genesis, evolution, and composition of the Earth and other major planets, satellites, asteroids, and the Sun. Some contain inclusions tracing events from before the Solar System formed; others contain organic matter derived from giant molecular clouds in the interstellar medium. It is especially advantageous that meteorites occur on the Earth's surface, where the full spectrum of laboratory analytical techniques can be applied, ranging from the simplest to the most sophisticated. As the recently released report of the US National Commission on Space put it: If one picture is worth 10,000 words, then one sample is worth 10,000 pictures. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of meteorite studies - overlapping chemistry, physics, geology, and astronomy - no brief article can summarize the full scope of current research. After introducing some basic cosmochemical facts and approaches, this report will illustrate the nature of questions that cosmochemists ask and how they go about answering them. For reasons to be described, the author focuses on certain trace elements - especially Ag, Au, Bi, Cd, Co, Cs, In, Rb, Se, Te, Tl, and Zn - that are particularly responsive to relatively low temperature processes and that yield important genetic information

  7. Elemental composition analysis of stony meteorites discovered in Phitsanulok, Thailand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loylip, T.; Wannawichian, S.

    2017-09-01

    A meteorite is a fragment of pure stone, iron or the mixture of stony-iron. The falling of meteorites into Earth’s surface is part of Earth’s accretion process from dust and rocks in our solar system. When these fragments come close enough to the Earth to be attracted by its gravity, they may fall into the Earth. Following the detection of objects that fall from the sky onto a home in Phitsanulok in June 27, the meteorites were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) instruments. The results from SEM/EDS analysis show that the meteorites are mainly composed of Fe-Ni and Fe-s. The meteorite is Achondrite, a class of meteorite which does not contain Chondrule. The meteorites in this work are thought to be part of a large asteroid.

  8. Indigenous Amino Acids in Iron Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsila, J. E.; Dworkin, J. P.; Glavin, D. P.; Johnson, N. M.

    2018-01-01

    Understanding the organic content of meteorites and the potential delivery of molecules relevant to the origin of life on Earth is an important area of study in astrobiology. There have been many studies of meteoritic organics, with much focus on amino acids as monomers of proteins and enzymes essential to terrestrial life. The majority of these studies have involved analysis of carbonaceous chondrites, primitive meteorites containing approx. 3-5 wt% carbon. Amino acids have been observed in varying abundances and distributions in representatives of all eight carbonaceous chondrite groups, as well as in ungrouped carbonaceous chondrites, ordinary and R chondrites, ureilites, and planetary achondrites [1 and references therein].

  9. Enantiomer Ratios of Meteoritic Sugar Derivatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, George

    2012-01-01

    Carbonaceous meteorites contain a diverse suite of soluble organic compounds. Studies of these compounds reveal the Solar System's earliest organic chemistry. Among the classes of organic compounds found in meteorites are keto acids (pyruvic acid, etc.), hydroxy tricarboxylic acids (1), amino acids, amides, purines and pyrimidines. The Murchison and Murray meteorites are the most studied for soluble and insoluble organic compounds and organic carbon phases. The majority of (indigenous) meteoritic compounds are racemic, (i.e., their D/L enantiomer ratios are 50:50). However, some of the more unusual (non-protein) amino acids contain slightly more of one enantiomer (usually the L) than the other. This presentation focuses on the enantiomer analyses of three to six-carbon (3C to 6C) meteoritic sugar acids. The molecular and enantiomer analysis of corresponding sugar alcohols will also be discussed. Detailed analytical procedures for sugar-acid enantiomers have been described. Results of several meteorite analyses show that glyceric acid is consistently racemic (or nearly so) as expected of non-biological mechanisms of synthesis. Also racemic are 4-C deoxy sugar acids: 2-methyl glyceric acid; 2,4-dihydroxybutyric acid; 2,3-dihydroxybutyric acid (two diastereomers); and 3,4-dihydroxybutyric acid. However, a 4C acid, threonic acid, has never been observed as racemic, i.e., it possesses a large D excess. In several samples of Murchison and one of GRA 95229 (possibly the most pristine carbonaceous meteorite yet analyzed) threonic acid has nearly the same D enrichment. In Murchison, preliminary isotopic measurements of individual threonic acid enantiomers point towards extraterrestrial sources of the D enrichment. Enantiomer analyses of the 5C mono-sugar acids, ribonic, arabinonic, xylonic, and lyxonic also show large D excesses. It is worth noting that all four of these acids (all of the possible straight-chained 5C sugar acids) are present in meteorites, including the

  10. Chiral Biomarkers in Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2010-01-01

    The chirality of organic molecules with the asymmetric location of group radicals was discovered in 1848 by Louis Pasteur during his investigations of the rotation of the plane of polarization of light by crystals of sodium ammonium paratartrate. It is well established that the amino acids in proteins are exclusively Levorotary (L-aminos) and the sugars in DNA and RNA are Dextrorotary (D-sugars). This phenomenon of homochirality of biological polymers is a fundamental property of all life known on Earth. Furthermore, abiotic production mechanisms typically yield recemic mixtures (i.e. equal amounts of the two enantiomers). When amino acids were first detected in carbonaceous meteorites, it was concluded that they were racemates. This conclusion was taken as evidence that they were extraterrestrial and produced by abiologically. Subsequent studies by numerous researchers have revealed that many of the amino acids in carbonaceous meteorites exhibit a significant L-excess. The observed chirality is much greater than that produced by any currently known abiotic processes (e.g. Linearly polarized light from neutron stars; Circularly polarized ultraviolet light from faint stars; optically active quartz powders; inclusion polymerization in clay minerals; Vester-Ulbricht hypothesis of parity violations, etc.). This paper compares the measured chirality detected in the amino acids of carbonaceous meteorites with the effect of these diverse abiotic processes. IT is concluded that the levels observed are inconsistent with post-arrival biological contamination or with any of the currently known abiotic production mechanisms. However, they are consistent with ancient biological processes on the meteorite parent body. This paper will consider these chiral biomarkers in view of the detection of possible microfossils found in the Orgueil and Murchison carbonaceous meteorites. Energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) data obtained on these morphological biomarkers will be

  11. Historical Romanian meteorites: emendations of official catalogue records

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dana Lüttge-Pop

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available With its more than 50,000 valid official and provisory meteorite entries, the online catalogue of The Meteoritical Society, i.e., the Meteoritical Bulletin Database (MBDB represents the most authorized and primary source of information in the field. Unfortunately, this official reference contains some erroneous geographical information in the case of five historical Romanian meteorites. For Zsadany, the current country information is “Hungary, Bekes county” instead of Romania, Timiş County. For Mezö-Madaras and Tauti, the county affiliations “Harghita” and respectively “Cluj” have to be corrected into Mureş and Arad, respectively. Geographical coordinates for Kakowa and Ohaba require minor corrections, only. The source of these errors resides in changes of names and administrative affiliations of the localities of the fall/find, while the formal nomenclature protocol requires the meteorite name in the original description to be preserved. The example of the historical Romanian meteorites illustrates the challenges that a researcher unfamiliar with a region faces when locating old specimens, in general. This requires knowledge of regional history and geography, and sometimes access to the original references - usually not written in English, or having a somehow limited circulation. Additionally, in the last two decades several new publications provided more detailed classification information on Sopot, Ohaba, Tauti and Mocs meteorites. Sopot was classified as H5, with shock stage S3. The studied Ohaba and Tauti samples also attested S3 shock stages. Variable shock stages (S3-5 were identified in Mocs samples, the most well-known Romanian meteorite. This new information should be added to the corresponding MBDB entries.

  12. Obtaining Magnetic Properties of Meteorites Using Magnetic Scanner

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kletetschka, G.; Nabelek, L.; Mazanec, M.; Simon, K.; Hruba, J.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic images of Murchison meteorite's and Chelyabinsk meteorite's thin section have been obtained from magnetic scanning system from Youngwood Science and Engineering (YSE) capable of resolving magnetic anomalies down to 10-3 mT range from about 0.3 mm distance between the probe and meteorite surface (resolution about 0.15 mm). Anomalies were produced repeatedly, each time after application of magnetic field pulse of varying amplitude and constant, normal or reversed, direction. This process resulted in both magnetizing and demagnetizing of the meteorite thin section, while keeping the magnetization vector in the plane of the thin section. Analysis of the magnetic data allows determination of coercivity of remanence (Bcr) for the magnetic sources in situ. Value of Bcr is critical for calculating magnetic forces applicable during missions to asteroids where gravity is compromised. Bcr was estimated by two methods. First method measured varying dipole magnetic field strength produced by each anomaly in the direction of magnetic pulses. Second method measured deflections of the dipole direction from the direction of magnetic pulses (Nabelek et al., 2015). Nabelek, L., Mazanec, M., Kdyr, S., and Kletetschka, G., 2015, Magnetic, in situ, mineral characterization of Chelyabinsk meteorite thin section: Meteoritics & Planetary Science.

  13. Extraterrestrial Organic Compounds in Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botta, Oliver; Bada, Jeffrey L.; Meyer, Michael (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    Many organic compounds or their precursors found in meteorites originated in the interstellar or circumstellar medium and were later incorporated into planetesimals during the formation of the solar system. There they either survived intact or underwent further processing to synthesize secondary products on the meteorite parent body. The most distinct feature of CI and CM carbonaceous chondrites, two types of stony meteorites, is their high carbon content (up to 3% of weight), either in the form of carbonates or of organic compounds. The bulk of the organic carbon consists of an insoluble macromolecular material with a complex structure. Also present is a soluble organic fraction, which has been analyzed by several separation and analytical procedures. Low detection limits can be achieved by derivatization of the organic molecules with reagents that allow for analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy and high performance liquid chromatography. The CM meteorite Murchison has been found to contain more than 70 extraterrestrial amino acids and several other classes of compounds including carboxylic acids, hydroxy carboxylic acids, sulphonic and phosphonic acids, aliphatic, aromatic and polar hydrocarbons, fullerenes, heterocycles as well as carbonyl compounds, alcohols, amines and amides. The organic matter was found to be enriched in deuterium, and distinct organic compounds show isotopic enrichments of carbon and nitrogen relative to terrestrial matter.

  14. Tracing meteorite source regions through asteroid spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Cristina Ana

    By virtue of their landing on Earth, meteorites reside in near-Earth object (NEO) orbits prior to their arrival. Thus the population of observable NEOs, in principle, gives the best representation of meteorite source bodies. By linking meteorites to NEOs, and linking NEOs to their most likely main-belt source locations, we seek to gain insight into the original solar system formation locations for different meteorite classes. To forge the first link between meteorites and NEOs, we have developed a three dimensional method for quantitative comparisons between laboratory measurements of meteorites and telescopic measurements of near-Earth objects. We utilize meteorite spectra from the Reflectance Experiment Laboratory (RELAB) database and NEO data from the SpeX instrument on the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF). Using the Modified Gaussian Model (MGM) as a mathematical tool, we treat asteroid and meteorite spectra identically in the calculation of 1-micron and 2-micron geometric band centers and their band area ratios (BARs). Using these identical numerical parameters we quantitatively compare the spectral properties of S-, Sq-, Q- and V-type NEOs with the spectral properties of the meteorites in the H, L, LL and HED meteorite classes. For each NEO spectrum, we assign a set of probabilities for it being related to each of these meteorite classes. Our NEO- meteorite correlation probabilities are then convolved with NEO-source region probabilities to yield a final set of meteorite-source region correlations. An apparent (significant at the 2.1-sigma level) source region signature is found for the H chondrites to be preferentially delivered to the inner solar system through the 3:1 mean motion resonance. A 3:1 resonance H chondrite source region is consistent with the short cosmic ray exposure ages known for H chondrites. The spectroscopy of asteroids is subject to several sources of inherent error. The source region model used a variety of S-type spectra without

  15. Carbonate Cements from the Sverrefjell and Sigurdfjell Volcanoes, Svalbard Norway: Analogs for Martian Carbonates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, D. F.; Treiman, A. H.; Morris, R.; Bish, D.; Amundsen, H.E.F.; Steele, A.

    2011-01-01

    The Sverrefjell and Sigurdfjell volcanic complexes erupted at 1Ma on Svalbard, Norway. Sverrefjell is a cone of cinders, pillow lavas and dikes; Sigurdfjell is elongate in outcrop and may represent a fissure eruption [1]. The lavas of both volcanos were volatile rich. The volcanos erupted under ice and were subsequently dissected by glaciation (glacial eratics are present on most of Sverrefjell, even on its summit). Eruption beneath an ice sheet is inferred, based on the presence of pillow lavas from near sea level to 1000 m above sea level. Sverrefjell contains the largest fraction of ultramafic xenoliths of any volcanic complex in the world, in places accounting for as much as 50% of the volume of the outcrop. The Sverrefjell and Sigurdfell volcanos contain carbonate cements of several varieties: (1) Amundsen [2] reported Mg-Fe-rich carbonate in sub-mm globules in basalts and ultramafic xenoliths from the volcanos. These globules are the best terrestrial analogs to the carbonate globules in the Mars meteorite ALH84001 [3]. (2) Thick (1-3 cm) coatings of carbonate cement drape the walls of vertical volcanic pipes or conduits on the flanks and near the present summit of Sverrefjell. Similar occurrences are found on Sigurdfjell. (3) Breccia-filled pipes or vents occur on Sverrefjell and Siggurdfjell in which the breccia fragments are cemented by carbonate. The fragments themselves commonly contain carbonate globules similar to those found in the basalts and ultramafic xenoliths.

  16. Meteoritic Amino Acids: Diversity in Compositions Reflects Parent Body Histories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsila, Jamie E.; Aponte, Jose C.; Blackmond, Donna G.; Burton, Aaron S.; Dworkin, Jason P.; Glavin, Daniel P.

    2016-01-01

    The analysis of amino acids in meteorites dates back over 50 years; however, it is only in recent years that research has expanded beyond investigations of a narrow set of meteorite groups (exemplied by the Murchison meteorite) into meteorites of other types and classes. These new studies have shown a wide diversity in the abundance and distribution of amino acids across carbonaceous chondrite groups, highlighting the role of parent body processes and composition in the creation, preservation, or alteration of amino acids. Although most chiral amino acids are racemic in meteorites, the enantiomeric distribution of some amino acids, particularly of the nonprotein amino acid isovaline, has also been shown to vary both within certain meteorites and across carbonaceous meteorite groups. Large -enantiomeric excesses of some extraterrestrial protein amino acids (up to 60) have also been observed in rare cases and point to nonbiological enantiomeric enrichment processes prior to the emergence of life. In this Outlook, we review these recent meteoritic analyses, focusing on variations in abundance, structural distributions, and enantiomeric distributions of amino acids and discussing possible explanations for these observations and the potential for future work.

  17. Microbial Populations of Stony Meteorites: Substrate Controls on First Colonizers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alastair W. Tait

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Finding fresh, sterilized rocks provides ecologists with a clean slate to test ideas about first colonization and the evolution of soils de novo. Lava has been used previously in first colonizer studies due to the sterilizing heat required for its formation. However, fresh lava typically falls upon older volcanic successions of similar chemistry and modal mineral abundance. Given enough time, this results in the development of similar microbial communities in the newly erupted lava due to a lack of contrast between the new and old substrates. Meteorites, which are sterile when they fall to Earth, provide such contrast because their reduced and mafic chemistry commonly differs to the surfaces on which they land; thus allowing investigation of how community membership and structure respond to this new substrate over time. We conducted 16S rRNA gene analysis on meteorites and soil from the Nullarbor Plain, Australia. We found that the meteorites have low species richness and evenness compared to soil sampled from directly beneath each meteorite. Despite the meteorites being found kilometers apart, the community structure of each meteorite bore more similarity to those of other meteorites (of similar composition than to the community structure of the soil on which it resided. Meteorites were dominated by sequences that affiliated with the Actinobacteria with the major Operational Taxonomic Unit (OTU classified as Rubrobacter radiotolerans. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the next most abundant phyla. The soils were also dominated by Actinobacteria but to a lesser extent than the meteorites. We also found OTUs affiliated with iron/sulfur cycling organisms Geobacter spp. and Desulfovibrio spp. This is an important finding as meteorites contain abundant metal and sulfur for use as energy sources. These ecological findings demonstrate that the structure of the microbial community in these meteorites is controlled by the substrate, and will not

  18. Habitability of the Shallow Subsurface on Mars: Clues from the Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, David S.; Wentworth, Susan J.; Thomas-Keprta, Kathie L.; Clemett, Simon; Gibson, Everett K.

    2004-01-01

    The properties that define habitability are commonly understood to include the following: Presence of water. Temperature range allowing some or all of the water to be liquid. A suitable physical volume or space permitting metabolism and growth. Presence of organic compounds or the building blocks to make them. Presence of an energy source suitable for utilization by living organisms. Interpretations of Mars Viking, Surveyor, and Odyssey orbital images have built a strong case that Mars had surface water during its past geological history. Neutron spectrometer data from Mars Odyssey show that poleward of about 60 degrees North and 60 degrees south, significant hydrogen, likely as ice or permafrost, is present in at least the upper meter or so of the martian regolith and crust and that similar high hydrogen areas exist, even near the equator. Here we present a summary of independent data from the Mars meteorites showing that liquid water was present for at least some of the time in the upper few meters or tens of meters as early as 3.9 billion years (Ga), and was present at intervals and at various locations throughout most of Mars history.

  19. Classification of Meteorites and Micrometeorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurette, Michel

    Archeologists only started to trace back successfully the advance of the Roman legions, trade patterns and the evolution of manufacturing techniques in Roman time, once they found an efficient scheme of classification for the fragments of amphora used to transport wine for the soldiers. Similarly, the classification of meteorites and micrometeorites is an essential step in the exploitation of these extraterrestrial debris. We recall that one of the main objectives of meteoriticists over the last 30 years was to find the most primitive objects of the solar system, which have been the least reprocessed since the formation of the early solar nebula, with the view to exploit them as reliable archivist of our distant past. This section outlines some of the methods used to classify meteorites and Antarctic micrometeorites. It also summarizes some of the key features of the surprisingly simple relationship between micrometeorites and a relatively rare group of stony meteorites, the hydrous carbonaceous CM-type chondrites, which was only confirmed recently after the study of the Concordia micrometeorites collected in central Antarctica in January 2002. A more technical discussion of this relationship presented in Sect. 25 will allow its extension to the smaller micrometeorites collected by NASA in the stratosphere. The book of Wasson (1985) is still one of the best monographs about meteorites.

  20. Martian Environment Electrostatic Precipitator

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDougall, Michael Owen

    2016-01-01

    As part of the planned manned mission to Mars, NASA has noticed that shipping oxygen as a part of life support to keep the astronauts alive continuously is overly expensive, and impractical. As such, noting that the Martian atmosphere is 95.37% CO2, NASA chemists noted that one could obtain oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. The plan, as part of a larger ISRU (in-situ resource utilization) initiative, would extract water from the regolith, or the Martian soil which can be electrolyzed by solar panel produced voltage into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen can then be used in the Sabatier reaction with carbon dioxide to produce methane and water producing a net reaction that does not lose water and outputs methane and oxygen for use as rocket fuel and breathing.

  1. Relative chronology of Martian volcanoes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Landheim, R.; Barlow, N.G.

    1991-01-01

    Impact cratering is one of the major geological processes that has affected the Martian surface throughout the planet's history. The frequency of craters within particular size ranges provides information about the formation ages and obliterative episodes of Martian geologic units. The Barlow chronology was extended by measuring small craters on the volcanoes and a number of standard terrain units. Inclusions of smaller craters in units previously analyzed by Barlow allowed for a more direct comparison between the size-frequency distribution data for volcanoes and established chronology. During this study, 11,486 craters were mapped and identified in the 1.5 to 8 km diameter range in selected regions of Mars. The results are summarized in this three page report and give a more precise estimate of the relative chronology of the Martian volcanoes. Also, the results of this study lend further support to the increasing evidence that volcanism has been a dominant geologic force throughout Martian history

  2. A Peltier-based freeze-thaw device for meteorite disaggregation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogliore, R. C.

    2018-02-01

    A Peltier-based freeze-thaw device for the disaggregation of meteorite or other rock samples is described. Meteorite samples are kept in six water-filled cavities inside a thin-walled Al block. This block is held between two Peltier coolers that are automatically cycled between cooling and warming. One cycle takes approximately 20 min. The device can run unattended for months, allowing for ˜10 000 freeze-thaw cycles that will disaggregate meteorites even with relatively low porosity. This device was used to disaggregate ordinary and carbonaceous chondrite regoltih breccia meteorites to search for micrometeoroid impact craters.

  3. Mössbauer study of Slovak meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipka, J.; Sitek, J.; Dekan, J.; Degmová, J.; Porubčan, V.

    2013-04-01

    57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy was used as an analytical tool in the investigation of iron containing compounds of two meteorites (Rumanová and Košice) out of total of six which had fallen on Slovak territory. In the magnetic fraction of the iron bearing compounds in the Rumanová meteorite, maghemite, troilite and Fe-Ni alloy were identified. In the non-magnetic fraction silicate phases were found, such as olivine and pyroxene. The paramagnetic component containing Fe3 + ions corresponds probably to small superparamagnetic particles. The Košice meteorite was found near the town of Košice in February 2010. Its magnetic fraction consists of a Fe-Ni alloy with the Mössbauer parameters of the magnetic field corresponding to kamacite α-Fe(Ni, Co) and troilite. The non-magnetic part consists of Fe2 + phases such as olivine and pyroxene and traces of a Fe3 + phase. The main difference between these meteorites is their iron oxide content. These kinds of analyses can bring important knowledge about phases and compounds formed in extraterrestrial conditions, which have other features than their terrestrial analogues.

  4. Analyses of Rumanová meteorite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipka, J.; Sitek, J.; Dekan, J.; Sedlačková, K.

    2014-04-01

    Mössbauer spectroscopy was used as an analytical tool in investigation of iron containing compounds of Rumanová meteorite found on Slovak territory and it was classified as chondrite H. The results showed that the Mössbauer spectra consist of magnetic and non-magnetic components related to different iron-bearing phases. In non-magnetic part, olivine, pyroxene, and traces of Fe3 + phases have been identified. The magnetically ordered part of the Rumanová meteorite spectrum consists of kamacite, troilite and the third additional component corresponds to hydroxides originating from weathering due to being long time on the Earth surface. The weathering products can be recognised mainly as maghemite, however traces of other weathering components as akagaenite, goethite and magnetite cannot be excluded. On the contrary to Rumanová, no weathering products have been found in the sample of Košice meteorite which fell on the territory of Slovakia in February 2010 and has been investigated a few months after the fall.

  5. Organic Chemistry of Carbonaceous Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cronin, John R.

    2001-01-01

    Chiral and carbon-isotopic analyses of isovaline have been carried out on numerous samples of the Murchison and one sample of the Murray carbonaceous chondrite. The isovaline was found to be heterogeneous with regard to enantiomeric excess (ee) both between samples and within a single Murchison sample. L-Excesses ranging from 0 to 15% were observed. The isovaline delta(sup 13) C was found to be about +18%. No evidence was obtained suggesting terrestrial contamination in the more abundant L-enantiomer. A correlation was observed between isovaline (also alpha - aminoisobutyric acid) concentration and PCP content of five CM chondrites. It is suggested that isovaline, along with other meteoritic a-methyl amino acids with ee, are of presolar origin. The possible formation of ee in extraterrestrial amino acids by exposure to circularly polarized light or by magnetochiral photochemistry is discussed. Key words: Murchison meteorite, Murray meteorite, amino acids, isovaline, chirality, carbon isotopes, PCP.

  6. Photovoltaic array for Martian surface power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, J.; Landis, G. A.

    1992-01-01

    Missions to Mars will require electric power. A leading candidate for providing power is solar power produced by photovoltaic arrays. To design such a power system, detailed information on solar-radiation availability on the Martian surface is necessary. The variation of the solar radiation on the Martian surface is governed by three factors: (1) variation in Mars-Sun distance; (2) variation in solar zenith angle due to Martian season and time of day; and (3) dust in the Martian atmosphere. A major concern is the dust storms, which occur on both local and global scales. However, there is still appreciable diffuse sunlight available even at high opacity, so that solar array operation is still possible. Typical results for tracking solar collectors are also shown and compared to the fixed collectors. During the Northern Hemisphere spring and summer the isolation is relatively high, 2-5 kW-hr/sq m-day, due to the low optical depth of the Martian atmosphere. These seasons, totalling a full terrestrial year, are the likely ones during which manned mission will be carried out.

  7. Fused Bead Analysis of Diogenite Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittlefehldt, D.W.; Beck, B.W.; McSween, H.Y.; Lee, C.T. A.

    2009-01-01

    Bulk rock chemistry is an essential dataset in meteoritics and planetary science [1]. A common method used to obtain the bulk chemistry of meteorites is ICP-MS. While the accuracy, precision and low detection limits of this process are advantageous [2], the sample size used for analysis (approx.70 mg) can be a problem in a field where small and finite samples are the norm. Fused bead analysis is another bulk rock analytical technique that has been used in meteoritics [3]. This technique involves forming a glass bead from 10 mg of sample and measuring its chemistry using a defocused beam on a microprobe. Though the ICP-MS has lower detection limits than the microprobe, the fused bead method destroys a much smaller sample of the meteorite. Fused bead analysis was initially designed for samples with near-eutectic compositions and low viscosities. Melts generated of this type homogenize at relatively low temperatures and produce primary melts near the sample s bulk composition [3]. The application of fused bead analysis to samples with noneutectic melt compositions has not been validated. The purpose of this study is to test if fused bead analysis can accurately determine the bulk rock chemistry of non-eutectic melt composition meteorites. To determine this, we conduct two examinations of the fused bead. First, we compare ICP-MS and fused bead results of the same samples using statistical analysis. Secondly, we inspect the beads for the presence of crystals and chemical heterogeneity. The presence of either of these would indicate incomplete melting and quenching of the bead.

  8. Origin of Chlorobenzene Detected by the Curiosity Rover in Yellowknife Bay: Evidence for Martian Organics in the Sheepbed Mudstone?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Freissinet, Caroline; Eigenbrode, J.; Miller, K.; Martin, M.; Summons, R.; Steele, A.; Franz, H.; Archer, D.; Brinkerhoff, W.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Curiosity rover is designed to determine the inventory of organic and inorganic volatiles thermally evolved from solid samples using a combination of evolved gas analysis (EGA), gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS), and tunable laser spectroscopy. The first solid samples analyzed by SAM, a scoop of windblown dust and sand at Rocknest (RN), revealed chlorinated hydrocarbons derived primarily from reactions between a martian oxychlorine phase (e.g. perchlorate) and terrestrial carbon from N-methyl-N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)-trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA) vapor present in the SAM instrument background. Chlorobenzene (CBZ) was also identified by SAM GCMS at RN at trace levels (approx.0.007 nmol) and was attributed to the reaction of chlorine with the Tenax polymers used in the hydrocarbon traps. After the RN analyses, Curiosity traveled to Yellowknife Bay and drilled two separate holes designated John Klein (JK) and Cumberland (CB). Analyses of JK and CB by both SAM and the CheMin x-ray diffraction instrument revealed a mudstone consisting of approx.20 wt% smectite clays, which on Earth are known to aid the concentration and preservation of organic matter. In addition, higher abundances and a more diverse suite of chlorinated hydrocarbons in CB compared to RN suggests that martian or meteoritic organic sources may be preserved in the mudstone. Here we discuss the SAM EGA and GCMS measurements of volatiles released from the Sheepbed mudstone. We focus primarily on the elevated CBZ detections at CB and laboratory analog experiments conducted to help determine if CBZ is derived from primarily terrestrial, martian, or a combination of sources.

  9. Terrestrial and exposure histories of Antarctic meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nishiizumi, K.

    1986-01-01

    Records of cosmogenic effects were studied in a large suite of Antarctic meteorites. The cosmogenic nuclide measurements together with cosmic ray track measurements on Antartic meteorites provide information such as exposure age, terrestrial age, size and depth in meteoroid or parent body, influx rate in the past, and pairing. The terrestrail age is the time period between the fall of the meteorite on the Earth and the present. To define terrestrial age, two or more nuclides with different half-lives and possibly noble gases are required. The cosmogenic radionuclides used are C-14, Kr-81, Cl-36, Al-26, Be-10, Mn-53, and K-40

  10. Terrestrial and exposure histories of Antarctic meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishiizumi, K.

    1986-01-01

    Records of cosmogenic effects were studied in a large suite of Antarctic meteorites. The cosmogenic nuclide measurements together with cosmic ray track measurements on Antartic meteorites provide information such as exposure age, terrestrial age, size and depth in meteoroid or parent body, influx rate in the past, and pairing. The terrestrail age is the time period between the fall of the meteorite on the Earth and the present. To define terrestrial age, two or more nuclides with different half-lives and possibly noble gases are required. The cosmogenic radionuclides used are C-14, Kr-81, Cl-36, Al-26, Be-10, Mn-53, and K-40.

  11. NASA Lunar and Meteorite Sample Disk Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foxworth, Suzanne

    2017-01-01

    The Lunar and Meteorite Sample Disk Program is designed for K-12 classroom educators who work in K-12 schools, museums, libraries, or planetariums. Educators have to be certified to borrow the Lunar and Meteorite Sample Disks by attending a NASA Certification Workshop provided by a NASA Authorized Sample Disk Certifier.

  12. Martian volcanism: A review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carr, M.H.

    1987-01-01

    Martian volcanism is reviewed. It is emphasized that lava plains constitute the major type of effusive flow, and can be differentiated by morphologic characteristics. Shield volcanoes, domes, and patera constitute the major constructional landforms, and recent work has suggested that explosive activity and resulting pyroclastic deposits may have been involved with formation of some of the small shields. Analysis of morphology, presumed composition, and spectroscopic data all indicate that Martian volcanism was dominantly basaltic in composition

  13. Oral histories in meteoritics and planetary science—XXV: Vagn F. Buchwald

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sears, Derek W. G.

    2014-07-01

    Vagn Buchwald (Fig. 1) was born in Copenhagen where he attended school and college. Then after 18 months of military service, he assumed a position at the Technical University of Copenhagen. A few years later, he was presented with a piece of the Cape York meteorite, which led to an interest in iron meteorites. Through a campaign of informed searching, Vagn found the 20 ton Agpalilik meteorite (part of the Cape York shower) on 31st July 1963 and by September 1967 had arranged its transport to Copenhagen. After sorting and describing the Danish collection, which included application of the Fe-Ni-P phase diagram to iron meteorite mineralogy, Vagn was invited to sort and describe other iron meteorite collections. This led to a 7 yr project to write his monumental Handbook of Iron Meteorites. Vagn spent 3 yr in the United States and visited most of the world's museums, the visit to Berlin being especially important since the war had left their iron meteorites in bad condition and without labels. During a further decade or more of iron meteorite research, he documented natural and anthropomorphic alterations experienced by iron meteorites, discovered five new minerals (roaldite, carlsbergite, akaganeite, hibbingite, and arupite); had a mineral (buchwaldite, NaCaPO4) and asteroid (3209 Buchwald 1982 BL1) named after him; and led expeditions to Chile, Namibia, and South Africa in search of iron meteorites and information on them. Vagn then turned his attention to archeological metal artifacts. This work resulted in many papers and culminated in two major books on the subject published in 2005 and 2008, after his retirement in 1998. Vagn Buchwald has received numerous Scandinavian awards and honors, and served as president of the Meteoritical Society in 1981-1982.

  14. What we know about Oslo meteorite from cosmogenic isotope analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tymiński, Z.; Stolarz, M.; Kubalczak, T.; Zaręba, P.; Burski, M.; Bilet, M.; Miśta, E.; Tymińska, K.; Kołakowska, E.; Burakowska, A.; Żołądek, P.; Olech, A.; Wiśniewski, M.; Listkowska, A.; Saganowski, P.

    2015-10-01

    The fragments of an asteroid that had crashed over Norway were found in a few locations in Oslo at the beginning of March 2012. Later on some pieces of meteorite from the most South area were collected by the Meteoritical Section members of Comet and Meteor Workshop (PKiM) with the help of local meteoritical authorities. One meteorite fragment of 32g was used to measure cosmogenic radionuclides using non-destructive high-resolution gamma spectrometry technique. Five radioisotopes such as Al-26, Na-22, Mn-54, Co-57 and Co-60 were detected

  15. THE NITROGEN ISOTOPIC COMPOSITION OF METEORITIC HCN

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pizzarello, Sandra, E-mail: pizzar@asu.edu [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85018-1604 (United States)

    2014-12-01

    HCN is ubiquitous in extraterrestrial environments and is central to current theories on the origin of early solar system organic compounds such as amino acids. These compounds, observed in carbonaceous meteorites, were likely important in the origin and/or evolution of early life. As part of our attempts to understand the origin(s) of meteoritic CN{sup –}, we have analyzed the {sup 15}N/{sup 14}N isotopic composition of HCN gas released from water extracts of the Murchison meteorite and found its value to be near those of the terrestrial atmosphere. The findings, when evaluated viz-a-viz molecular abundances and isotopic data of meteoritic organic compounds, suggest that HCN formation could have occurred during the protracted water alteration processes known to have affected the mineralogy of many asteroidal bodies during their solar residence. This was an active synthetic stage, which likely involved simple gasses, organic molecules, their presolar precursors, as well as mineral catalysts and would have lead to the formation of molecules of differing isotopic composition, including some with solar values.

  16. AMSNEXRAD-Automated detection of meteorite strewnfields in doppler weather radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hankey, Michael; Fries, Marc; Matson, Rob; Fries, Jeff

    2017-09-01

    For several years meteorite recovery in the United States has been greatly enhanced by using Doppler weather radar images to determine possible fall zones for meteorites produced by witnessed fireballs. While most fireball events leave no record on the Doppler radar, some large fireballs do. Based on the successful recovery of 10 meteorite falls 'under the radar', and the discovery of radar on more than 10 historic falls, it is believed that meteoritic dust and or actual meteorites falling to the ground have been recorded on Doppler weather radar (Fries et al., 2014). Up until this point, the process of detecting the radar signatures associated with meteorite falls has been a manual one and dependent on prior accurate knowledge of the fall time and estimated ground track. This manual detection process is labor intensive and can take several hours per event. Recent technological developments by NOAA now help enable the automation of these tasks. This in combination with advancements by the American Meteor Society (Hankey et al., 2014) in the tracking and plotting of witnessed fireballs has opened the possibility for automatic detection of meteorites in NEXRAD Radar Archives. Here in the processes for fireball triangulation, search area determination, radar interfacing, data extraction, storage, search, detection and plotting are explained.

  17. Isotopic variations in primitive meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clayton, R.N.; Chicago Univ., IL; Chicago Univ., IL

    1981-01-01

    The presence of large internal 16 O variability in ordinary chondrites greatly extends the range of meteorite types in which this phenomenon has been observed. These results may lead to identification of major gas and dust reservoirs in the cloud from which the Solar System formed. The demonstration that live 107 Pd was present in the differentiated parent bodies of some iron meteorites supports the million year time scale between a major nucleosynthetic event and Solar System formation, as implied by the presence of live 26 Al in carbonaceous chondrites. However, the variability of radiogenic 26 Mg abundances in these meteorites makes it clear that the data cannot be interpreted simply in terms of time variations. Models of nucleosynthesis for elements from calcium to the iron peak should be aided by the new observations of abundances of titanium isotopes. Progress has been made in establishing the carrier phases of isotopically anomalous xenon and krypton. The apparent location of anomalous xenon and 14 N-rich nitrogen in identical carriers supports the notion that nucleosynthetic anomalies in nitrogen are also present in Allende. (author)

  18. Rare stable isotopes in meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, G.C.

    1981-01-01

    Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) using accelerators has been applied with success to cosmic ray exposure ages and terrestrial residence times of meteorites by measuring cosmogenic nuclides of Be, Cl, and I. It is proposed to complement this work with experiments on rare stable isotopes, in the hope of setting constraints on the processes of solar nebula/meteoritic formation. The relevant species can be classified as: a) daughter products of extinct nuclides (halflife less than or equal to 2 x 10 8 y) -chronology of the early solar system; b) products of high temperature astrophysical processes - different components incorporated into the solar nebula; and c) products of relatively low temperature processes, stellar winds and cosmic ray reactions - early solar system radiation history. The use of micron-scale primary ion beams will allow detailed sampling of phases within meteorites. Strategies of charge-state selection, molecular disintegration and detection should bring a new set of targets within analytical range. The developing accelerator field is compared to existing (keV energy) ion microprobes

  19. Solar flare irradiation records in Antarctic meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goswami, J.N.

    1981-01-01

    Observations of solar flare heavy nuclei tracks in eight Antartic meteorite samples are reported. Two of these were interior specimens from an L-3 chondrite which contained track-rich grains (olivine) indicating their exposure to solar flare irradiation before compaction of the meteorite. Preliminary noble gas data also indicate the presence of solar-type gases. (U.K.)

  20. Microstructures of Hibonite From an ALH A77307 (CO3.0) CAI: Evidence for Evaporative Loss of Calcium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Jangmi; Brearley, Adrian J.; Keller, Lindsay P.

    2014-01-01

    Hibonite is a comparatively rare, primary phase found in some CAIs from different chondrite groups and is also common in Wark-Lovering rims [1]. Hibonite is predicted to be one of the earliest refractory phases to form by equilibrium condensation from a cooling gas of solar composition [2] and, therefore, can be a potential recorder of very early solar system processes. In this study, we describe the microstructures of hibonite from one CAI in ALH A77307 (CO3.0) using FIB/TEM techniques in order to reconstruct its formational history.

  1. Worldwide Weather Radar Imagery May Allow Substantial Increase in Meteorite Fall Recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, Marc; Matson, Robert; Schaefer, Jacob; Fries, Jeffery; Hankey, Mike; Anderson, Lindsay

    2014-01-01

    Weather radar imagery is a valuable new technique for the rapid recovery of meteorite falls, to include falls which would not otherwise be recovered (e.g. Battle Mountain). Weather radar imagery reveals about one new meteorite fall per year (18 falls since 1998), using weather radars in the United States alone. However, an additional 75 other nations operate weather radar networks according to the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO). If the imagery of those radars were analyzed, the current rate of meteorite falls could be improved considerably, to as much as 3.6 times the current recovery rate based on comparison of total radar areal coverage. Recently, the addition of weather radar imagery, seismometry and internet-based aggregation of eyewitness reports has improved the speed and accuracy of fresh meteorite fall recovery [e.g. 1,2]. This was demonstrated recently with the radar-enabled recovery of the Sutter's Mill fall [3]. Arguably, the meteorites recovered via these methods are of special scientific value as they are relatively unweathered, fresh falls. To illustrate this, a recent SAO/NASA ADS search using the keyword "meteorite" shows that all 50 of the top search results included at least one named meteorite recovered from a meteorite fall. This is true even though only 1260 named meteorite falls are recorded among the >49,000 individual falls recorded in the Meteoritical Society online database. The US NEXRAD system used thus far to locate meteorite falls covers most of the United States' surface area. Using a WMO map of the world's weather radars, we estimate that the total coverage of the other 75 national weather radar networks equals about 3.6x NEXRAD's coverage area. There are two findings to draw from this calculation: 1) For the past 16 years during which 18 falls are seen in US radar data, there should be an additional 65 meteorite falls recorded in worldwide radar imagery. Also: 2) if all of the world's radar data could be analyzed, the

  2. A Method for Estimating Meteorite Fall Mass from Weather Radar Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laird, C.; Fries, M.; Matson, R.

    2017-01-01

    Techniques such as weather RADAR, seismometers, and all-sky cameras allow new insights concerning the physics of meteorite fall dynamics and fragmentation during "dark flight", the period of time between the end of the meteor's luminous flight and the concluding impact on the Earth's surface. Understanding dark flight dynamics enables us to rapidly analyze the characteristics of new meteorite falls. This analysis will provide essential information to meteorite hunters to optimize recovery, increasing the frequency and total mass of scientifically important freshly-fallen meteorites available to the scientific community. We have developed a mathematical method to estimate meteorite fall mass using reflectivity data as recorded by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Next Generation RADAR (NEXRAD) stations. This study analyzed eleven official and one unofficial meteorite falls in the United States and Canada to achieve this purpose.

  3. 45 CFR 674.4 - Restrictions on collection of meteorites in Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... Antarctica. 674.4 Section 674.4 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare (Continued) NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION ANTARCTIC METEORITES § 674.4 Restrictions on collection of meteorites in Antarctica. No person may collect meteorites in Antarctica for other than scientific research purposes. ...

  4. A recent meteorite shower in Antarctica with an unusual orbital history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benoit, P. H.; Sears, D. W. G.

    1993-01-01

    The Antarctic meteorite collection has proved to be a source of many important discoveries, including a number of previously unknown or very rare meteorite types. A thermoluminescence (TL) survey of meteorite samples recovered by the 1988/89 European expedition and pre-1988 American expeditions to the Allan Hills Main blue ice field resulted in the discovery of 15 meteorites with very high TL levels (greater than 100 krad at 250 C in the glow curve). It is likely that these samples are fragments of a single meteoroid body which: (1) fell very recently and (2) experienced a decrease in orbital perihelia from greater than or equal to 1.1 AU to 1 AU within the last 10(exp 5) yr. Carbon-14 data for two of the samples confirm their young terrestrial age compared to most Antarctic meteorites. Studies of the cosmogenic isotopes in at least one non-Antarctic meteorite which also has very high natural TL, Jilin, indicate that the meteorite experienced a multi-stage irradiation history, the most recent stage being 0.4 Ma in duration following a major break-up of the object. These meteorites, and the few equivalent modern falls, are the only documented samples from bodies which were recently in Earth-approaching (Amor) orbits (i.e., with perihelion greater than 1.0 AU), as opposed to the Earth-crossing (Apollo) orbits which are the source of most other meteorites. Their rarity indicates that such rapid orbit changes are unusual for meteoroid bodies and may be the result of isolated, large break-up events.

  5. Large sulfur isotope fractionations in Martian sediments at Gale crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franz, H. B.; McAdam, A. C.; Ming, D. W.; Freissinet, C.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Eldridge, D. L.; Fischer, W. W.; Grotzinger, J. P.; House, C. H.; Hurowitz, J. A.; McLennan, S. M.; Schwenzer, S. P.; Vaniman, D. T.; Archer, P. D., Jr.; Atreya, S. K.; Conrad, P. G.; Dottin, J. W., III; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Farley, K. A.; Glavin, D. P.; Johnson, S. S.; Knudson, C. A.; Morris, R. V.; Navarro-González, R.; Pavlov, A. A.; Plummer, R.; Rampe, E. B.; Stern, J. C.; Steele, A.; Summons, R. E.; Sutter, B.

    2017-09-01

    Variability in the sulfur isotopic composition in sediments can reflect atmospheric, geologic and biological processes. Evidence for ancient fluvio-lacustrine environments at Gale crater on Mars and a lack of efficient crustal recycling mechanisms on the planet suggests a surface environment that was once warm enough to allow the presence of liquid water, at least for discrete periods of time, and implies a greenhouse effect that may have been influenced by sulfur-bearing volcanic gases. Here we report in situ analyses of the sulfur isotopic compositions of SO2 volatilized from ten sediment samples acquired by NASA’s Curiosity rover along a 13 km traverse of Gale crater. We find large variations in sulfur isotopic composition that exceed those measured for Martian meteorites and show both depletion and enrichment in 34S. Measured values of δ34S range from -47 +/- 14‰ to 28 +/- 7‰, similar to the range typical of terrestrial environments. Although limited geochronological constraints on the stratigraphy traversed by Curiosity are available, we propose that the observed sulfur isotopic signatures at Gale crater can be explained by equilibrium fractionation between sulfate and sulfide in an impact-driven hydrothermal system and atmospheric processing of sulfur-bearing gases during transient warm periods.

  6. The dimension added by 3D scanning and 3D printing of meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vet, S. J.

    2016-01-01

    An overview for the 3D photodocumentation of meteorites is presented, focussing on two 3D scanning methods in relation to 3D printing. The 3D photodocumention of meteorites provides new ways for the digital preservation of culturally, historically or scientifically unique meteorites. It has the potential for becoming a new documentation standard of meteorites that can exist complementary to traditional photographic documentation. Notable applications include (i.) use of physical properties in dark flight-, strewn field-, or aerodynamic modelling; (ii.) collection research of meteorites curated by different museum collections, and (iii.) public dissemination of meteorite models as a resource for educational users. The possible applications provided by the additional dimension of 3D illustrate the benefits for the meteoritics community.

  7. Comets, Carbonaceous Meteorites, and the Origin of the Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2007-01-01

    Evidence for indigenous microfossils in carbonaceous meteorites suggests that the paradigm of the endogenous origin of life on Earth should be reconsidered. It is now widely accepted that comets and carbonaceous meteorites played an important role in the delivery of water, organics and life critical biogenic elements to the early Earth and facilitated the origin and evolution of the Earth's Biosphere. However; the detection of embedded microfossils and mats in carbonaceous meteorites implies that comets and meteorites may have played a direct role in the delivery of intact microorganisms and that the Biosphere may extend far into the Cosmos. Recent space observations have found the nuclei of comets to have very low albedos (approx.0.03) and. these jet-black surfaces become very hot (T approx. 400 K) near perihelion. This paper reviews recent observational data-on comets and suggests that liquid water pools could exist in cavities and fissures between the internal ices and rocks and the exterior carbonaceous crust. The presence of light and liquid water near the surface of the nucleus enhances the possibility that comets could harbor prokaryotic extremophiles (e.g., cyanobacteria) capable of growth over a wide range of temperatures. The hypothesis that comets are the parent bodies of the CI1 and the CM2 carbonaceous meteorites is advanced. Electron microscopy images will be presented showing forms interpreted as indigenous-microfossils embedded' in freshly. fractured interior surfaces of the Orgueil (CI1) and Murchison (CM2) meteorites. These forms are consistent in size and morphologies with known morphotypes of all five orders of Cyanobacteriaceae: Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) elemental data shows that the meteoritic forms have anomalous C/O; C/N; and C/S as compared with modern extremophiles and cyanobacteria. These images and spectral data indicate that the clearly biogenic and embedded remains cannot be interpreted as recent biological

  8. A complex of meteorite-forming bodies (the Innisfree - Ridgedale family).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shestaka, I. S.

    1994-12-01

    For the first time a swarm of meteorite-forming bodies was identified. Yearly this swarm's orbit approaches the Earth's orbit in early February. This swarm contains the Innisfree and Ridgedale fireballs, 9 small meteoric swarms, several asteroids and 12 fireballs photographed by the cameras of the Prairie Network and Canadian Meteorite Observation and Discovery Project. The discovery of this complex, intensive bombardments of the Moon's surface recorded by means of seismographs left on the Moon, the analysis of the time distributions of meteorite falls on the Earth and other established facts confirm the existence of swarms of meteorite-forming bodies which are crossing the Earth's orbit.

  9. 57Fe Moessbauer Spectroscopy Studies of Meteorites: Implications for Weathering Rates, Meteorite Flux, and Early Solar System Processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bland, P. A.; Berry, F. J.; Jull, A. J. T.; Smith, T. B.; Bevan, A. W. R.; Cadogan, J. M.; Sexton, A. S.; Franchi, L. A.; Pillinger, C. T.

    2002-01-01

    Ordinary chondrite finds, terrestrial age dated using 14 C analyses, from different meteorite accumulation sites, have been examined by Moessbauer spectroscopy to quantitatively determine terrestrial oxidation. We observe differences in weathering rates between sites, and also between different chondrite groups. A comparison of weathering over time, and its effect in 'eroding' meteorites, together with the number and mass distribution of meteorites in each region, enables us to derive estimates of the number of meteorite falls over a given mass per year. Studies of how the oxygen isotopic composition of samples varies with weathering indicate that incipient alteration may occur without a pronounced isotopic effect, possibly due to weathering of silicates to topotactically oriented smectite confined spaces where the water volume is limited. This finding has profound implications for the use of oxygen isotopes as a tool in understanding water-rock interaction. It also may reconcile previously contradictory data regarding the nebular or asteroidal location of pre-terrestrial aqueous alteration. Finally, Moessbauer spectroscopy is also found to be a useful tool in determining mineral abundance in carbonaceous chondrites, where a fine-grained matrix makes traditional approaches inapplicable. Again, the results have implications for the modification of chondritic materials in the early solar system.

  10. The radiation age of meteorites; L'age des meteorites; Opredelenie vozrasta meteoritov s pomoshch'yu radiatsii; Edad de los meteoritos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goebel, K; Schmidlin, P [European Organisation for Nuclear Research, Geneva (Switzerland)

    1962-01-15

    Radioisotopes produced by cosmic radiation in meteorites while travelling through space can be used to trace the history of these meteorites. The radioisotopes and the accumulated daughter-elements in the meteorite must be determined in order to evaluate how long the meteorite was exposed to cosmic radiation. (It must be assumed for this calculation that the flux of the cosmic radiation is constant with time.) Most often gaseous isotopes have been used for these measurements as they can be easily separated from the meteoric substance. In the reported work tritium and argon have been mainly used. From the ratio H{sup 3}/He{sup 3}, radiation ages from a few millions to several hundred millions of years have been found. The recent measurements made at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) agree in principle with results from other sources. The probable errors from diffusion-losses of gas and the influence of shielding in the pre-atmospheric meteorite are discussed in the paper. By taking into consideration the measured cross-section for tritium production in the elements which form the meteorite, the values of the cosmic-ray flux in outer space can be determined. (author) [French] Les radioisotopes produits par les rayonnements cosmiques dans les meteorites circulant dans l'espace peuvent servir a reconstituer l'histoire de ces corps. Il faut mesurer les radioisotopes et les produits de filiation accumules dans la meteorite pour evaluer le temps pendant lequel la meteorite a ete exposee aux rayonnements cosmiques. (On considere alors que le flux des rayonnements cosmiques ne varie pas dans le temps.) Pour ces mesures, on se fonde le plus souvent sur les isotopes gazeux parce qu'il est facile de les separer de la substance meteorique. Dans les recherches qui font l'objet du present memoire, il s'agissait surtout du tritium et de l'argon. En partant du rapport {sup 3}H/{sup 3}He, on a pu evaluer des ages allant de quelques millions a plusieurs centaines

  11. Expected Geochemical and Mineralogical Properties of Meteorites from Mercury: Inferences from Messenger Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, F. M.; McCoy, T. J.

    2016-01-01

    Meteorites from the Moon, Mars, and many types of asteroid bodies have been identified among our global inventory of meteorites, however samples of Mercury and Venus have not been identified. The absence of mercurian and venusian meteorites could be attributed to an inability to recognize them in our collections due to a paucity of geochemical information for Venus and Mercury. In the case of mercurian meteorites, this possibility is further supported by dynamical calculations that suggest mercurian meteorites should be present on Earth at a factor of 2-3 less than meteorites from Mars [1]. In the present study, we focus on the putative mineralogy of mercurian meteorites using data obtained from the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft, which has provided us with our first quantitative constraints on the geochemistry of planet Mercury. We have used the MESSENGER data to compile a list of mineralogical and geochemical characteristics that a meteorite from Mercury is likely to exhibit.

  12. Meteorite Fall Detection and Analysis via Weather Radar: Worldwide Potential for Citizen Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M.; Bresky, C.; Laird, C.; Reddy, V.; Hankey, M.

    2017-12-01

    Meteorite falls can be detected using weather radars, facilitating rapid recovery of meteorites to minimize terrestrial alteration. Imagery from the US NEXRAD radar network reveals over two dozen meteorite falls where meteorites have been recovered, and about another dozen that remain unrecovered. Discovery of new meteorite falls is well suited to "citizen science" and similar outreach activities, as well as automation of computational components into internet-based search tools. Also, there are many more weather radars employed worldwide than those in the US NEXRAD system. Utilization of weather radars worldwide for meteorite recovery can not only expand citizen science opportunities but can also lead to significant improvement in the number of freshly-fallen meteorites available for research. We will discuss the methodologies behind locating and analyzing meteorite falls using weather radar, and how to make them available for citizen science efforts. An important example is the Aquarius Project, a Chicago-area consortium recently formed with the goal of recovering meteorites from Lake Michigan. This project has extensive student involvement geared toward development of actual hardware for recovering meteorites from the lake floor. Those meteorites were identified in weather radar imagery as they fell into the lake from a large meteor on 06 Feb 2017. Another example of public interaction is the meteor detection systems operated by the American Meteor Society (AMS). The AMS website has been developed to allow public reporting of meteors, effectively enabling citizen science to locate and describe significant meteor events worldwide.

  13. Age determination of meteorites using radioactive nuclides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tanimizu, Masaharu

    2002-01-01

    Recently, the precise isotope ratios of some refractory elements in meteorites have been reported using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The in situ decay of 182 Hf (T 1/2 =9 Myr), which was produced at the latest nucleosynthesis, is recognized in many meteorites as isotopic anomalies of its daughter isotope, 182 W. The degrees of relative 182 W isotopic deviation in extra-terrestrial and terrestrial silicate samples vary from +0.3% to ±0% related to the size of their parent bodies. One ready interpretation of its correlation is the difference in timing of metal-silicate separation in the parent bodies. Between the earth and meteorite parent bodies, the difference is calculated to be about four times of the half-life of 182 Hf, equivalent to 36 Myr. (author)

  14. An Electrostatic Precipitator System for the Martian Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, C. I.; Mackey, P. J.; Hogue, M. D.; Johansen, M. R.; Phillips, J. R., III; Clements, J. S.

    2012-01-01

    Human exploration missions to Mars will require the development of technologies for the utilization of the planet's own resources for the production of commodities. However, the Martian atmosphere contains large amounts of dust. The extraction of commodities from this atmosphere requires prior removal of this dust. We report on our development of an electrostatic precipitator able to collect Martian simulated dust particles in atmospheric conditions approaching those of Mars. Extensive experiments with an initial prototype in a simulated Martian atmosphere showed efficiencies of 99%. The design of a second prototype with aerosolized Martian simulated dust in a flow-through is described. Keywords: Space applications, electrostatic precipitator, particle control, particle charging

  15. Martian Gullies: H2O or CO2 snow?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yolanda, C.; Durand-Manterola, H. J.

    2007-05-01

    The theories proposed to try to explain the origin of the Martian gullies involve either liquid water, liquid carbon dioxide or flows of dry granular material. We propose another processes that can be favorable for the origin of the Martian gullies, with our model by gaseous fluidification of CO2. We propose that on the Martian slopes, CO2 snow and dust transported by winds, are accumulate. During the Martian spring, sublimation of carbonic snow starts because of heat and weigth of the frezze layer, causing that the material mixed its fluidifized and slide downslope by gravity. By experimental work with dry granular material, we simulated the development of the Martian gullies injecting air inside the granular material. We also present the characteristics of some terrestrial gullies forms at cold environment, sited at Nevado de Toluca Volcano near Toluca City, México. We compared them with some Martian gullies, to identify possible processes evolved in its formation. We measured the lengths of those Martian gullies and the range was from 24 meters to 1775 meters. Finally, we present results of our experimental work at laboratory with dry granular material and our field trip to Nevado de Toluca Volcano.

  16. Hydrological and Climatic Significance of Martian Deltas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Achille, G.; Vaz, D. A.

    2017-10-01

    We a) review the geomorphology, sedimentology, and mineralogy of the martian deltas record and b) present the results of a quantitative study of the hydrology and sedimentology of martian deltas using modified version of terrestrial model Sedflux.

  17. Catalogue of meteorites from South America

    CERN Document Server

    Acevedo, Rogelio Daniel; García, Víctor Manuel

    2014-01-01

    The first Catalogue of Meteorites from South America includes new specimens never previously reported, while doubtful cases and pseudometeorites have been deliberately omitted.The falling of these objects is a random event, but the sites where old meteorites are found tend to be focused in certain areas, e.g. in the deflation surfaces in Chile's Atacama Desert, due to favorable climate conditions and ablation processes.Our Catalogue provides basic information on each specimen like its provenance and the place where it was discovered (in geographic co-ordinates and with illustrative maps), its

  18. Effects of secondary alteration on the composition of free and IOM-derived monocarboxylic acids in carbonaceous chondrites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aponte, José C.; Alexandre, Marcelo R.; Wang, Yi; Brearley, Adrian J.; Alexander, Conel M. O.'D.; Huang, Yongsong

    2011-05-01

    Monocarboxylic acids (MCAs) are important astrobiologically because they are often the most abundant soluble compounds in carbonaceous chondrites (CCs) and are potential synthetic end products for many biologically important compounds. However, there has been no systematic study on the effect of parent body alteration on molecular and isotopic variability of MCAs. Since MCAs in meteorites are dominated by low molecular weight (C1-C8), highly volatile compounds, their distributions are likely to be particularly sensitive to secondary alteration processes. In contrast, the aliphatic side chains of insoluble organic matter (IOM) in CCs, whose composition has been shown to be closely related to the MCAs, may be far more resistant to secondary alteration. In the present study, we determined the distributions and isotopic ratios of free and IOM-derived MCAs in six carbonaceous chondrites with a range of classifications: Murchison (CM2), EET 87770 (CR2), ALH 83034 (CM1), ALH 83033 (CM2), MET 00430 (CV3) and WIS 91600 (C2). We compare mineralogical and petrological characteristics to the MCAs distributions to better define the processes leading to the synthesis and alteration of meteoritic MCAs. Our results show that aqueous and especially thermal alteration in the parent bodies led to major loss of free MCAs and depletion of straight relative to branched chain compounds. However, the MCAs derived from aliphatic side chains of IOM are well preserved despite of secondary alterations. The molecular and isotopic similarities of IOM-derived MCAs in different chondrite samples indicate very similar synthetic histories for organic matter in different meteorites.

  19. Field Guide to Meteors and Meteorites

    CERN Document Server

    Norton, O. Richard

    2008-01-01

    Imagine the unique experience of being the very first person to hold a newly-found meteorite in your hand – a rock from space, older than Earth! "Weekend meteorite hunting" with magnets and metal detectors is becoming ever more popular as a pastime, but of course you can’t just walk around and pick up meteorites in the same way that you can pick up seashells on the beach. Those fragments that survived the intense heat of re-entry tend to disguise themselves as natural rocks over time, and it takes a trained eye – along with the information in this book – to recognize them. Just as amateur astronomers are familiar with the telescopes and accessories needed to study a celestial object, amateur meteoriticists have to use equipment ranging from simple hand lenses to microscopes to study a specimen, to identify its type and origins. Equipment and techniques are covered in detail here of course, along with a complete and fully illustrated guide to what you might find and where you might find it. In fact, th...

  20. Coordinated In Situ Analyses of Organic Nanoglobules in the Sutter's Mill Meteorite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura--Messenger, K.; Messenger, S.; Keller, L. P.; Clemett, S. J.; Nguyen, A. N.; Gibson, E. K.

    2013-01-01

    The Sutter s Mill meteorite is a newly fallen carbonaceous chondrite that was collected and curated quickly after its fall [1]. Preliminary petrographic and isotopic investigations suggest affinities to the CM2 carbonaceous chondrites. The primitive nature of this meteorite and its rapid recovery provide an opportunity to investigate primordial solar system organic matter in a unique new sample. Organic matter in primitive meteorites and chondritic porous interplanetary dust particles (CP IDPs) is commonly enriched in D/H and N-15/N-14 relative to terrestrial values [2-4]. These anomalies are ascribed to the partial preservation of presolar cold molecular cloud material [2]. Some meteorites and IDPs contain gm-size inclusions with extreme H and N isotopic anomalies [3-5], possibly due to preserved primordial organic grains. The abundance and isotopic composition of C in Sutter's Mill were found to be similar to the Tagish Lake meteorite [6]. In the Tagish Lake meteorite, the principle carriers of large H and N isotopic anomalies are sub-micron hollow organic spherules known as organic nanoglobules [7]. Organic nanoglobules are commonly distributed among primitive meteorites [8, 9] and cometary samples [10]. Here we report in-situ analyses of organic nano-globules in the Sutter's Mill meteorite using UV fluorescence imaging, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), NanoSIMS, and ultrafast two-step laser mass spectrometry (ultra-L2MS).

  1. Asteroids, meteorites, and comets

    CERN Document Server

    Elkins-Tanton, Linda T

    2010-01-01

    Asteroids, Comets, and Meteorites provides students, researchers, and general readers with the most up-to-date information on this fascinating field. From the days of the dinosaurs to our modern environment, this book explores all aspects of these cosmic invaders.

  2. U-Pb studies of the Appley Bridge meteorite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gale, N.H.; Arden, J.W.; Hutchinson, R.

    1979-01-01

    The U and Pb concentration in samples from the interior of the 10.9 kg stone BM 1920, 40 (British Museum), the isotopic composition of lead, a lead-lead diagram for whole meteorite samples of Appley Bridge, and a U-Pb concordia diagram for whole meteorite samples of Appley Bridge from different measurements are treated. (HK) 891 HK/HK 892 MB [de

  3. An Anomalous Basaltic Meteorite from the Innermost Main Belt

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bland, P.A.; Spurný, Pavel; Towner, M.C.; Bevan, A.W.R.; Singleton, A.T.; Bottke jr., W.F.; Greenwood, R.C.; Chesley, S.R.; Shrbený, Lukáš; Borovička, Jiří; Ceplecha, Zdeněk; McClafferty, T.; Vaughan, D.; Benedix, G.K.; Deacon, G.; Howard, K.T.; Franchi, I.A.; Hough, R.M.

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 325, č. 5947 (2009), s. 1525-1527 ISSN 0036-8075 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/08/0411 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : meteorites * meteorite fall Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 29.747, year: 2009

  4. Organic compounds in the Murchison meteorite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponnamperuma, C.

    1972-01-01

    Impressive supporting evidence for the concept of the chemical evolution of life has appeared in the discovery of biologically important compounds in extraterrestrial samples. The approaches pursued to detect extraterrestrial organic compounds include the study of interstellar space by radioastronomy, the evaluation of the Apollo lunar samples, and the analysis of meteorites, both ancient and recent. It has been found that the clouds of gas in the interstellar medium contain a wide variety of molecules, most of which are organic in nature. The carbonaceous chondrites contain polymeric organic matter. Amino acids have been detected in the Murchison meteorite.

  5. Galactic cosmic-ray-produced radionuclides in Antarctic meteorites and a lunar core

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fox, R.L.

    1987-01-01

    Radionuclide depth effects in a meteorite, the history and pairing of Antarctic meteorites and processes on the lunar surface are discussed in six chapters. A depth profile of 26 Al, 10 Be and 53 Mn activities have been measured in eleven metal phase samples of the Antarctic meteorite ALHA78084 to determine the importance of the secondary cascade in producing these nuclides in a 30 centimeter diameter meteorite. The results show a buildup of lower energy reaction products and a flat profile for high energy reaction products with depth. The activity of 53 Mn has been measured as a function of depth in eleven soil samples from the lunar double drive tubes 15011/15010. The results agree within error with the previous results of Nishiizumi. These data are consistent with the previously published 26 Al results of the Battelle Northwest group which indicated a disturbed profile down to 17 g/cm 2 and an accumulation rate of 2 cm/My. Comparison with the gardening models of Arnold and Langevin and the local topography suggests such a continuous accumulation is the result of steady downslope transport of surface soil for 7 to 10 My at this site. The 53 Mn activity was determined in eleven samples in eight Allan Hills-80 Antarctic meteorites and one sample from an Elephant Moraine Antarctic meteorite. Mineralogic and field relation data suggest that Allan Hills meteorites to be two sets of paired falls. The 53 Mn results are consistent with the grouping of these meteorites as paired falls excluding the meteorite ALHA80127. comparison with future nuclear particle track work and results from the measurement of other cosmogenic nuclides will provide more definitive results

  6. Liquid Water in the Extremely Shallow Martian Subsurface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlov, A.; Shivak, J. N.

    2012-01-01

    Availability of liquid water is one of the major constraints for the potential Martian biosphere. Although liquid water is unstable on the surface of Mars due to low atmospheric pressures, it has been suggested that liquid films of water could be present in the Martian soil. Here we explored a possibility of the liquid water formation in the extremely shallow (1-3 cm) subsurface layer under low atmospheric pressures (0.1-10 mbar) and low ("Martian") surface temperatures (approx.-50 C-0 C). We used a new Goddard Martian simulation chamber to demonstrate that even in the clean frozen soil with temperatures as low as -25C the amount of mobile water can reach several percents. We also showed that during brief periods of simulated daylight warming the shallow subsurface ice sublimates, the water vapor diffuses through porous surface layer of soil temporarily producing supersaturated conditions in the soil, which leads to the formation of additional liquid water. Our results suggest that despite cold temperatures and low atmospheric pressures, Martian soil just several cm below the surface can be habitable.

  7. Nuclear thermal rockets using indigenous Martian propellants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zubrin, R.M.

    1989-01-01

    This paper considers a novel concept for a Martian descent and ascent vehicle, called NIMF (for nuclear rocket using indigenous Martian fuel), the propulsion for which will be provided by a nuclear thermal reactor which will heat an indigenous Martian propellant gas to form a high-thrust rocket exhaust. The performance of each of the candidate Martian propellants, which include CO2, H2O, CH4, N2, CO, and Ar, is assessed, and the methods of propellant acquisition are examined. Attention is also given to the issues of chemical compatibility between candidate propellants and reactor fuel and cladding materials, and the potential of winged Mars supersonic aircraft driven by this type of engine. It is shown that, by utilizing the nuclear landing craft in combination with a hydrogen-fueled nuclear thermal interplanetary vehicle and a heavy lift booster, it is possible to achieve a manned Mars mission in one launch. 6 refs

  8. Hydrogen dynamics in Na3AlH6: A combined density functional theory and quasielastic neutron scattering study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Voss, Johannes; Shi, Qing; Jacobsen, Hjalte Sylvest

    2007-01-01

    alanate with TiCl3, and here we study hydrogen dynamics in doped and undoped Na3AlH6 using a combination of density functional theory calculations and quasielastic neutron scattering. The hydrogen dynamics is found to be vacancy mediated and dominated by localized jump events, whereas long-range bulk......Understanding the elusive catalytic role of titanium-based additives on the reversible hydrogenation of complex hydrides is an essential step toward developing hydrogen storage materials for the transport sector. Improved bulk diffusion of hydrogen is one of the proposed effects of doping sodium...... defect motion in sodium alanate could result from vacancy-mediated sodium diffusion....

  9. Noble gases in ten stone meteorites from Antarctica

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weber, H.W.; Schultz, L.

    1980-01-01

    The concentrations and isotopic composition of noble gases have been determined in all ten stone meteorites recovered in Antarctica during 1976-1977 by a U.S.-Japanese expedition. From a comparison of spallogenic and radiogenic gas components it is concluded that the chondrites Mt. Baldr (a) and Mt. Baldr (b) belong to the same fall but that all other stone meteorites are individual finds. (orig.)

  10. Express delivery of fossil meteorites from the inner asteroid belt to Sweden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesvorný, David; Vokrouhlický, David; Bottke, William F.; Gladman, Brett; Häggström, Therese

    2007-06-01

    Our understanding of planet formation depends in fundamental ways on what we learn by analyzing the composition, mineralogy, and petrology of meteorites. Yet, it is difficult to deduce the compositional and thermal gradients that existed in the solar nebula from the meteoritic record because, in most cases, we do not know where meteorites with different chemical and isotopic signatures originated. Here we developed a model that tracks the orbits of meteoroid-sized objects as they evolve from the ν secular resonance to Earth-crossing orbits. We apply this model to determining the number of meteorites accreted on the Earth immediately after a collisional disruption of a D˜200-km-diameter inner-main-belt asteroid in the Flora family region. We show that this event could produce fossil chondrite meteorites found in an ≈470 Myr old marine limestone quarry in southern Sweden, the L-chondrite meteorites with shock ages ≈470 Myr falling on the Earth today, as well as asteroid-sized fragments in the Flora family. To explain the measured short cosmic-ray exposure ages of fossil meteorites our model requires that the meteoroid-sized fragments were launched at speeds >500 m s -1 and/or the collisional lifetimes of these objects were much shorter immediately after the breakup event than they are today.

  11. Neuschwanstein and Pribram: Two solitaire meteorites or members of a stream?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberst, J.; Spurny, P.; Heinlein, D.

    2003-04-01

    The fall of the Neuschwanstein enstatite chondrite EL6 at 20:20:17.7 UTC on April 6, 2002, in Southern Bavaria is well documented. Using photographic records obtained by the European Fireball Network (EN), the heliocentric orbit of the object before its collision with Earth could be determined [Spurny et al., Nature, submitted]. Surprisingly, its orbit is practically identical to that of another meteorite, which was photographed by the EN 43 years earlier: the Pribram H5-chondrite, which fell on April 7, 1959. The orbital elements are extremely similar indeed, as is indicated by a D-criterion of D=0.025. By analysis of the orbital elements of all available (approx. 200) ''meteorite candidates'', we estimate that the chances of finding two meteorites with orbital elements matching as well as in the case of Pribram and Neuschwanstein is 1:100,000. Therefore, we believe that the paired fall is not a coincidence and that the meteorites are members of a stream of objects. Considering Innisfree and Ridgedale, another paired fall, observed by the Canadian MORP (Meteorite Observation and Recovery Project), in 1977 and 1980 [Halliday, Icarus 69, 550-556, 1987], it appears that meteorite streams are not uncommon among Earth-approaching objects. On the basis of the observational efficiency of the EN, we estimate that the Pribram/Neuschwanstein meteorite stream contains approx. 10^9 members; all of them combined would form an asteroid with a minimum radius of 300m. From studies of cometary-type meteor streams it is known that these cometary stream members have separated from their parent body fairly recently. However, judging from the different classifications of the meteorites, and from their long cosmic exposure (Pribram has a cosmic ray age of 19 Million years) both, a common parent and a recent separation, are not very likely.

  12. Comparisons of PGA and INAA in the analyses of meteorite samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wee Boon Siong; Ebihara, M.; Abdul Khalik Wood

    2010-01-01

    Prompt gamma-ray analysis (PGA) and instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) are suitable methods for multi-elemental determinations in various samples. These two methods are complementary because PGA is capable of analyzing most major and minor elements in rock samples whereas INAA is more superior in determining minor and trace elements. Both PGA and INAA are essential for the study of rare samples such as meteorites because of non-destructivity and relatively being free from contaminations. Samples for PGA can be reused for INAA, which help to reduce the sample usage. This project aims to utilize PGA and INAA techniques for comparative study and apply them to meteorites. In this study, 11 meteorite samples received from the Meteorite Working Group of NASA were analyzed. The Allende meteorite powder was included as quality control material. Results from PGA and INAA for Allende showed good agreement with literature values, signifying the reliabilities of these two methods. Elements Al, Ca, Mg, Mn, Na and Ti were determined by both methods and their results are compared. Comparison of PGA and INAA data using linear regression analysis showed correlations coefficients r 2 > 0.90 for Al, Ca, Mn and Ti, 0.85 for Mg, and 0.38 for Na. The PGA results for Na using 472 keV were less accurate due to the interference from the broad B peak. Therefore, Na results from INAA method are preferred. For other elements (Al, Ca, Mg, Mn and Ti), PGA and INAA results can be used as cross-reference for consistency. The PGA and INAA techniques have been applied to meteorite samples and results are comparable to literature values compiled from previously analyzed meteorites. In summary, both PGA and INAA methods give reasonably good agreement and are indispensable in the study of meteorites. (author)

  13. An extensive phase space for the potential martian biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Eriita G; Lineweaver, Charles H; Clarke, Jonathan D

    2011-12-01

    We present a comprehensive model of martian pressure-temperature (P-T) phase space and compare it with that of Earth. Martian P-T conditions compatible with liquid water extend to a depth of ∼310 km. We use our phase space model of Mars and of terrestrial life to estimate the depths and extent of the water on Mars that is habitable for terrestrial life. We find an extensive overlap between inhabited terrestrial phase space and martian phase space. The lower martian surface temperatures and shallower martian geotherm suggest that, if there is a hot deep biosphere on Mars, it could extend 7 times deeper than the ∼5 km depth of the hot deep terrestrial biosphere in the crust inhabited by hyperthermophilic chemolithotrophs. This corresponds to ∼3.2% of the volume of present-day Mars being potentially habitable for terrestrial-like life.

  14. Identification, testing, and analysis of a meteorite debris from jhelum, pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kayani, S.

    2012-01-01

    In this research paper, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry have been used to determine the mineralogical and elemental composition of a stone sample recovered from a location near village Lehri in district Jhelurn, Pakistan. The test data is compared with previous findings (as reported in literature and included in references) to identify this sample stone as part of a prehistoric meteorite ablation debris. Carbon content of a specimen of the meteorite debris has also been determined through combustion analysis. This carbon abundance has been compared with carbon wt% value of a certain type of meteorites to establ ish the origin and nature of the parent body of this particular meteorite debris. (author)

  15. The role of population in tracking meteorite falls in Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khiri, F.; Ibhi, A.; Saint-Gerant, T.; Medjkane, M.; Ouknine, L.

    2016-01-01

    The 158 African meteorite falls recorded during the period 1801 to 2014, account for more than 12.3% of all meteorite falls known from the world. Their rate is variable in time and in space. The number of falls continues to grow since 1860. They are concentrated in countries which exhibit large population (mainly rural population) with an uniform distribution. Generally, the number of falls follows the increase of the population density (coefficient of correlation r = 0.98). The colonial phenomenon, the education of population in this field, the population lifestyle and the rural exodus, are also factors among others which could explain the variability of the recovery of meteorite falls in Africa. In this note, we try by a statistical study, to examine the role of the African population in tracking meteorite falls on this continent.

  16. Magnesium Based Rockets for Martian Exploration, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose to develop Mg rockets for Martian ascent vehicle applications. The propellant can be acquired in-situ from MgO in the Martian regolith (5.1% Mg by mass)...

  17. Moessbauer spectroscopy of the Soledade meteorite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paduani, Clederson; Peres, Carlos Ariel Samudio

    2004-01-01

    Full text: Since the early studies of the microstructure and chemical composition of meteorites the formation of magnetic phases have attracted the attention of metallurgists. Mostly metallic specimens presented high contents of nickel and iron as major constituents, and thus the Fe-Ni alloys formed under such special conditions have been the subject of several investigations with a variety of experimental techniques. This is not an easy task considering the weathering process and the distribution of oxides in the metallic matrix, which in some cases varies in composition from one region to another. In this work we applied the Moessbauer spectroscopy to study the iron-bearing phases detected in the meteorite called Soledade. Although no one knows precisely who and when this specimen was found, it received the name of the locality from where it proceeded near the city of Passo Fundo in the state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. The first studies indicate that this metallic meteorite is an octahedrite, with polycrystalline troilite, cohenite, schreibersite and rhabdites as major constituents. It consists of a solid block weighing 68 kg, with an irregular form measuring about 36x22x16 cm. (author)

  18. MetNet Network Mission for Martian Atmospheric Investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Alexashkin, S.; Arrugeo, I.; Schmidt, W.; Vazquez, L.; Genzer, M.; Haukka, H.

    2014-07-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars called MetNet is being developed for martian atmospheric investigations. The eventual scope of the MetNet Mission is to deploy tens of small landers on the martian surface.

  19. Extraterrestrial Amino Acids in the Almahata Sitta Meteorite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Aubrey, Andrew D.; Callahan, Michael P.; Dworkin, Jason P.; Elsila, Jamie E.; Parker, Eric T.; Bada, Jeffrey L.

    2010-01-01

    Amino acid analysis of a meteorite fragment of asteroid 2008 TC3 called Almahata Sitta was carried out using reverse-phase liquid chromatography coupled with UV fluorescence detection and time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-FD/ToF-MS) as part of a sample analysis consortium. LC-FD/ToF-MS analyses of hot-water extracts from the meteorite revealed a complex distribution of two- to seven-carbon aliphatic amino acids and one- to three-carbon amines with abundances ranging from 0.5 to 149 parts-per-billion (ppb). The enantiomeric ratios of the amino acids alanine, R-amino-n-butyric acid (beta-ABA), 2-amino-2-methylbutanoic acid (isovaline), and 2-aminopentanoic acid (norvaline) in the meteorite were racemic (D/L approximately 1), indicating that these amino acids are indigenous to the meteorite and not terrestrial contaminants. Several other non-protein amino acids were also identified in the meteorite above background levels including alpha-aminoisobutyric acid (alpha-AIB), 4-amino-2- methylbutanoic acid, 4-amino-3-methylbutanoic acid, and 3-, 4-, and 5-aminopentanoic acid. The total abundances of isovaline and alpha-AIB in Almahata Sitta are 1000 times lower than the abundances of these amino acids found in the CM carbonaceous chondrite Murchison. The extremely low abundances and unusual distribution of five carbon amino acids in Almahata Sitta compared to Cl, CM, and CR carbonaceous chondrites may reflect extensive thermal alteration of amino acids on the parent asteroid by partial melting during formation or subsequent impact shock heating. It is also possible that amino acids were synthesized by catalytic reactions on the parent body after asteroid 2008 TC3 cooled to lower temperatures.

  20. The enrichment of the ISM: Evolved stars and meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jura, M.

    1995-01-01

    Small inclusions (diameters ranging from 0.001 microns to 10 microns) of isotopically anomalous material within meteorites were almost certainly produced in mass-losing stars. These solid particles preserved their individual identities as they passed through the interstellar medium and the pre-solar nebular. The relationship between studies of meteorites and mass-losing red giants is explored.

  1. Do Martian Blueberries Have Pits? -- Artifacts of an Early Wet Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerman, L.

    2005-03-01

    Early Martian weather cycles would have supported organic chemical self-organization, the assumed predecessor to an independent "origin" of Martian life. Artifacts of these processes are discussed, including the possibility that Martian blueberries nucleated around organic cores.

  2. Meteorite Falls Observed by the Desert Fireball Network: An Update

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bland, P.A.; Spurný, Pavel; Shrbený, Lukáš; Towner, M.C.; Bevan, A.W.R.; Borovička, Jiří; McClafferty, T.; Vaughan, D.

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 45, Supplement (2010), A16-A16 ISSN 1086-9379. [Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society /73./. 26.07.2010-30.07.2010, New York] Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : meteorite falls Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  3. Luminescence Dating of Martian Polar Deposits: Concepts and Preliminary Measurements Using Martian Soil Analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepper, K.; Kuhns, C. K.; McKeever, S. W. S.; Sears, D. W. G.

    2000-08-01

    Martian polar deposits have the potential to reveal a wealth of information about the evolution of Mars' climate and surface environment. However, as pointed out by Clifford et al. in the summary of the First International Conference on Mars Polar Science and Exploration, 'The single greatest obstacle to unlocking and interpreting the geologic and climatic record preserved at the [martian] poles is the need for absolute dating.' At that same conference Lepper and McKeever proposed development of luminescence dating as a remote in-situ technique for absolute dating of silicate mineral grains incorporated in polar deposits. Clifford et al. have also acknowledged that luminescence dating is more practical from cost, engineering, and logistical perspectives than other isotope-based methods proposed for in-situ dating on Mars. We report here the results of ongoing experiments with terrestrial analogs of martian surface materials to establish a broad fundamental knowledge base from which robust dating procedures for robotic missions may be developed. This broad knowledge base will also be critical in determining the engineering requirements of remote in-situ luminescence dating equipment intended for use on Mars. Additional information can be found in the original extended abstract.

  4. Probing the use of spectroscopy to determine the meteoritic analogues of meteors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drouard, A.; Vernazza, P.; Loehle, S.; Gattacceca, J.; Vaubaillon, J.; Zanda, B.; Birlan, M.; Bouley, S.; Colas, F.; Eberhart, M.; Hermann, T.; Jorda, L.; Marmo, C.; Meindl, A.; Oefele, R.; Zamkotsian, F.; Zander, F.

    2018-05-01

    Context. Determining the source regions of meteorites is one of the major goals of current research in planetary science. Whereas asteroid observations are currently unable to pinpoint the source regions of most meteorite classes, observations of meteors with camera networks and the subsequent recovery of the meteorite may help make progress on this question. The main caveat of such an approach, however, is that the recovery rate of meteorite falls is low (100) within a reasonable time frame (10-20 years), the optimal solution may be the spatial extension of existing fireball observation networks. The movie associated to this article is available at http://www.aanda.org

  5. Pre-Entry Size and Cosmic History of the Annama Meteorite

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kohout, Tomáš; Meier, M.M.M.; Maden, C.; Busemann, H.; Welten, K.C.; Laubenstein, M.; Caffee, M. W.; Gritsevich, M.; Grokhovsky, V.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 51, SI Supplement 1 (2016), A380-A380 ISSN 1086-9379. [Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society /79./. 07.08.2016-12.08.2016, Berlin] Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : noble gases * cosmogenic radionuclides chondrite * meteorite * Annama Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  6. Solubility of C-O-H volatiles in graphite-saturated martian basalts and application to martian atmospheric evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, B. D.; Hirschmann, M. M.; Withers, A. C.

    2012-12-01

    The modern martian atmosphere is thin, leading to surface conditions too cold to support liquid water. Yet, there is evidence of liquid surface water early in martian history that is commonly thought to require a thick CO2 atmosphere. Our previous work follows the analysis developed by Holloway and co-workers (Holloway et al. 1992; Holloway 1998), which predicts a linear relationship between CO2 and oxygen fugacity (fO2) in graphite-saturated silicate melts. At low oxygen fugacity, the solubility of CO2 in silicate melts is therefore very low. Such low calculated solubilities under reducing conditions lead to small fluxes of CO2 associated with martian magmatism, and therefore production of a thick volcanogenic CO2 atmosphere could require a prohibitively large volume of mantle-derived magma. The key assumption in these previous calculations is that the carbonate ion is the chief soluble C-O-H species. The results of the calculations would not be affected appreciably if molecular CO2, rather than carbonate ion, were an important species, but could be entirely different if there were other appreciable C-species such as CO, carbonyl (C=O) complexes, carbide (Si-C), or CH4. Clearly, graphite-saturated experiments are required to explore how much volcanogenic C may be degassed by reduced martian lavas. A series of piston-cylinder experiments were performed on synthetic martian starting materials over a range of oxygen fugacities (IW+2.3 to IW-0.9), and at pressures of 1-3 GPa and temperatures of 1340-1600 °C in Pt-graphite double capsules. CO2 contents in experimental glasses were determined using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and range from 0.0026-0.50 wt%. CO2 solubilities change by one order of magnitude with an order of magnitude change in oxygen fugacity, as predicted by previous work. Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) determinations of C contents in glasses range from 0.0131-0.2626 wt%. C contents determined by SIMS are consistently higher

  7. U-Pb systematics in iron meteorites: uniformity of primordial lead

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goepel, C.; Manhes, G.; Allegre, C.J.

    1985-01-01

    Pb isotopic compositions and U-Pb abundances were determined in the metal phase of six iron meteorites: Canyon Diablo IA, Toluca IA, Odessa IA, Youndegin IA, Deport IA and Mundrabilla An. Prior to complete dissolution, samples were subjected to a series of leachings and partial dissolutions. Isotopic compositions and abundances of the etched Pb indicate a contamination by terrestrial Pb which is attributable to previous cutting of the meteorite. Pb isotopic compositions measured in the decontaminated samples are identical within 0.2% and essentially confirm the primordial Pb value defined by Tatsumoto et al. (1973). These data invalidate more radiogenic Pb isotopic compositions published for iron meteorites, which are the result of terrestrial Pb contamination introduced mainly by analytical procedure. Our results support the idea of a solar nebula which was isotopically homogeneous for Pb 4.55 Ga ago. The new upper limit for U-abundance in iron meteorites, 0.001 ppb, is in agreement with its expected thermodynamic solubility in the metal phase. (author)

  8. Studies on Al Kidirate and Kapoeta meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gismelseed, A.M.; Khangi, F.; Ibrahim, A.; Yousif, A.A.; Worthing, M.A.; Rais, A.; Elzain, M.E.; Brooks, C.K.; Sutherland, H.H.

    1994-01-01

    Moessbauer spectroscopy (20-300 K), magnetic susceptibility measurements (77-350 K), scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction experiments have been performed on two meteorite samples: one from an old fall (Kapoeta) and another from a very recent fall (Al Kidirate). The two specimens differ in their mineralogy. Chondrules appear to be absent in Kapoeta and it is probably a pyroxene-plagioclase achondrite with ferrohypersthene as the most abundant mineral. On the other hand, the Al Kidirate meteorite is an ordinary chondrite and the specimen consists of olivine, orthopyroxene, troilite and kamacite. The Moessbauer measurements confirm the above characterization, showing a paramagnetic doublet for the Kapoeta sample and at least two paramagnetic doublets and magnetic sextets for the Al Kidirate specimens. The former were assigned to Fe in pyroxene sites, while the latter was assigned to Fe in pyroxene, olivine, Fe-S and Fe-Ni alloys. The difference in the mineralogy of the two meteorites has also been reflected in the temperature-dependent magnetic susceptibility. The magnetization and the hyperfine interaction parameters will be discussed in relation to the mineralogy. (orig.)

  9. Irradiation history of meteoritic inclusions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wielandt, Daniel Kim Peel

    Understanding the formation and earliest evolution of our solar system is a longstanding goal shared by cosmochemistry, astronomy and astrophysics. Meteorites play a key role in this pursuit, providing a ground truth against which all theories must be weighed. Chondritic meteorites are in essence...... extraterrestrial sediments that contain Calcium-Aluminium-rich Inclusions (CAIs) and chondrules that formed as individual objects during the earliest stages of solar system evolution. They later accreted together to form large bodies, after spending up to several million years in individual orbit around the proto...... of presolar and protosolar materials, as well as evidence for the former presence of over 10 extinct shortlived radionuclei of varying stability and provenance that play a key role in deciphering early solar system evolution. Some shortlived radionuclei, such as 60Fe (T½ 2.5 Myr), must have formed...

  10. Methods for determining the preatmospheric dimensions of meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ustinova, G. K.; Alekseev, V. A.; Lavrukhina, A. K.

    1988-10-01

    Methods are proposed for the determination of the preatmospheric size of a meteorite on the basis of data on its cosmogenic radionuclides. Optimal conditions for the application of each of these methods are presented together with the demonstration of their effectiveness. Estimates of relative dimensions determined by these methods are presented for the Harleton, St. Severin, Lost City, Peace River, Pribram, Dhajala, Innisfree, Bruderheim, Ehole, and Gorlovka chondrites and for the Iardymly, Boguslavka, Treysa, and Sikhote-Alin' iron meteorites.

  11. Fungal Peptaibiotics: Assessing Potential Meteoritic Amino Acid Contamination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsila, J. E.; Callahan, M. P.; Glavin, D. P.; Dworkin, J. P.; Bruckner, H.

    2010-01-01

    The presence of non-protein alpha-dialkyl-amino acids such as alpha-aminoisobutyric acid (alpha-A1B) and isovaline (Iva), which are relatively rare in the terrestrial biosphere, has long been used as an indication of the indigeneity of meteoritic amino acids, however, the discovery of alpha-AIB in peptides producers by a widespread group of filamentous fungi indicates the possibility of a terrestrial biotic source for the alpha-AIB observed in some meteorites. The alpha-AIB-containing peptides produced by these fungi are dubbed peptaibiotics. We measured the molecular distribution and stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic ratios for amino acids found in the total hydrolysates of four biologically synthesized peptaibiotics. We compared these aneasurenetts with those from the CM2 carbonaceous chondrite Murchison and from three Antarctic CR2 carbonaceous chondrites in order to understand the peptaibiotics as a potential source of meteoritic contamination.

  12. Laser-powered Martian rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harries, W. L.; Meador, W. E.; Miner, G. A.; Schuster, Gregory L.; Walker, G. H.; Williams, M. D.

    1989-01-01

    Two rover concepts were considered: an unpressurized skeleton vehicle having available 4.5 kW of electrical power and limited to a range of about 10 km from a temporary Martian base and a much larger surface exploration vehicle (SEV) operating on a maximum 75-kW power level and essentially unrestricted in range or mission. The only baseline reference system was a battery-operated skeleton vehicle with very limited mission capability and range and which would repeatedly return to its temporary base for battery recharging. It was quickly concluded that laser powering would be an uneconomical overkill for this concept. The SEV, on the other hand, is a new rover concept that is especially suited for powering by orbiting solar or electrically pumped lasers. Such vehicles are visualized as mobile habitats with full life-support systems onboard, having unlimited range over the Martian surface, and having extensive mission capability (e.g., core drilling and sampling, construction of shelters for protection from solar flares and dust storms, etc.). Laser power beaming to SEV's was shown to have the following advantages: (1) continuous energy supply by three orbiting lasers at 2000 km (no storage requirements as during Martian night with direct solar powering); (2) long-term supply without replacement; (3) very high power available (MW level possible); and (4) greatly enhanced mission enabling capability beyond anything currently conceived.

  13. Proceedings of the 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    The 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference included sessions on: Phoenix: Exploration of the Martian Arctic; Origin and Early Evolution of the Moon; Comet Wild 2: Mineralogy and More; Astrobiology: Meteorites, Microbes, Hydrous Habitats, and Irradiated Ices; Phoenix: Soil, Chemistry, and Habitability; Planetary Differentiation; Presolar Grains: Structures and Origins; SPECIAL SESSION: Venus Atmosphere: Venus Express and Future Missions; Mars Polar Caps: Past and Present; SPECIAL SESSION: Lunar Missions: Results from Kaguya, Chang'e-1, and Chandrayaan-1, Part I; 5 Early Nebula Processes and Models; SPECIAL SESSION: Icy Satellites of Jupiter and Saturn: Cosmic Gymnasts; Mars: Ground Ice and Climate Change; SPECIAL SESSION: Lunar Missions: Results from Kaguya, Chang'e-1, and Chandrayaan-1, Part II; Chondrite Parent-Body Processes; SPECIAL SESSION: Icy Satellites of Jupiter and Saturn: Salubrious Surfaces; SNC Meteorites; Ancient Martian Crust: Primary Mineralogy and Aqueous Alteration; SPECIAL SESSION: Messenger at Mercury: A Global Perspective on the Innermost Planet; CAIs and Chondrules: Records of Early Solar System Processes; Small Bodies: Shapes of Things to Come; Sulfur on Mars: Rocks, Soils, and Cycling Processes; Mercury: Evolution and Tectonics; Venus Geology, Volcanism, Tectonics, and Resurfacing; Asteroid-Meteorite Connections; Impacts I: Models and Experiments; Solar Wind and Genesis: Measurements and Interpretation; Mars: Aqueous Processes; Magmatic Volatiles and Eruptive Conditions of Lunar Basalts; Comparative Planetology; Interstellar Matter: Origins and Relationships; Impacts II: Craters and Ejecta Mars: Tectonics and Dynamics; Mars Analogs I: Geological; Exploring the Diversity of Lunar Lithologies with Sample Analyses and Remote Sensing; Chondrite Accretion and Early History; Science Instruments for the Mars Science Lander; . Martian Gullies: Morphology and Origins; Mars: Dunes, Dust, and Wind; Mars: Volcanism; Early Solar System Chronology

  14. Detection and rapid recovery of the Sutter's Mill meteorite fall as a model for future recoveries worldwide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, Marc; Le Corre, Lucille; Hankey, Mike; Fries, Jeff; Matson, Robert; Schaefer, Jake; Reddy, Vishnu

    2014-11-01

    The Sutter's Mill C-type meteorite fall occurred on 22 April 2012 in and around the town of Coloma, California. The exact location of the meteorite fall was determined within hours of the event using a combination of eyewitness reports, weather radar imagery, and seismometry data. Recovery of the first meteorites occurred within 2 days and continued for months afterward. The recovery effort included local citizens, scientists, and meteorite hunters, and featured coordination efforts by local scientific institutions. Scientific analysis of the collected meteorites revealed characteristics that were available for study only because the rapid collection of samples had minimized terrestrial contamination/alteration. This combination of factors—rapid and accurate location of the event, participation in the meteorite search by the public, and coordinated scientific investigation of recovered samples—is a model that was widely beneficial and should be emulated in future meteorite falls. The tools necessary to recreate the Sutter's Mill recovery are available, but are currently underutilized in much of the world. Weather radar networks, scientific institutions with interest in meteoritics, and the interested public are available globally. Therefore, it is possible to repeat the Sutter's Mill recovery model for future meteorite falls around the world, each for relatively little cost with a dedicated researcher. Doing so will significantly increase the number of fresh meteorite falls available for study, provide meteorite material that can serve as the nuclei of new meteorite collections, and will improve the public visibility of meteoritics research.

  15. The Virtual Museum for Meteorites: an Online Tool for Researchers Educators and Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madiedo, J. M.

    2013-09-01

    The Virtual Museum for Meteorites (Figure 1) was created as a tool for students, educators and researchers [1, 2]. One of the aims of this online resource is to promote the interest in meteorites. Thus, the role of meteorites in education and outreach is fundamental, as these are very valuable tools to promote the public's interest in Astronomy and Planetary Sciences. Meteorite exhibitions reveal the fascination of students, educators and even researchers for these extraterrestrial rocks and how these can explain many key questions origin and evolution of our Solar System. However, despite the efforts related to the origin and evolution of our Solar System. However, despite the efforts of private collectors, museums and other institutions to organize meteorite exhibitions, the reach of these is usually limited. The Virtual Museum for Meteorites takes advantage of HTML and related technologies to overcome local boundaries and offer its contents for a global audience. A description of the recent developments performed in the framework of this virtual museum is given in this work.

  16. Cathodoluminescence and Raman Spectromicroscopy of Forsterite in Tagish Lake Meteorite: Implications for Astromineralogy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arnold Gucsik

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The Tagish Lake meteorite is CI/CM2 chondrite, which fell by a fireball event in January 2000. This study emphasizes the cathodoluminescence (CL and Raman spectroscopical properties of the Tagish Lake meteorite in order to classify the meteoritic forsterite and its relation to the crystallization processes in a parent body. The CL-zoning of Tagish Lake meteorite records the thermal history of chondrules and terrestrial weathering. Only the unweathered olivine is forsterite, which is CL-active. The variation of luminescence in chondrules of Tagish Lake meteorite implies chemical inhomogeneity due to low-grade thermal metamorphism. The blue emission center in forsterite due to crystal lattice defect is proposed as being caused by rapid cooling during the primary crystallization and relatively low-temperature thermal metamorphism on the parent body of Tagish Lake meteorite. This is in a good agreement with the micro-Raman spectroscopical data. A combination of cathodoluminescence and micro-Raman spectroscopies shows some potentials in study of the asteroidal processes of parent bodies in solar system.

  17. Martian Gullies: Formation by CO2 Fluidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cedillo-Flores, Y.; Durand-Manterola, H. J.

    2006-12-01

    Some of the geomorphological features in Mars are the gullies. Some theories developed tried explain its origin, either by liquid water, liquid carbon dioxide or flows of dry granular material. We made a comparative analysis of the Martian gullies with the terrestrial ones. We propose that the mechanism of formation of the gullies is as follows: In winter CO2 snow mixed with sand falls in the terrain. In spring the CO2 snow sublimate and gaseous CO2 make fluid the sand which flows like liquid eroding the terrain and forming the gullies. By experimental work with dry granular material, we simulated the development of the Martian gullies injecting air in the granular material. We present the characteristics of some terrestrial gullies forms at cold environment, sited at Nevado de Toluca Volcano near Toluca City, México. We compare them with Martian gullies choose from four different areas, to target goal recognize or to distinguish, (to identify) possible processes evolved in its formation. Also, we measured the lengths of those Martian gullies and the range was from 24 m to 1775 meters. Finally, we present results of our experimental work at laboratory with dry granular material.

  18. On presolar meteoritic sulphides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clayton, D.D.; Ramadurai, S.

    1977-01-01

    It is stated that discoveries of isotopic anomalies in meteorites caused some workers to postulate nucleosynthetic inhomogeneities that were somehow carried into the early solar system. A picture was developed treating most anomalies as extinct radioactivities trapped in mineral condensations in the expanding sites of explosive nucleosynthesis, such as supernovae or novae. As evidence for this grows it becomes clear that not only isotopic but also mineralogical evidence of presolar grains is wanted, and also knowledge of what supernovae condensates are likely to survive. It is suggested here that a search should be made among sulphides in meteorites, searching especially for sulphides of Ti. The reasoning is that many sulphides, especially Ti sulphides, will not be expected in solar condensation sequences, but are expected to dominate certain key zones of supernovae expansion. Sulphur seems to have resulted primarily from the nuclear explosions of O and Si, and arguments leading to that conclusion are analysed. It is thought that the discussion could lead to important discoveries for nucleosynthesis and the origin of the solar system. (U.K.)

  19. A Propensity for n-omega-Amino Acids in Thermally-Altered Antarctic Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, Aaron S.; Elsila, Jamie E.; Callahan, Michael P.; Martin, Mildred G.; Glavin, Daniel P.; Johnson, Natasha M.; Dworkin, Jason P.

    2012-01-01

    Carbonaceous meteorites are known to contain a wealth of indigenous organic molecules, including amino acids, which suggests that these meteorites could have been an important source of prebiotic organic material during the origins of life on Earth and possibly elsewhere. We report the detection of extraterrestrial amino acids in thermally-altered type 3 CV and CO carbonaceous chondrites and ureilites recovered from Antarctica. The amino acid concentrations of the thirteen Antarctic meteorites were generally less abundant than in more amino acid-rich CI, CM, and CR carbonaceous chondrites that experienced much lower temperature aqueous alteration on their parent bodies. In contrast to low-temperature aqueously-altered meteorites that show complete structural diversity in amino acids formed predominantly by Strecker-cyanohydrin synthesis, the thermally-altered meteorites studied here are dominated by small, straight-chain, amine terminal (n-omega-amino) amino acids that are not consistent with Strecker formation. The carbon isotopic ratios of two extraterrestrial n-omega-amino acids measured in one of the CV chondrites are consistent with C-13-depletions observed previously in hydrocarbons produced by Fischer-Tropsch type reactions. The predominance of n-omega-amino acid isomers in thermally-altered meteorites hints at cosmochemical mechanisms for the preferential formation and preservation of a small subset of the possible amino acids.

  20. Parent Body Influences on Amino Acids in the Tagish Lake Meteorite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, D. P.; Callahan, M. P.; Dworkin, J. P.; Elsila, J. E.; Herd, C. D. K.

    2010-01-01

    The Tagish Lake meteorite is a primitive C2 carbonaceous chondrite with a mineralogy, oxygen isotope, and bulk chemical. However, in contrast to many CI and CM carbonaceous chondrites, the Tagish Lake meteorite was reported to have only trace levels of indigenous amino acids, with evidence for terrestrial L-amino acid contamination from the Tagish Lake meltwater. The lack of indigenous amino acids in Tagish Lake suggested that they were either destroyed during parent body alteration processes and/or the Tagish Lake meteorite originated on a chemically distinct parent body from CI and CM meteorites where formation of amino acids was less favorable. We recently measured the amino acid composition of three different lithologies (11h, 5b, and 11i) of pristine Tagish Lake meteorite fragments that represent a range of progressive aqueous alteration in order 11h amino acids found in hot-water extracts of the Tagish Lake fragments were determined by ultra performance liquid chromatography fluorescence detection and time of flight mass spectrometry coupled with OPA/NAC derivatization. Stable carbon isotope analyses of the most abundant amino acids in 11h were measured with gas chromatography coupled with quadrupole mass spectrometry and isotope ratio mass spectrometry.

  1. Earth – Mars Similarity Criteria for Martian Vehicles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Octavian TRIFU

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available In order to select the most efficient kind of a martian exploring vehicle, the similarity criteria are deduced from the equilibrium movement in the terrestrial and martian conditions. Different invariants have been obtained for the existing (entry capsules, parachutes and rovers and potential martian exploring vehicles (lighter-than-air vehicle, airplane, helicopter and Mars Jumper. These similarity criteria, as non dimensional numbers, allow to quickly compare if such a kind of vehicles can operate in the martian environment, the movement performances, the necessary geometrical dimensions and the power consumption. Following this way of study it was concluded what vehicle is most suitable for the near soil Mars exploration. “Mars Rover” has less power consumption on Mars, but due to the rugged terrain the performances are weak. A vacuumed rigid airship is possible to fly with high performances and endurance on Mars, versus the impossibility of such a machine on the Earth. Due to very low density and the low Reynolds numbers in the Mars atmosphere, the power consumption for the martian airplane or helicopter, is substantial higher. The most efficient vehicle for the Mars exploration it seems to be a machine using the in-situ non-chemical propellants: the 95% CO2 atmosphere and the weak solar radiation. A small compressor, electrically driven by photovoltaics, compresses the gas in a storage tank, in time. If the gas is expanded through a nozzle, sufficient lift and control forces are obtained for a VTOL flight of kilometers over the martian soil, in comparison with tens of meters of the actual Mars rovers.

  2. Comparision of the Martian Gullies With Terrestrial Ones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cedillo-Flores, Y.; Durand-Manterola, H. J.

    2005-12-01

    Some of the geomorphological features in Mars are the gullies. Some theories developed tried to explained its origin, either by liquid water, liquid carbon dioxide or flows of dry granular material. We made a comparative analysis of the Martian gullies with the terrestrial ones. We present the characteristics of some terrestrial gullies formed at cold enviroment, sited at the Nevado de Toluca volcanoe near Toluca City, Mexico. We compare them with Martian gullies, choisen from four different areas, to recognize possible processes evolved in its formation. Also, we measured the lenghts of those Martian gullies and their range was from 24 m 1775 m.

  3. Survival of microorganisms in smectite clays: Implications for Martian exobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moll, Deborah M.; Vestal, J. Robie

    1992-08-01

    Manned exploration of Mars may result in the contamination of that planet with terrestrial microbes, a situation requiring assessment of the survival potential of possible contaminating organisms. In this study, the survival of Bacillus subtilis, Azotobacter chroococcum, and the enteric bacteriophage MS2 was examined in clays representing terrestrial (Wyoming type montmorillonite) or Martian (Fe 3+-montmorillonite) soils exposed to terrestrial and Martian environmental conditions of temperature and atmospheric pressure and composition, but not to UV flux or oxidizing conditions. Survival of bacteria was determined by standard plate counts and biochemical and physiological measurements over 112 days. Extractable lipid phosphate was used to measure microbial biomass, and the rate of 14C-acetate incorporation into microbial lipids was used to determine physiological activity. MS2 survival was assayed by plaque counts. Both bacterial types survived terrestrial or Martian conditions in Wyoming montmorillonite better than Martian conditions in Fe 3+-montmorillonite. Decreased survival may have been caused by the lower pH of the Fe 3+-montmorillonite compared to Wyoming montmorillonite. MS2 survived simulated Mars conditions better than the terrestrial environment, likely due to stabilization of the virus caused by the cold and dry conditions of the simulated Martian environment. The survival of MS2 in the simulated Martian environment is the first published indication that viruses may be able to survive in Martian type soils. This work may have implications for planetary protection for future Mars missions.

  4. Origins of mass-dependent and mass-independent Ca isotope variations in meteoritic components and meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermingham, K. R.; Gussone, N.; Mezger, K.; Krause, J.

    2018-04-01

    The Ca isotope composition of meteorites and their components may vary due to mass-dependent and/or -independent isotope effects. In order to evaluate the origin of these effects, five amoeboid olivine aggregates (AOAs), three calcium aluminum inclusions (CAIs), five chondrules (C), a dark inclusion from Allende (CV3), two dark fragments from North West Africa 753 (NWA 753; R3.9), and a whole rock sample of Orgueil (CI1) were analyzed. This is the first coupled mass-dependent and -independent Ca isotope dataset to include AOAs, a dark inclusion, and dark fragments. Where sample masses permit, Ca isotope data are reported with corresponding petrographic analyses and rare earth element (REE) relative abundance patterns. The CAIs and AOAs are enriched in light Ca isotopes (δ44/40Ca -5.32 to +0.72, where δ44/40Ca is reported relative to SRM 915a). Samples CAI 5 and AOA 1 have anomalous Group II REE patterns. These REE and δ44/40Ca data suggest that the CAI 5 and AOA 1 compositions were set via kinetic isotope fractionation during condensation and evaporation. The remaining samples show mass-dependent Ca isotope variations which cluster between δ44/40Ca +0.53 and +1.59, some of which are coupled with unfractionated REE abundance patterns. These meteoritic components likely formed through the coaccretion of the evaporative residue and condensate following Group II CAI formation or their chemical and isotopic signatures were decoupled (e.g., via nebular or parent-body alteration). The whole rock sample of Orgueil has a δ44/40Ca +0.67 ± 0.18 which is in agreement with most published data. Parent-body alteration, terrestrial alteration, and variable sampling of Ca-rich meteoritic components can have an effect on δ44/40Ca compositions in whole rock meteorites. Samples AOA 1, CAI 5, C 2, and C 4 display mass-independent 48/44Ca anomalies (ε48/44Ca +6 to +12) which are resolved from the standard composition. Other samples measured for these effects (AOA 5, CAI 1, CAI 2

  5. Martian Mixed Layer during Pathfinder Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, G. M.; Valero, F.; Vazquez, L.

    2008-09-01

    In situ measurements of the Martian Planetary Boundary Layer (MPBL) encompass only the sur- face layer. Therefore, in order to fully address the MPBL, it becomes necessary to simulate somehow the behaviour of the martian mixed layer. The small-scale processes that happen in the MPBL cause GCM's ([1], [2]) to describe only partially the turbulent statistics, height, convective scales, etc, of the surface layer and the mixed layer. For this reason, 2D and 3D martian mesoscale models ([4], [5]), and large eddy simulations ([4], [6], [7], [8]) have been designed in the last years. Although they are expected to simulate more accurately the MPBL, they take an extremely expensive compu- tational time. Alternatively, we have derived the main turbu- lent characteristics of the martian mixed layer by using surface layer and mixed layer similarity ([9], [10]). From in situ temperature and wind speed measurements, together with quality-tested simu- lated ground temperature [11], we have character- ized the martian mixed layer during the convective hours of Pathfinder mission Sol 25. Mean mixed layer turbulent statistics like tem- perature variance , horizontal wind speed variance , vertical wind speed variance , viscous dissipation rate , and turbu- lent kinetic energy have been calculated, as well as the mixed layer height zi, and the convective scales of wind w? and temperature θ?. Our values, obtained with negligible time cost, match quite well with some previously obtained results via LES's ([4] and [8]). A comparisson between the above obtained mar- tian values and the typical Earth values are shown in Table 1. Convective velocity scale w doubles its counterpart terrestrial typical value, as it does the mean wind speed variances and . On the other hand, the temperature scale θ? and the mean temperature variance are virtually around one order higher on Mars. The limitations of these results concern the va- lidity of the convective mixed layer similarity. This theory

  6. Astrobiology and the Basaltic Plains in Gusev Crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, D. J.; Clark, B. C.; Crumpler, L. S.; Farmer, J. D.; Grotzinger, John P.; Haskin, Larry A.; Knoll, Andrew H.; Landis, Geoffrey A.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Schroeder, Christian

    2005-01-01

    This report assesses the availability of nutrient elements, energy and liquid water on the plains surrounding Columbia Memorial Station by evaluating observations by the MER rover Spirit in the context of previous Mars missions, Earth-based studies of martian meteorites and studies of microbial communities on Earth that represent potential analogs of martian biota.

  7. Inaugeral lecture - Meteorite impacts on Earth and on the Earth ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    There is some controversial evidence for the theory that the first life on Earth itself may have been transported here on meteorites from Mars. The possibility of a major meteorite impact on Earth in the near future emphasizes the dramatic nature of these recent discoveries, which are having deep impacts in the Earth sciences ...

  8. The Prevailing Catalytic Role of Meteorites in Formamide Prebiotic Processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raffaele Saladino

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Meteorites are consensually considered to be involved in the origin of life on this Planet for several functions and at different levels: (i as providers of impact energy during their passage through the atmosphere; (ii as agents of geodynamics, intended both as starters of the Earth’s tectonics and as activators of local hydrothermal systems upon their fall; (iii as sources of organic materials, at varying levels of limited complexity; and (iv as catalysts. The consensus about the relevance of these functions differs. We focus on the catalytic activities of the various types of meteorites in reactions relevant for prebiotic chemistry. Formamide was selected as the chemical precursor and various sources of energy were analyzed. The results show that all the meteorites and all the different energy sources tested actively afford complex mixtures of biologically-relevant compounds, indicating the robustness of the formamide-based prebiotic chemistry involved. Although in some cases the yields of products are quite small, the diversity of the detected compounds of biochemical significance underlines the prebiotic importance of meteorite-catalyzed condensation of formamide.

  9. The Prevailing Catalytic Role of Meteorites in Formamide Prebiotic Processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saladino, Raffaele; Botta, Lorenzo; Di Mauro, Ernesto

    2018-02-22

    Meteorites are consensually considered to be involved in the origin of life on this Planet for several functions and at different levels: (i) as providers of impact energy during their passage through the atmosphere; (ii) as agents of geodynamics, intended both as starters of the Earth's tectonics and as activators of local hydrothermal systems upon their fall; (iii) as sources of organic materials, at varying levels of limited complexity; and (iv) as catalysts. The consensus about the relevance of these functions differs. We focus on the catalytic activities of the various types of meteorites in reactions relevant for prebiotic chemistry. Formamide was selected as the chemical precursor and various sources of energy were analyzed. The results show that all the meteorites and all the different energy sources tested actively afford complex mixtures of biologically-relevant compounds, indicating the robustness of the formamide-based prebiotic chemistry involved. Although in some cases the yields of products are quite small, the diversity of the detected compounds of biochemical significance underlines the prebiotic importance of meteorite-catalyzed condensation of formamide.

  10. Geochemistry of Lunar Highland Meteorites Mil, 090034, 090036 AND 090070

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shirai, N.aoki; Ebihara, M.; Sekimoto, S.; Yamaguchi, A.; Nyquist, L.; Shih, C.-Y.; Park, J.; Nagao, K.

    2012-01-01

    Apollo and Luna samples were collected from a restricted area on the near side of the Moon, while the source craters of the lunar meteorites are randomly distributed. For example, Takeda et al. [1] and Yamaguchi et al. [2] found a variety of lithic clasts in Dho 489 and Y 86032 which were not represented by Apollo samples, and some of these clasts have lower rare earth elements (REE) and FeO abundances than Apollo anorthosites, respectively. Takeda et al. [1] and Yamaguchi et al. [2] concluded that Dho 489 and Y 86032 originated from the lunar farside. Therefore, lunar meteorites provide an opportunity to study lunar surface rocks from areas not sampled by Apollo and Luna missions. Three lunar anorthitic breccias (MIL 090034, 090036 and 090070) were found on the Miller Range Ice Field in Antarctica during the 2009-2010 ANSMET season [3]. In this study, we determined elemental abudnances for MIL 090034, 090036 and 090070 by using INAA and aimed to characterize these meteorites in chemical compositions in comparison with those for other lunar meteorites and Apollo samples.

  11. Microfossils, biomolecules and biominerals in carbonaceous meteorites: implications to the origin of life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2012-11-01

    Environmental and Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM and FESEM) investigations have shown that a wide variety of carbonaceous meteorites contain the remains of large filaments embedded within freshly fractured interior surfaces of the meteorite rock matrix. The filaments occur singly or in dense assemblages and mats and are often encased within carbon-rich, electron transparent sheaths. Electron Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) spot analysis and 2D X-Ray maps indicate the filaments rarely have detectable nitrogen levels and exhibit elemental compositions consistent with that interpretation that of the meteorite rock matrix. Many of the meteorite filaments are exceptionally well-preserved and show evidence of cells, cell-wall constrictions and specialized cells and processes for reproduction, nitrogen fixation, attachment and motility. Morphological and morphometric analyses permit many of the filaments to be associated with morphotypes of known genera and species of known filamentous trichomic prokaryotes (cyanobacteria and sulfur bacteria). The presence in carbonaceous meteorites of diagenetic breakdown products of chlorophyll (pristane and phytane) along with indigenous and extraterrestrial chiral protein amino acids, nucleobases and other life-critical biomolecules provides strong support to the hypothesis that these filaments represent the remains of cyanobacteria and other microorganisms that grew on the meteorite parent body. The absence of other life-critical biomolecules in the meteorites and the lack of detectable levels of nitrogen indicate the filaments died long ago and can not possibly represent modern microbial contaminants that entered the stones after they arrived on Earth. This paper presents new evidence for microfossils, biomolecules and biominerals in carbonaceous meteorites and considers the implications to some of the major hypotheses for the Origin of Life.

  12. The fall of a meteorite at Aegos Potami in 467/6 BC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theodossiou, E. Th; Niarchos, P. G.; Manimanis, V. N.; Orchiston, W.

    2002-12-01

    Cosmic catastrophes have been associated from time to time with the fall of celestial objects to Earth. From the writings of ancient Greek authors we know that during the second year of the 78th Olympiad, that is the year corresponding to 467/6 BC, a very large meteorite fell at Aegos Potami, in the Gallipoli Peninsula (in Eastern Thrace). This event was predicted by Anaxagoras, and the meteorite was worshipped by the Cherronesites until at least the first Century AD. The fall of the Aegos Potami Meteorite was not associated with any cosmic catastrophe, but it was believed to have foretold the terminal defeat of the Athenians by the Spartans in 405 BC near Aegos Potami, which brought to an end the Peloponnesian War in favour of Sparta. In addition, according to the Latin author Pliny the Elder, during the first century AD the inhabitants of Avydus in Asia Minor worshipped another meteorite that was displayed in the city's sports centre, The fall of this meteorite is also said to have been predicted by Anaxagoras.

  13. Variability in Abundances of Meteorites in the Ordovician

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heck, P. R.; Schmitz, B.; Kita, N.

    2017-12-01

    The knowledge of the flux of extraterrestrial material throughout Earth's history is of great interest to reconstruct the collisional evolution of the asteroid belt. Here, we present a review of our investigations of the nature of the meteorite flux to Earth in the Ordovician, one of the best-studied time periods for extraterrestrial matter in the geological record [1]. We base our studies on compositions of extraterrestrial chromite and chrome-spinel extracted by acid dissolution from condensed marine limestone from Sweden and Russia [1-3]. By analyzing major and minor elements with EDS and WDS, and three oxygen isotopes with SIMS we classify the recovered meteoritic materials. Today, the L and H chondrites dominate the meteorite and coarse micrometeorite flux. Together with the rarer LL chondrites they have a type abundance of 80%. In the Ordovician it was very different: starting from 466 Ma ago 99% of the flux was comprised of L chondrites [2]. This was a result of the collisional breakup of the parent asteroid. This event occurred close to an orbital resonance in the asteroid belt and showered Earth with >100x more L chondritic material than today during more than 1 Ma. Although the flux is much lower at present, L chondrites are still the dominant type of meteorites that fall today. Before the asteroid breakup event 467 Ma ago the three groups of ordinary chondrites had about similar abundances. Surprisingly, they were possibly surpassed in abundance by achondrites, materials from partially and fully differentiated asteroids [3]. These achondrites include HED meteorites, which are presumably fragments released during the formation of the Rheasilvia impact structure 1 Ga ago on asteroid 4 Vesta. The enhanced abundance of LL chondrites is possibly a result of the Flora asteroid family forming event at 1 Ga ago. The higher abundance of primitive achondrites was likely due to smaller asteroid family forming events that have not been identified yet but that did

  14. Comet and meteorite traditions of Aboriginal Australians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamacher, Duane W.

    2014-06-01

    This research contributes to the disciplines of cultural astronomy (the academic study of how past and present cultures understand and utilise celestial objects and phenomena) and geomythology (the study of geological events and the formation of geological features described in oral traditions). Of the hundreds of distinct Aboriginal cultures of Australia, many have oral traditions rich in descriptions and explanations of comets, meteors, meteorites, airbursts, impact events, and impact craters. These views generally attribute these phenomena to spirits, death, and bad omens. There are also many traditions that describe the formation of meteorite craters as well as impact events that are not known to Western science.

  15. The Meteorite Fall in Carancas, Lake Titicaca Region, Southern Peru: First Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Núñez Del Prado, H.; Macharé, J.; Macedo, L.; Chirif, H.; Pari, W.; Ramirez-Cardona, M.; Aranda, A.; Greenwood, R. C.; Franchi, I. A.; Canepa, C.; Bernhardt, H.-J.; Plascencia, L.

    2008-03-01

    The meteorite fall that occurred on September 15, 2007, in the Carancas community is a rare case where it is possible to study both impact phenomenology and meteorite characteristics, including accurate time framework.

  16. Chemical evolution of the early Martian hydrosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schaefer, M.W.

    1990-01-01

    The chemical evolution of the early Martian hydrosphere is discussed. The early Martian ocean can be modeled as a body of relatively pure water in equilibrium with a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere. The chemical weathering of lavas, pyroclastic deposits, and impact melt sheets would have the effect of neutralizing the acidity of the juvenile water. As calcium and other cations are added to the water by chemical weathering, they are quickly removed by the precipitation of calcium carbonate and other minerals, forming a deposit of limestone beneath the surface of the ocean. As the atmospheric carbon dioxide pressure and the temperature decrease, the Martian ocean would be completely frozen. Given the scenario for the chemical evolution of the northern lowland plains of Mars, it should be possible to draw a few conclusions about the expected mineralogy and geomorphology of this regions

  17. A petrogenetic model of the relationships among achondritic meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stolper, E.; Hays, J. F.; Mcsween, H. Y., Jr.

    1979-01-01

    Petrological evidence is used to support the hypothesis that although the magma source regions and parent bodies of basaltic achondrite, shergottite, nakhlite, and chassignite meteorites are clearly distinct, they may be simply related. It is proposed that the peridotites which on partial melting generated the parent magmas of the shergottite meteorites differed from those which gave rise to eucritic magmas by being enriched in a component rich in alkalis and other volatiles. Similarly, the source regions of the parent magmas of the nakhlite and chassignite meteorites differed from those on the shergottite parent body by being still richer in this volatile-rich component. These regions could have been related by processes such as mixture of variable amounts of volatile-rich and volatile-poor components in planetary or nebular settings, or alternatively by variable varying degrees of volatile loss from volatile-rich materials.

  18. Wind tunnel simulation of Martian sand storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greeley, R.

    1980-01-01

    The physics and geological relationships of particles driven by the wind under near Martian conditions were examined in the Martian Surface Wind Tunnel. Emphasis was placed on aeolian activity as a planetary process. Threshold speeds, rates of erosion, trajectories of windblown particles, and flow fields over various landforms were among the factors considered. Results of experiments on particles thresholds, rates of erosion, and the effects of electrostatics on particles in the aeolian environment are presented.

  19. Survey on Cosmogenic 26Al in Lewis Cliff Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welten, K. C.; Alderliesten, C.; Lindner, L.

    1992-07-01

    INTRODUCTION: We have embarked upon a ^26Al gamma-ray survey of meteorites selected from about 2000 samples recently recovered from the Lewis Cliff Ice Fields (84 degrees 18'S/161 degrees 20'E). Due to its 705-ka half-life ^26Al can be used for estimating terrestrial ages and thus contribute to further characterization of Antarctic meteorites in addition to their classification and thermoluminescence (TL) properties. The ^26Al survey is also useful for identifying meteorites with unusual exposure histories, which merit additional measurements of cosmogenic radionuclides (by AMS) and noble gases. In addition, it provides clues on possible pairings. METHOD: Low-level gamma-ray spectroscopy is well suited for ^26Al survey work, since bulk meteorite samples can be measured routinely and nondestructively without any previous sample preparation. The required size of the samples (30-500 g) makes the method relatively independent of depth effects and compositional inhomogeneities. The use of a high-resolution GeLi detector also allows the determination of the natural ^40K activity and thus the K content of the samples, which can be used as an additional pairing criterion for ordinary chondrites. Also ^137Cs, a fall-out surface contamination [1], is simultaneously measured; low values may be characteristic for meteorites recently fallen or released from the ablating ice. For the detector an efficiency calibration curve has been made that adequately accounts for differences in size and shape of the meteorite samples. RESULTS and DISCUSSION: TERRESTRIAL AGES: So far, we have measured over 30 Lewis Cliff equilibrated H and L chondrites, collected from widely differing locations. Normalized to L-chondrite composition, the ^26Al contents range from 27 to 110 dpm/kg with peaks around 43 and 53 dpm/kg. This bimodal ^26Al distribution is reminiscent of that observed for Allan Hills ordinary chondrites [2]. Tentative terrestrial ages, calculated on the basis of ^26Al saturation

  20. Meteorite Falls Observed in U.S. Weather Radar Data in 2015 and 2016 (To Date)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, Marc; Fries, Jeffrey; Hankey, Mike; Matson, Robert

    2016-01-01

    To date, over twenty meteorite falls have been located in the weather radar imagery of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s NEXRAD radar network. We present here the most prominent events recorded since the last Meteoritical Society meeting, covering most of 2015 and early 2016. Meteorite Falls: The following events produced evidence of falling meteorites in radar imagery and resulted in meteorites recovered at the fall site. Creston, CA (24 Oct 2015 0531 UTC): This event generated 218 eyewitness reports submitted to the American Meteor Society (AMS) and is recorded as event #2635 for 2015 on the AMS website. Witnesses reported a bright fireball with fragmentation terminating near the city of Creston, CA, north of Los Angeles. Sonic booms and electrophonic noise were reported in the vicinity of the event. Weather radar imagery records signatures consistent with falling meteorites in data from the KMUX, KVTX, KHNX and KVBX. The Meteoritical Society records the Creston fall as an L6 meteorite with a total recovered mass of 688g. Osceola, FL (24 Jan 2016 1527 UTC): This daytime fireball generated 134 eyewitness reports on AMS report number 266 for 2016, with one credible sonic boom report. The fireball traveled roughly NE to SW with a terminus location north of Lake City, FL in sparsely populated, forested countryside. Radar imagery shows distinct and prominent evidence of a significant meteorite fall with radar signatures seen in data from the KJAX and KVAX radars. Searchers at the fall site found that recoveries were restricted to road sites by the difficult terrain, and yet several meteorites were recovered. Evidence indicates that this was a relatively large meteorite fall where most of the meteorites are unrecoverable due to terrain. Osceola is an L6 meteorite with 991 g total mass recovered to date. Mount Blanco, TX (18 Feb 2016 0343 UTC): This event produced only 39 eyewitness reports and is recorded as AMS event #635 for 2016. No

  1. Enantiomer excesses of rare and common sugar derivatives in carbonaceous meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, George; Rios, Andro C.

    2016-06-01

    Biological polymers such as nucleic acids and proteins are constructed of only one—the d or l—of the two possible nonsuperimposable mirror images (enantiomers) of selected organic compounds. However, before the advent of life, it is generally assumed that chemical reactions produced 50:50 (racemic) mixtures of enantiomers, as evidenced by common abiotic laboratory syntheses. Carbonaceous meteorites contain clues to prebiotic chemistry because they preserve a record of some of the Solar System’s earliest (˜4.5 Gy) chemical and physical processes. In multiple carbonaceous meteorites, we show that both rare and common sugar monoacids (aldonic acids) contain significant excesses of the d enantiomer, whereas other (comparable) sugar acids and sugar alcohols are racemic. Although the proposed origins of such excesses are still tentative, the findings imply that meteoritic compounds and/or the processes that operated on meteoritic precursors may have played an ancient role in the enantiomer composition of life’s carbohydrate-related biopolymers.

  2. Enantiomer excesses of rare and common sugar derivatives in carbonaceous meteorites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, George; Rios, Andro C

    2016-06-14

    Biological polymers such as nucleic acids and proteins are constructed of only one-the d or l-of the two possible nonsuperimposable mirror images (enantiomers) of selected organic compounds. However, before the advent of life, it is generally assumed that chemical reactions produced 50:50 (racemic) mixtures of enantiomers, as evidenced by common abiotic laboratory syntheses. Carbonaceous meteorites contain clues to prebiotic chemistry because they preserve a record of some of the Solar System's earliest (∼4.5 Gy) chemical and physical processes. In multiple carbonaceous meteorites, we show that both rare and common sugar monoacids (aldonic acids) contain significant excesses of the d enantiomer, whereas other (comparable) sugar acids and sugar alcohols are racemic. Although the proposed origins of such excesses are still tentative, the findings imply that meteoritic compounds and/or the processes that operated on meteoritic precursors may have played an ancient role in the enantiomer composition of life's carbohydrate-related biopolymers.

  3. Radioisotope studies of the farmville meteorite using γγ-coincidence spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Chris; Ferm, Megan; Cesaratto, John; Daigle, Stephen; Iliadis, Christian

    2014-12-01

    Radionuclides are cosmogenically produced in meteorites before they fall to the surface of the Earth. Measurement of the radioactive decay of such nuclides provides a wealth of information on the irradiation conditions of the meteorite fragment, the intensity of cosmic rays in the inner solar system, and the magnetic activity of the Sun. We report here on the detection of (26)Al using a sophisticated spectrometer consisting of a HPGe detector and a NaI(Tl) annulus. It is shown that modern γ-ray spectrometers represent an interesting alternative to other detection techniques. Data are obtained for a fragment of the Farmville meteorite and compared to results from Geant4 simulations. In particular, we report on optimizing the detection sensitivity by using suitable coincidence gates for deposited energy and event multiplicity. We measured an (26)Al activity of 48.5±3.5dpm/kg for the Farmville meteorite, in agreement with previously reported values for other H chondrites. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Electrodynamics of the Martian Ionosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledvina, S. A.; Brecht, S. H.

    2017-12-01

    The presence of the Martian crustal magnetic fields makes a significant modification to the interaction between the solar wind/IMF and the ionosphere of the planet. This paper presents the results of 3-D hybrid simulations of Martian solar wind interaction containing the Martian crustal fields., self-consistent ionospheric chemistry and planetary rotation. It has already been reported that the addition of the crustal fields and planetary rotation makes a significant modification of the ionospheric loss from Mars, Brecht et al., 2016. This paper focuses on two other aspects of the interaction, the electric fields and the current systems created by the solar wind interaction. The results of several simulations will be analyzed and compared. The electric fields around Mars due to its interaction with the solar wind will be examined. Special attention will be paid to the electric field constituents (∇ X B, ∇Pe, ηJ). Regions where the electric field is parallel to the magnetic field will be found and the implications of these regions will be discussed. Current systems for each ion species will be shown. Finally the effects on the electric fields and the current systems due to the rotation of Mars will be examined.

  5. Laboratory spectroscopy of meteorite samples at UV-vis-NIR wavelengths: Analysis and discrimination by principal components analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penttilä, Antti; Martikainen, Julia; Gritsevich, Maria; Muinonen, Karri

    2018-02-01

    Meteorite samples are measured with the University of Helsinki integrating-sphere UV-vis-NIR spectrometer. The resulting spectra of 30 meteorites are compared with selected spectra from the NASA Planetary Data System meteorite spectra database. The spectral measurements are transformed with the principal component analysis, and it is shown that different meteorite types can be distinguished from the transformed data. The motivation is to improve the link between asteroid spectral observations and meteorite spectral measurements.

  6. Meteorites, Bolides and Comets: A Tale of Inconsistency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakes, P.; Padevet, V.

    1992-07-01

    -Tuttle, and Leo Minorids to 1739 Zanotti. Geminids were related to asteroid 3200 Phaeton, considered to be an "extinct comet." Spurny [9], using ablation coefficient and penetration depth criteria, found that Geminids (frequently) and Taurids (rarely) contain bolides of types I and II. This may indicate that meteoric showers from "comets" on AAA orbits contain some portion of "rocky" material comparable to chondrites. These observations revive Opik's (1963) idea that comets may be captured in the asteroid belt on AAA orbits and may contain (and supply) chondritic meteorites to the Earth [10]. If the relationship among large solid particles "native to the asteroid belt" and those from the outer solar system can be established, they can be scaled and applied to IDPs. We have studied the records of 292 bolides (Prairie and European networks) with measured terminal velocities. We attempt to use the terminal velocity, calculated density, estimated terminal mass, and mechanical strength to correlate features with the meteorite features. We compare the meteorite fall frequency [11] with the bolide features. Two extreme hypotheses (Table 1) are examined: (A) bolides of types IIIa and IIIb do not have equivalents among the meteorites and (B) all four bolide types have meteoritic equivalents, and only IDPs do not produce bolides (fireballs). If the entry parameters of meteoroids are similar, bodies with lower density should reach terminal velocity at higher altitudes than those with higher density. If it is assumed that fragmentation is the same for dense (I and II) and less dense bodies (IIIa and IIIb), the calculated terminal altitudes show that among the bolides exist materials with lower densities than those of recovered meteorites and that model A of the correlation between meteorite falls and bolide observations is likely [12]. If, however, the less dense bodies were more easily fragmented than denser bodies, the correlation is better for hypothesis B. Table 1, which in the hard

  7. Magnetic properties of tetrataenite-rich meteorites. Pt. 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nagata, T.; Funaki, M.; Danon, J.

    1985-01-01

    Magnetic hysteresis and thermomagnetic characteristics of St. Severin (LL 6 ), Appley Bridge (LL 6 ) and Tuxtuac (LL 5 ) chondrites, which contain tetrataenite in their metallic components, are measured and analyzed in comparison with another tetrataenite-rich chondrite, Yamato 74160. The magnetic properties of tetrataenite-rich meteorites are characterized by (a) high magnetic coercive force (H sub(C)) which amounts to 520 Oe for St. Severin and 160 Oe for Appley Bridge, (b) essential flatness up to about 500 0 C and then a sharp irreversible drop down to Curie point of the first-run heating thermomagnetic curve. Both characteristic features are broken down to the ordinary features of disordered taenite by a breakdown of tetrataenite structure at elevated temperatures beyond the order-disorder transition temperature. The natural remanent magnetization (NRM) of tetrataenite-rich meteorites is extremely stable against AF-demagnetization and other magnetic disturbances because of the high magnetic coercivity of tetrataenite. The breakdown processes of ordered tetrataenite structure by heat treatments are experimentally pursued for the purpose of research of a possible formation process of tetrataenite phase in meteorites. (Author) [pt

  8. Martian surface

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carr, M.H.

    1987-01-01

    The surface of Mars is characterized on the basis of reformatted Viking remote-sensing data, summarizing results published during the period 1983-1986. Topics examined include impact craters, ridges and faults, volcanic studies (modeling of surface effects on volcanic activity, description and interpretation of volcanic features, and calculations on lava-ice interactions), the role of liquid water on Mars, evidence for abundant ground ice at high latitudes, water-cycle modeling, and the composition and dynamics of Martian dust

  9. Tungsten isotopic compositions of iron meteorites: Chronological constraints vs. cosmogenic effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markowski, A.; Quitté, G.; Halliday, A. N.; Kleine, T.

    2006-02-01

    High-precision W isotopic compositions are presented for 35 iron meteorites from 7 magmatic groups (IC, IIAB, IID, IIIAB, IIIF, IVA, and IVB) and 3 non-magmatic groups (IAB, IIICD, and IIE). Small but resolvable isotopic variations are present both within and between iron meteorite groups. Variations in the 182W/ 184W ratio reflect either time intervals of metal-silicate differentiation, or result from the burnout of W isotopes caused by a prolonged exposure to galactic cosmic rays. Calculated apparent time spans for some groups of magmatic iron meteorites correspond to 8.5 ± 2.1 My (IID), 5.1 ± 2.3 My (IIAB), and 5.3 ± 1.3 My (IVB). These time intervals are significantly longer than those predicated from models of planetesimal accretion. It is shown that cosmogenic effects can account for a large part of the W isotopic variation. No simple relationship exists with exposure ages, compromising any reliable method of correction. After allowance for maximum possible cosmogenic effects, it is found that there is no evidence that any of the magmatic iron meteorites studied here have initial W isotopic compositions that differ from those of Allende CAIs [ ɛ182W = - 3.47 ± 0.20; [T. Kleine, K. Mezger, H. Palme, E. Scherer and C. Münker, Early core formation in asteroids and late accretion of chondrite parent bodies: evidence from 182Hf- 182W in CAIs, metal-rich chondrites and iron meteorites, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta (in press)]. Cosmogenic corrections cannot yet be made with sufficient accuracy to obtain highly precise ages for iron meteorites. Some of the corrected ages nevertheless require extremely early metal-silicate segregation no later than 1 My after formation of CAIs. Therefore, magmatic iron meteorites appear to provide the best examples yet identified of material derived from the first planetesimals that grew by runaway growth, as modelled in dynamic simulations. Non-magmatic iron meteorites have a more radiogenic W isotopic composition than magmatic

  10. The Martian Water Cycle Based on 3-D Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houben, H.; Haberle, R. M.; Joshi, M. M.

    1999-01-01

    Understanding the distribution of Martian water is a major goal of the Mars Surveyor program. However, until the bulk of the data from the nominal missions of TES, PMIRR, GRS, MVACS, and the DS2 probes are available, we are bound to be in a state where much of our knowledge of the seasonal behavior of water is based on theoretical modeling. We therefore summarize the results of this modeling at the present time. The most complete calculations come from a somewhat simplified treatment of the Martian climate system which is capable of simulating many decades of weather. More elaborate meteorological models are now being applied to study of the problem. The results show a high degree of consistency with observations of aspects of the Martian water cycle made by Viking MAWD, a large number of ground-based measurements of atmospheric column water vapor, studies of Martian frosts, and the widespread occurrence of water ice clouds. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  11. Scaling analysis of meteorite shower mass distributions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oddershede, Lene; Meibom, A.; Bohr, Jakob

    1998-01-01

    Meteorite showers are the remains of extraterrestrial objects which are captivated by the gravitational field of the Earth. We have analyzed the mass distribution of fragments from 16 meteorite showers for scaling. The distributions exhibit distinct scaling behavior over several orders of magnetude......; the observed scaling exponents vary from shower to shower. Half of the analyzed showers show a single scaling region while the orther half show multiple scaling regimes. Such an analysis can provide knowledge about the fragmentation process and about the original meteoroid. We also suggest to compare...... the observed scaling exponents to exponents observed in laboratory experiments and discuss the possibility that one can derive insight into the original shapes of the meteoroids....

  12. Biomarkers and Microfossils in the Murchison, Rainbow, and Tagish Lake meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Jerman, Gregory A.; Rozanov, Alexei Y.; Davies, Paul C.

    2003-02-01

    During the past six years, we have conducted extensive scanning electron and optical microscopy investigations and x-ray analysis to determine the morphology, life cycle processes, and elemental distributions in living and fossil cyanobacteria, bacteria, archaea, fungi, and algae sampled from terrestrial environments relevant to Astrobiology. Biominerals, pseudomorphs and microfossils have been studied for diverse microbial groups in various states of preservation in many types of rocks (e.g., oil shales, graphites, shungites, bauxites, limestones, pyrites, phosphorites, and hydrothermal vent chimneys). Results of these studies have been applied to the search for biosignatures in carbonaceous chondrites, stony, and nickel iron meteorites. We review important biomarkers found in terrestrial rocks and meteorites and present additional evidence for the existence of indigenous bacterial microfossils in-situ in freshly fractured surfaces of the Murchison, Rainbow and Tagish Lake carbonaceous meteorites. We provide secondary and backscatter electron images and spectral data obtained with Field Emission and Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopes of biominerals and microfossils. We discuss techniques for discriminating indigenous microfossils from recent terrestrial contaminants. Images are provided of framboidal magnetites in oil shales and meteorites and images and 2D x-ray maps are shown of bacterial microfossils embedded in the mineral matrix of the Murchison, Rainbow and Tagish Lake Carbonaceous Meteorites. These microfossils exhibit characteristics that preclude their interpretation as post-arrival contaminants and we interpret them as indigenous biogenic remains.

  13. De Magnete et Meteorite: Cosmically Motivated Materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lewis, LH; Pinkerton, FE; Bordeaux, N; Mubarok, A; Poirier, E; Goldstein, JI; Skomski, R; Barmak, K

    2014-01-01

    Meteorites, likely the oldest source of magnetic material known to mankind, are attracting renewed interest in the science and engineering community. Worldwide focus is on tetrataenite, a uniaxial ferromagnetic compound with the tetragonal L1(0) crystal structure comprised of nominally equiatomic Fe-Ni that is found naturally in meteorites subjected to extraordinarily slow cooling rates, as low as 0.3 K per million years. Here, the favorable permanent magnetic properties of bulk tetrataenite derived from the meteorite NWA 6259 are quantified. The measured magnetization approaches that of Nd-Fe-B (1.42 T) and is coupled with substantial anisotropy (1.0-1.3 MJ/m(3)) that implies the prospect for realization of technologically useful coercivity. A highly robust temperature dependence of the technical magnetic properties at an elevated temperature (20-200 degrees C) is confirmed, with a measured temperature coefficient of coercivity of -0.005%/ K, over one hundred times smaller than that of Nd-Fe-B in the same temperature range. These results quantify the extrinsic magnetic behavior of chemically ordered tetrataenite and are technologically and industrially significant in the current context of global supply chain limitations of rare-earth metals required for present-day high-performance permanent magnets that enable operation of a myriad of advanced devices and machines.

  14. Martian sub-surface ionising radiation: biosignatures and geology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. M. Ward

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available The surface of Mars, unshielded by thick atmosphere or global magnetic field, is exposed to high levels of cosmic radiation. This ionising radiation field is deleterious to the survival of dormant cells or spores and the persistence of molecular biomarkers in the subsurface, and so its characterisation is of prime astrobiological interest. Here, we present modelling results of the absorbed radiation dose as a function of depth through the Martian subsurface, suitable for calculation of biomarker persistence. A second major implementation of this dose accumulation rate data is in application of the optically stimulated luminescence technique for dating Martian sediments.

    We present calculations of the dose-depth profile in the Martian subsurface for various scenarios: variations of surface composition (dry regolith, ice, layered permafrost, solar minimum and maximum conditions, locations of different elevation (Olympus Mons, Hellas basin, datum altitude, and increasing atmospheric thickness over geological history. We also model the changing composition of the subsurface radiation field with depth compared between Martian locations with different shielding material, determine the relative dose contributions from primaries of different energies, and discuss particle deflection by the crustal magnetic fields.

  15. The Organic Content of the Tagish Lake Meteorite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pizzarello, Sandra; Huang, Yongsong; Becker, Luann; Poreda, Robert J.; Nieman, Ronald A.; Cooper, George; Williams, Michael

    2001-01-01

    The Tagish Lake meteorite felt last year on a frozen take in Canada and may provide the most pristine material of its kind. Analyses have now shown this carbonaceous chondrite to contain a suite of soluble organic compounds (approximately 100 parts per million) that includes mono- and dicarboxylic acids, dicarboximides, pyridine carboxylic acids, a sulfonic acid, and both aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons. The insoluble carbon exhibits exclusive aromatic character, deuterium enrichment, and fullerenes containing 'planetary' helium and argon. The findings provide insight into an outcome of early solar chemical evolution that differs from any seen so far in meteorites.

  16. The Orgueil meteorite: 150 years of history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gounelle, Matthieu; Zolensky, Michael E.

    2014-10-01

    The goal of this paper is to summarize 150 yr of history of a very special meteorite. The Orgueil meteorite fell near Montauban in southwestern France on May 14, 1864. The bolide, which was the size of the full Moon, was seen across Western France, and almost immediately made the news in local and Parisian newspapers. Within a few weeks of the fall, a great diversity of analyses were performed under the authority of Gabriel Auguste Daubrée, geology professor at the Paris Museum, and published in the Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences. The skilled scientists reported the presence of iron sulfides, hydrated silicates, and carbonates in Orgueil. They also characterized ammonium salts which are now gone, and observed sulfates being remobilized at the surface of the stone. They identified the high water and carbon contents, and noted similarities with the Alais meteorite, which had fallen in 1806, 300 km away. While Daubrée and his colleagues noted the similarity of the Orgueil organic matter with some terrestrial humus, they were cautious not to make a direct link with living organisms. One century later, Nagy and Claus were less prudent and announced the discovery of "organized" elements in some samples of Orgueil. Their observations were quickly discredited by Edward Anders and others who also discovered that some pollen grains were intentionally placed into the rock back in the 1860s. Orgueil is now one of the most studied meteorites, indeed one of the most studied rocks of any kind. Not only does it contain a large diversity of carbon-rich compounds, which help address the question of organo-synthesis in the early solar system but its chemical composition is also close to that of the Sun's photosphere and serves as a cosmic reference. Secondary minerals, which make up 99% of the volume of Orgueil, were probably formed during hydrothermal alteration on the parent-body within the first few million years of the solar system; their study is essential to our

  17. Martian extratropical cyclones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, G. E.; James, P. B.

    1979-01-01

    Physical properties of summer-season baroclinic waves on Mars are discussed on the basis of vidicon images and infrared thermal mapping generated by Viking Orbiter 1. The two northern-hemisphere storm systems examined here appear to be similar to terrestrial mid-latitude cyclonic storms. The Martian storm clouds are probably composed of water ice, rather than dust or CO2 ice particles.

  18. The cali meteorite fell: A new H/L ordinary chondrite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, J.M.T.; Llorca, J.; Rubin, A.E.; Grossman, J.N.; Sears, D.W.G.; Naranjo, M.; Bretzius, S.; Tapia, M.; Sepulveda, M.H.G.

    2009-01-01

    The fall of the Cali meteorite took place on 6 July 2007 at 16 h 32 ?? 1 min local time (21 h 32 ?? 1 min UTC). A daylight fireball was witnessed by hundreds of people in the Cauca Valley in Colombia from which 10 meteorite samples with a total mass of 478 g were recovered near 3??24.3'N, 76??30.6'W. The fireball trajectory and radiant have been reconstructed with moderate accuracy. From the computed radiant and from considering various plausible velocities, we obtained a range of orbital solutions that suggest that the Cali progenitor meteoroid probably originated in the main asteroid belt. Based on petrography, mineral chemistry, magnetic susceptibility, fhermoluminescence, and bulk chemistry, the Cali meteorite is classified as an H/L4 ordinary chondrite breccia.

  19. Cosmogenic Radionuclides in Antarctic Meteorites: Preliminary Results on Terrestrial Ages and Temporal Phenomena

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michlovich, E.; Vogt, S.; Wolf, S. F.; Elmore, D.; Lipschutz, M. E.

    1993-07-01

    Since 1969, more than 15,000 meteorites have been recovered from various sites in Antarctica. Differences have been reported between the Antarctic populations and the population of non-Antarctic meteorites in volatile trace- element content, thermoluminescence properties, physical size, and relative distribution of meteorite type [1]. Lipschutz and Samuels [2] developed a method based upon multivariate linear and logistic regression that they applied to interpret trace-element content in Antarctic and non-Antarctic meteorites, showing that the two populations can be chemically distinguished. Since Antarctic meteorites have, on the whole, much longer terrestrial ages than non-Antarctic falls, such differences have been used to support the notion that the flux of meteorites sampled by the Earth has changed in the recent past. A subsequent study [3] showed a statistically significant difference in trace-element content between meteorites from Victoria Land and those found in Queen Maud Land, two groups that seem to have different terrestrial age distributions. Changes in meteorite flux patterns on the order of 60 yr are indicated from a study of Cluster 1 vs. non-Cluster 1 falls [4]. Rapid fluctuations would almost certainly require the existence of co-orbital meteoroid streams, an idea that has been criticized by some [5] on dynamical grounds. To quantify the discussion of a temporal dependence of meteorite flux patterns, and to continue systematic study of Antarctic meteorites, we have measured the contents of the cosmogenic radionuclides ^10Be and ^26Al in the bulk phase, and ^36Cl in the metal phase, of 40 Antarctic specimens that are from the same suite of samples analyzed in the trace-element studies and that were chosen to minimize any chances of paired meteorites. The means and standard deviations of ^10Be and ^26Al activities are 16.4 +/- 3.5 and 48 +/- 8 dpm/kg respectively. Correction for cosmic ray exposure [6,7] and terrestrial ages allows us to estimate

  20. Model for GCR-particle fluxes in stony meteorites and production rates of cosmogenic nuclides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reedy, R.C.

    1984-01-01

    A model is presented for the differential fluxes of galactic-cosmic-ray (GCR) particles with energies above 1 MeV inside any spherical stony meteorite as a function of the meteorite's radius and the sample's depth. This model is based on the Reedy-Arnold equations for the energy-dependent fluxes of GCR particles in the moon and is an extension of flux parameters that were derived for several meteorites of various sizes. This flux is used to calculate the production rates of many cosmogenic nuclides as a function of radius and depth. The peak production rates for most nuclides made by the reactions of energetic GCR particles occur near the centers of meteorites with radii of 40 to 70 g cm -2 . Although the model has some limitations, it reproduces well the basic trends for the depth-dependent production of cosmogenic nuclides in stony meteorites of various radii. These production profiles agree fairly well with measurements of cosmogenic nuclides in meteorites. Some of these production profiles are different than those calculated by others. The chemical dependence of the production rates for several nuclides varies with size and depth. 25 references, 8 figures

  1. Meteoritic Input of Amino Acids and Nucleobases: Methodology and Implications for the Origins of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, Aaron S.; Stern, Jennifer C.; Elsila, Jamie E.; Glavin, Daniel P.; Dworkin, Jason P.

    2012-01-01

    The discoveries of amino acids of extraterrestrial origin in many meteorites over the last 40 years have revolutionized the Astrobiology field. A variety of non-terrestrial amino acids similar to those found in life on Earth have been detected in meteorites. A few amino acids have even been found with chiral excesses, suggesting that meteorites could have contributed to the origin of homochirality in life on Earth. In addition to amino acids, which have been productively studied for years, sugar-like molecules, activated phosphates, and nucleobases have also been determined to be indigenous to numerous meteorites. Because these molecules are essential for life as we know it, and meteorites have been delivering them to the Earth since accretion, it is plausible that the origin(s) of life on Earth were aided by extraterrestrially-synthesized molecules. Understanding the origins of life on Earth guides our search for life elsewhere, helping to answer the question of whether biology is unique to Earth. This tutorial review focuses on meteoritic amino acids and nucleobases, exploring modern analytical methods and possible formation mechanisms. We will also discuss the unique window that meteorites provide into the chemistry that preceded life on Earth, a chemical record we do not have access to on Earth due to geologic recycling of rocks and the pervasiveness of biology across the planet. Finally, we will address the future of meteorite research, including asteroid sample return mIssIons.

  2. On possible parent bodies of Innisfree, Lost City and Prgibram meteorites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozaev, A. E.

    1994-12-01

    Minor planets 1981 ET3 and Seleucus are possible parent bodies of Innisfree and Lost City meteorites, asteroid Mithra is the most probable source of Prgibram meteorite. The conclusions are based on the Southworth - Hawkins criterion with taking into account of the motion constants (Tisserand coefficient, etc.) and minimal distances between orbits at present time.

  3. Spectral analysis of meteorites ablated in a wind tunnel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drouard, A.; Vernazza, P.; Loehle, S.; Gattacceca, J.; Zander, T.; Eberhart, M.; Meindl, A.; Oefele, R.; Vaubaillon, J.; Colas, F.

    2017-09-01

    Recently and for the very first time, experiments simulating vaporization of a meteorite sample were performed in a wind tunnel near Stuttgart with the specific aim to record emission spectra of the vaporized material. Using a high enthalpy air plasma flow for modeling an equivalent air friction of an entry speed of about 10 km/s, three meteorite types (H, CM and HED) and two meteoritical analogues (basalt and argillite) were ablated and high resolution spectra were recorded simultaneously. After the identification of all atomic lines, we per- formed a detailed study of our spectra using two approaches: (i) by direct comparison of multiplet in- tensities between the samples and (ii) by computation of a synthetic spectrum to constrain some physical parameters (temperature, elemental abundance). Finally, we compared our results to the elemental composition of our samples and we determined how much compositional information can be retrieved for a given meteor using visible sectroscopy.

  4. AMMONIA IN THE EARLY SOLAR SYSTEM: AN ACCOUNT FROM CARBONACEOUS METEORITES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pizzarello, S.; Williams, L. B.

    2012-01-01

    This study presents a survey of abundance distribution and isotopic composition of the ammonia found incorporated in the kerogen-like insoluble material of selected carbonaceous chondrite meteorites; the ammonia was released upon hydrothermal treatment at 300°C and 100 MPa. With the exception of Allende, a metamorphosed and highly altered stone, all the insoluble organic materials (IOM) of the meteorites analyzed released significant amounts of ammonia, which varied from over 4 μg mg –1 for the Orgueil IOM to 0.5 μg mg –1 for that of Tagish Lake; the IOM of the pristine Antarctica find GRA95229 remains the most rich in freeable ammonia with 10 μg mg –1 . While the amounts of IOM bound ammonia do not appear to vary between meteorites with a recognizable trend, a possible consequence of long terrestrial exposure of some of the stones, we found that the δ 15 N composition of the ammonia-carrying materials is clearly distinctive of meteorite types and may reflect a preservation of the original 15 N distribution of pre- and proto-solar materials.

  5. Ammonia in the Early Solar System: An Account from Carbonaceous Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pizzarello, S.; Williams, L. B.

    2012-04-01

    This study presents a survey of abundance distribution and isotopic composition of the ammonia found incorporated in the kerogen-like insoluble material of selected carbonaceous chondrite meteorites; the ammonia was released upon hydrothermal treatment at 300°C and 100 MPa. With the exception of Allende, a metamorphosed and highly altered stone, all the insoluble organic materials (IOM) of the meteorites analyzed released significant amounts of ammonia, which varied from over 4 μg mg-1 for the Orgueil IOM to 0.5 μg mg-1 for that of Tagish Lake; the IOM of the pristine Antarctica find GRA95229 remains the most rich in freeable ammonia with 10 μg mg-1. While the amounts of IOM bound ammonia do not appear to vary between meteorites with a recognizable trend, a possible consequence of long terrestrial exposure of some of the stones, we found that the δ15N composition of the ammonia-carrying materials is clearly distinctive of meteorite types and may reflect a preservation of the original 15N distribution of pre- and proto-solar materials.

  6. U-Pb Dating of Zircons and Phosphates in Lunar Meteorites, Acapulcoites and Angrites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Q.; Zeigler, R. A.; Yin, Q. Z.; Korotev, R. L.; Joliff, B. L.; Amelin, Y.; Marti, K.; Wu, F. Y.; Li, X. H.; Li, Q. L.; hide

    2012-01-01

    Zircon U-Pb geochronology has made a great contribution to the timing of magmatism in the early Solar System [1-3]. Ca phosphates are another group of common accessory minerals in meteorites with great potential for U-Pb geochronology. Compared to zircons, the lower closure temperatures of the U-Pb system for apatite and merrillite (the most common phosphates in achondrites) makes them susceptible to resetting during thermal metamorphism. The different closure temperatures of the U-Pb system for zircon and apatite provide us an opportunity to discover the evolutionary history of meteoritic parent bodies, such as the crystallization ages of magmatism, as well as later impact events and thermal metamorphism. We have developed techniques using the Cameca IMS-1280 ion microprobe to date both zircon and phosphate grains in meteorites. Here we report U-Pb dating results for zircons and phosphates from lunar meteorites Dhofar 1442 and SaU 169. To test and verify the reliability of the newly developed phosphate dating technique, two additional meteorites, Acapulco, obtained from Acapulco consortium, and angrite NWA 4590 were also selected for this study as both have precisely known phosphate U-Pb ages by TIMS [4,5]. Both meteorites are from very fast cooled parent bodies with no sign of resetting [4,5], satisfying a necessity for precise dating.

  7. Nanoindenting the Chelyabinsk Meteorite to Learn about Impact Deflection Effects in asteroids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moyano-Cambero, Carles E.; Trigo-Rodríguez, Josep M.; Martínez-Jiménez, Marina; Lloro, Ivan [Institute of Space Sciences (IEEC-CSIC), Meteorites, Minor Bodies and Planetary Sciences Group, Campus UAB Bellaterra, c/Can Magrans s/n, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès (Barcelona) (Spain); Pellicer, Eva [Departament de Física, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Williams, Iwan P. [School of Physics and Astronomy, Queen Mary, University of London, 317 Mile End Road, E1 4NS London (United Kingdom); Blum, Jürgen [Institut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Mendelssohnstr. 3, D-38106 Braunschweig (Germany); Michel, Patrick [Lagrange Laboratory, University of Nice, CNRS, Côte d’Azur Observatory (France); Küppers, Michael [European Space Agency, European Space Astronomy Centre, P.O. Box 78, Villanueva de la Cañada E-28691 (Spain); Sort, Jordi, E-mail: moyano@ice.csic.es, E-mail: trigo@ice.csic.es [Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA) and Departament de Física, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra (Spain)

    2017-02-01

    The Chelyabinsk meteorite is a highly shocked, low porosity, ordinary chondrite, probably similar to S- or Q-type asteroids. Therefore, nanoindentation experiments on this meteorite allow us to obtain key data to understand the physical properties of near-Earth asteroids. Tests at different length scales provide information about the local mechanical properties of the minerals forming this meteorite: reduced Young’s modulus, hardness, elastic recovery, and fracture toughness. Those tests are also useful to understand the potential to deflect threatening asteroids using a kinetic projectile. We found that the differences in mechanical properties between regions of the meteorite, which increase or reduce the efficiency of impacts, are not a result of compositional differences. A low mean particle size, attributed to repetitive shock, can increase hardness, while low porosity promotes a higher momentum multiplication. Momentum multiplication is the ratio between the change in momentum of a target due to an impact, and the momentum of the projectile, and therefore, higher values imply more efficient impacts. In the Chelyabinsk meteorite, the properties of the light-colored lithology materials facilitate obtaining higher momentum multiplication values, compared to the other regions described for this meteorite. Also, we found a low value of fracture toughness in the shock-melt veins of Chelyabinsk, which would promote the ejection of material after an impact and therefore increase the momentum multiplication. These results are relevant to the growing interest in missions to test asteroid deflection, such as the recent collaboration between the European Space Agency and NASA, known as the Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment mission.

  8. Nanoindenting the Chelyabinsk Meteorite to Learn about Impact Deflection Effects in asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moyano-Cambero, Carles E.; Trigo-Rodríguez, Josep M.; Martínez-Jiménez, Marina; Lloro, Ivan; Pellicer, Eva; Williams, Iwan P.; Blum, Jürgen; Michel, Patrick; Küppers, Michael; Sort, Jordi

    2017-01-01

    The Chelyabinsk meteorite is a highly shocked, low porosity, ordinary chondrite, probably similar to S- or Q-type asteroids. Therefore, nanoindentation experiments on this meteorite allow us to obtain key data to understand the physical properties of near-Earth asteroids. Tests at different length scales provide information about the local mechanical properties of the minerals forming this meteorite: reduced Young’s modulus, hardness, elastic recovery, and fracture toughness. Those tests are also useful to understand the potential to deflect threatening asteroids using a kinetic projectile. We found that the differences in mechanical properties between regions of the meteorite, which increase or reduce the efficiency of impacts, are not a result of compositional differences. A low mean particle size, attributed to repetitive shock, can increase hardness, while low porosity promotes a higher momentum multiplication. Momentum multiplication is the ratio between the change in momentum of a target due to an impact, and the momentum of the projectile, and therefore, higher values imply more efficient impacts. In the Chelyabinsk meteorite, the properties of the light-colored lithology materials facilitate obtaining higher momentum multiplication values, compared to the other regions described for this meteorite. Also, we found a low value of fracture toughness in the shock-melt veins of Chelyabinsk, which would promote the ejection of material after an impact and therefore increase the momentum multiplication. These results are relevant to the growing interest in missions to test asteroid deflection, such as the recent collaboration between the European Space Agency and NASA, known as the Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment mission.

  9. Educating the Public about Meteorites and Impacts through Virtual Field Trips and Classroom Experience Boxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashcraft, Teresa; Hines, R.; Minitti, M.; Taylor, W.; Morris, M. A.; Wadhwa, M.

    2014-01-01

    With specimens representing over 2,000 individual meteorites, the Center for Meteorite Studies (CMS) at Arizona State University (ASU) is home to the world's largest university-based meteorite collection. As part of our mission to provide educational opportunities that expand awareness and understanding of the science of meteoritics, CMS continues to develop new ways to engage the public in meteorite and space science, including the opening of a new Meteorite Gallery, and expansion of online resources through upgrades to the CMS website, meteorites.asu.edu. In 2008, CMS was the recipient of a philanthropic grant to improve online education tools and develop loanable modules for educators. These modules focus on the origin of meteorites, and contain actual meteorite specimens, media resources, a user guide, and lesson plans, as well as a series of engaging activities that utilize hands-on materials geared to help students develop logical thinking, analytical skills, and proficiency in STEM disciplines. In 2010, in partnership with the ASU NASA Astrobiology Institute team, CMS obtained a NASA EPOESS grant to develop Virtual Field Trips (VFTs) complemented by loanable “Experience Boxes” containing lesson plans, media, and hands-on objects related to the VFT sites. One VFT-Box pair focuses on the record of the oldest multicellular organisms on Earth. The second VFT-Box pair focuses on the Upheaval Dome (UD) structure, a meteorite impact crater in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park. UD is widely accepted as the deeply eroded remnant of a ~5 kilometer impact crater (e.g. Kriens et al., 1999). The alternate hypothesis that the Dome was formed by the upwelling of salt from a deposit underlying the region (e.g. Jackson et al., 1998) makes UD an ideal site to learn not only about specific scientific principles present in the Next Generation Science Standards, but also the process of scientific inquiry. The VFTs are located on an interactive website dedicated to VFTs, vft

  10. Iron Redox Systematics of Martian Magmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, K.; Danielson, L.; Martin, A.; Pando, K.; Sutton, S.; Newville, M.

    2011-01-01

    Martian magmas are known to be FeO-rich and the dominant FeO-bearing mineral at many sites visited by the Mars Exploration rovers (MER) is magnetite [1]. Morris et al. [1] propose that the magnetite appears to be igneous in origin, rather than of secondary origin. However, magnetite is not typically found in experimental studies of martian magmatic rocks [2,3]. Magnetite stability in terrestrial magmas is well understood, as are the stability of FeO and Fe2O3 in terrestrial magmas [4,5]. In order to better understand the variation of FeO and Fe2O3, and the stability of magnetite (and other FeO-bearing phases) in martian magmas we have undertaken an experimental study with two emphases. First we document the stability of magnetite with temperature and fO2 in a shergottite bulk composition. Second, we determine the FeO and Fe2O3 contents of the same shergottite bulk composition at 1 bar and variable fO2 at 1250 C, and at variable pressure. These two goals will help define not only magnetite stability, but pyroxene-melt equilibria that are also dependent upon fO2.

  11. The evolution of meteorites and planets from a hot nebula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donald H. Tarling

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Meteorites have a hot origin as planetary materials derive from a supernova, similar to SN1987A, and were acquired by a nearby nova, the Sun. The supernova plasmas became zoned around the nova, mainly by their electromagnetic properties. Carbon and carbide dusts condensed first, followed, within the Inner Planetary Zone, by Ca–Mg–Al oxides and then by iron and nickel metal droplets. In the inner Asteroid Belt, the metals aggregated into clumps as they solidified but over a much longer time in the Inner Zone. ‘Soft’ collisions formed larger (<∼20 km objects in the Asteroid Belt; in the Inner Zone these aggregated forming proto-planetary cores during inwards orbital migration. In the Asteroid Belt, glassy olivines condensed, followed more open lattice minerals growing grew primarily by diffusion. Brittle silicate crystals were comminuted and only aggregated into the carbonaceous meteorites when water–ices formed. The inner planets differentiated by at least 4.4 Ga. Jupiter and the outer planets grew on asteroidal bodies thrown out into freezing water vapours and only formed by 4.1 Ga, resulting in the Late Heavy Bombardment, initially by meteoritic materials and later supplemented by ices from, and beyond, the Asteroid Belt. Critical factors are the properties of very high temperature supernova plasmas, the duration of the molten iron phase in the inner zone. Evidence usually quoted for a cold origin derives from late stage processes in hot meteorite evolution. While highly speculative, it is shown that meteorites and planets can be formed by known processes as supernova plasmas cool.

  12. The formation and the evolution process of the Jilin meteorite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duyang, Z.Y.

    1983-01-01

    Based on the data from an integrated study by a multidisciplinary group on the Jilin meteorite, we discuss the following aspects concerning its formation and evolution: (1) The fractionation-condensation of the solar nebula was examined based on the condensation and solidification age and the mineral composition of the Jilin meteorite. (2) The thermometamorphic history of the Jilin parent body was discussed based on the data on the loss of rare gases, the chemical composition of the whole rock, the self-purification of rare-earth elements and the composition stability of olivine and orthopyroxene. (3) The cooling process of the Jilin parent body was analyzed according to the Ni content and the width of taenite, and the retentivity of argon and fission tracks in the minerals. (4) The breakup of the Jilin parent body and its cosmic ray irradiation history: Based on the measurements of the cosmogenic nuclides as He 3 , Ne/sup 20,21,22/, Ar 38 , Na 22 , Al 26 , Mn 54 , Mn 53 , Co 60 etc., a two-stage model of the irradiation history of the Jilin meteorite was proposed. From the data on the Jilin meteorite parent body of the first stage (the age = 10--11 MY and r = 10 m) and that of the second stage (the age = 0.3--0.5 MY and r = 80--90 cm). The relative positions of samples in the parent body, their burial depths as well as the post-atmospheric loss by ignition were determined. (5) The falling process of the Jilin meteorite: The orbits of the Jilin meteor in the solar system and in the atmosphere, and its falling process were discussed

  13. Martian Ionospheric Observation and Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Galindo, Francisco

    2018-02-01

    The Martian ionosphere is a plasma embedded within the neutral upper atmosphere of the planet. Its main source is the ionization of the CO2-dominated Martian mesosphere and thermosphere by the energetic EUV solar radiation. The ionosphere of Mars is subject to an important variability induced by changes in its forcing mechanisms (e.g., the UV solar flux) and by variations in the neutral atmosphere (e.g., the presence of global dust storms, atmospheric waves and tides, changes in atmospheric composition, etc.). Its vertical structure is dominated by a maximum in the electron concentration placed at about 120–140 km of altitude, coincident with the peak of the ionization rate. Below, a secondary peak produced by solar X-rays and photoelectron-impact ionization is observed. A sporadic third layer, possibly of meteoric origin, has been also detected below. The most abundant ion in the Martian ionosphere is O2+, although O+ can become more abundant in the upper ionospheric layers. While below about 180–200 km the Martian ionosphere is dominated by photochemical processes, above those altitudes the dynamics of the plasma become more important. The ionosphere is also an important source of escaping particles via processes such as dissociative recombination of ions or ion pickup. So, characterization of the ionosphere provides or can provide information about such disparate systems and processes as the solar radiation getting to the planet, the neutral atmosphere, the meteoric influx, the atmospheric escape to space, or the interaction of the planet with the solar wind. It is thus not surprising that the interest about this region dates from the beginning of the space era. From the first measurements provided by the Mariner 4 mission in the 1960s to the contemporaneous observations, still ongoing, by the Mars Express and MAVEN orbiters, our current knowledge of this atmospheric region is the consequence of the accumulation of more than 50 years of discontinuous

  14. Magnetic, in situ, mineral characterization of Chelyabinsk meteorite thin section

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabelek, Ladislav; Mazanec, Martin; Kdyr, Simon; Kletetschka, Gunther

    2015-06-01

    Magnetic images of Chelyabinsk meteorite's (fragment F1 removed from Chebarkul lake) thin section have been unraveled by a magnetic scanning system from Youngwood Science and Engineering (YSE) capable of resolving magnetic anomalies down to 10-3 mT range from about 0.3 mm distance between the probe and meteorite surface (resolution about 0.15 mm). Anomalies were produced repeatedly, each time after application of magnetic field pulse of varying amplitude and constant, normal or reversed, direction. This process resulted in both magnetizing and demagnetizing of the meteorite thin section, while keeping the magnetization vector in the plane of the thin section. Analysis of the magnetic data allows determination of coercivity of remanence (Bcr) for the magnetic sources in situ. Value of Bcr is critical for calculating magnetic forces applicable during missions to asteroids where gravity is compromised. Bcr was estimated by two methods. First method measured varying dipole magnetic field strength produced by each anomaly in the direction of magnetic pulses. Second method measured deflections of the dipole direction from the direction of magnetic pulses. Bcr of magnetic sources in Chelyabinsk meteorite ranges between 4 and 7 mT. These magnetic sources enter their saturation states when applying 40 mT external magnetic field pulse.

  15. Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy library for the Martian environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cousin, A.; Forni, O.; Maurice, S.; Gasnault, O.

    2011-01-01

    The NASA Mars Science Laboratory rover will carry the first Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy experiment in space: ChemCam. We have developed a laboratory model which mimics ChemCam's main characteristics. We used a set of target samples relevant to Mars geochemistry, and we recorded individual spectra. We propose a data reduction scheme for Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy data incorporating de-noising, continuum removal, and peak fitting. Known effects of the Martian atmosphere are confirmed with our experiment: better Signal-to-Noise Ratio on Mars compared to Earth, narrower peak width, and essentially no self-absorption. The wavelength shift of emission lines from air to Mars pressure is discussed. The National Institute of Standards and Technology vacuum database is used for wavelength calibration and to identify the elemental lines. Our Martian database contains 1336 lines for 32 elements: H, Li, Be, B, C, N, O, F, Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, K, Ar, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Rb, Sr, Cs, Ba, and Pb. It is a subset of the National Institute of Standards and Technology database to be used for Martian geochemistry. Finally, synthetic spectra can be built from the Martian database. Correlation calculations help to distinguish between elements in case of uncertainty. This work is used to create tools and support data for the interpretation of ChemCam results. - Highlights: ► Chemcam: first Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy technique on Mars. ► Creation of a LIBS specific database to ChemCam on Mars. ► Data reduction scheme is proposed. ► Best signal under Martian conditions. ► LIBS emission lines database: subset of NIST database for Martian geochemistry.

  16. Analysis of Košice Meteorite by Mössbauer Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitek, Jozef; Dekan, Július; Sedlačková, Katarína

    2016-07-01

    The 57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy method was used to investigate iron-containing compounds in town Košice meteorite fallen on the territory of Slovakia in February 2010. The results showed that the Mössbauer spectra consisted of magnetic and non-magnetic components related to different iron-bearing phases. The non-magnetic phase includes olivine, pyroxene and traces of Fe3+ phase and the magnetic component comprises troilite (FeS) and iron-rich Fe-Ni alloy with hyperfine magnetic field typical for kamacite. Samples from meteorite were obtained in powder from different depths to inspect its heterogeneous composition. The content of kamacite increases to the detriment of troilite from the surface toward the centre of the sample. Measurements at liquid nitrogen temperature confirmed phase composition of investigated meteorite. Main constituent elements of studied samples were also determined by X-ray fluorescence analysis.

  17. Nature's starships. I. Observed abundances and relative frequencies of amino acids in meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cobb, Alyssa K.; Pudritz, Ralph E.

    2014-01-01

    The class of meteorites called carbonaceous chondrites are examples of material from the solar system which have been relatively unchanged from the time of their initial formation. These meteorites have been classified according to the temperatures and physical conditions of their parent planetesimals. We collate available data on amino acid abundance in these meteorites and plot the concentrations of different amino acids for each meteorite within various meteorite subclasses. We plot average concentrations for various amino acids across meteorites separated by subclass and petrologic type. We see a predominance in the abundance and variety of amino acids in CM2 and CR2 meteorites. The range in temperature corresponding to these subclasses indicates high degrees of aqueous alteration, suggesting aqueous synthesis of amino acids. Within the CM2 and CR2 subclasses, we identify trends in relative frequencies of amino acids to investigate how common amino acids are as a function of their chemical complexity. These two trends (total abundance and relative frequencies) can be used to constrain formation parameters of amino acids within planetesimals. Our organization of the data supports an onion shell model for the temperature structure of planetesimals. The least altered meteorites (type 3) and their amino acids originated near cooler surface regions. The most active amino acid synthesis likely took place at intermediate depths (type 2). The most altered materials (type 1) originated furthest toward parent body cores. This region is likely too hot to either favor amino acid synthesis or for amino acids to be retained after synthesis.

  18. PF120916 Piecki fireball and Reszel meteorite fall

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olech, A.; Żołądek, P.; Tymiński, Z.; Stolarz, M.; Wiśniewski, M.; Bęben, M.; Lewandowski, T.; Polak, K.; Raj, A.; Zaręba, P.

    2017-06-01

    On September 12, 2016, at 21:44:07 UT, a -9.2±0.5 mag fireball appeared over northeastern Poland. The precise orbit and atmospheric trajectory of the event are presented, based on the data collected by six video stations of the Polish Fireball Network (PFN). The PF120916 Piecki fireball entered the Earth's atmosphere with the velocity of 16.7±0.3 km/s and started to shine at a height of 81.9 ± 0.3 km. Clear deceleration started after first three seconds of the flight, and the terminal velocity of the meteor was only 5.0±0.3 km/s at a height of 26.0 ± 0.2 km. Such a low value of the terminal velocity indicates that fragments with the total mass of around 10-15 kg could survive the atmospheric passage and cause fall of the meteorites. The predicted area of possible meteorite impact is computed and it is located south of Reszel city at the Warmian-Masurian region. The impact area was extensively searched by experienced groups of meteorite hunters, but without any success.

  19. Crystal-field spectra of fassaite from the Angra dos Reis meteorite

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mao, H K; Bell, P M; Virgo, D [Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C. (USA)

    1977-06-01

    Fassaitic pyroxene from the Angra dos Reis meteorite has striking spectral properties. The /sup 57/Fe Moessbauer spectra show no Fe/sup 3 +/, and thus the absorption is thought to originate from a complex charge-transfer process. Intense absorption at 480 nm dominates the spectrum of the meteorite and may be important in the interpretation of telescope spectra of objects in space.

  20. Utilizing Weather RADAR for Rapid Location of Meteorite Falls and Space Debris Re-Entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, Marc D.

    2016-01-01

    This activity utilizes existing NOAA weather RADAR imagery to locate meteorite falls and space debris falls. The near-real-time availability and spatial accuracy of these data allow rapid recovery of material from both meteorite falls and space debris re-entry events. To date, at least 22 meteorite fall recoveries have benefitted from RADAR detection and fall modeling, and multiple debris re-entry events over the United States have been observed in unprecedented detail.

  1. Anomalous Enantiomer Ratios in Meteoritic Sugar Derivatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, G.; Sant, M.; Asiyo, C.

    2009-03-01

    The enantiomer (mirror-image) ratios of sugar acids in carbonaceous meteorites have been measured. D-enantiomer excesses are found in all acids measured thus far. This includes rare as well as common compounds.

  2. Thermal and radiation history of meteorites as revealed by their thermoluminescence records

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhandari, N.

    1985-01-01

    Attempts are described to derive information about important parameters of the thermal and radiation history of meteorites from a study of depth profile of thermoluminescence coupled to appropriate annealing studies. In this review some possibilities are examined, emphasizing various factors cardinal to any meaningful application of TL in meteoritics. (author)

  3. AMMONIA IN THE EARLY SOLAR SYSTEM: AN ACCOUNT FROM CARBONACEOUS METEORITES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pizzarello, S. [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1604 (United States); Williams, L. B., E-mail: pizzar@asu.edu [School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1404 (United States)

    2012-04-20

    This study presents a survey of abundance distribution and isotopic composition of the ammonia found incorporated in the kerogen-like insoluble material of selected carbonaceous chondrite meteorites; the ammonia was released upon hydrothermal treatment at 300 Degree-Sign C and 100 MPa. With the exception of Allende, a metamorphosed and highly altered stone, all the insoluble organic materials (IOM) of the meteorites analyzed released significant amounts of ammonia, which varied from over 4 {mu}g mg{sup -1} for the Orgueil IOM to 0.5 {mu}g mg{sup -1} for that of Tagish Lake; the IOM of the pristine Antarctica find GRA95229 remains the most rich in freeable ammonia with 10 {mu}g mg{sup -1}. While the amounts of IOM bound ammonia do not appear to vary between meteorites with a recognizable trend, a possible consequence of long terrestrial exposure of some of the stones, we found that the {delta}{sup 15}N composition of the ammonia-carrying materials is clearly distinctive of meteorite types and may reflect a preservation of the original {sup 15}N distribution of pre- and proto-solar materials.

  4. Unusual Iron Redox Systematics of Martian Magmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danielson, L.; Righter, K.; Pando, K.; Morris, R. V.; Graff, T.; Agresti, D.; Martin, A.; Sutton, S.; Newville, M.; Lanzirotti, A.

    2012-01-01

    Martian magmas are known to be FeO-rich and the dominant FeO-bearing mineral at many sites visited by the Mars Exploration rovers (MER) is magnetite. Morris et al. proposed that the magnetite appears to be igneous in origin, rather than of secondary origin. However, magnetite is not typically found in experimental studies of martian magmatic rocks. Magnetite stability in terrestrial magmas is well understood, as are the stabilities of FeO and Fe2O3 in terrestrial magmas. In order to better understand the variation of FeO and Fe2O3, and the stability of magnetite (and other FeO-bearing phases) in martian magmas, we have undertaken an experimental study with two emphases. First, we determine the FeO and Fe2O3 contents of super- and sub-liquidus glasses from a shergottite bulk composition at 1 bar to 4 GPa, and variable fO2. Second, we document the stability of magnetite with temperature and fO2 in a shergottite bulk composition.

  5. The Enantiomeric Ratios of Meteoritic Organic Compounds: Their Possible Roles in the Origin of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, George

    2012-01-01

    This talk will give an overview of the enantiomer (mirror-image) ratios of organic compounds in meteorites and also describe the results of the present work in my lab. The primary focus will be on sugar derivatives (sugar acids) of carbonaceous meteorites. Our work begins to address questions associated with chirality, i.e., the origins of homochirality. On Earth, biological monomers (amino acids, sugars, etc.) are usually found with one of the enantiomers more abundant than the other. However, biological polymers (proteins, nucleic acids, etc.) are only composed of one enantiomer i.e., they are homochiral. There are hints in meteorites that some organic molecules may also exist in homochiral forms. The talk will address questions such as: did extraterrestrial sources aid in the beginning of this homochirality? Do the increasing size and apparent enantiomer excesses of some meteoritic compounds also extend to larger meteoritic compounds and polymers?

  6. Thermoluminescence studies of the thermal and radiation histories of chondritic meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Melcher, C.L.

    1980-01-01

    The thermoluminescence properties of chondritic meteorites are investigated to understand the ways in which the stored TL reflects the thermal and radiation histories of these objects. Differences in TL levels measured in recent falls are attributed to small differences in orbital temperatures. In addition, a correlation between TL level and terrestrial age is observed in meteorites of known terrestrial age. The thermoluminescence in chondrites is produced primarily by ionization from galactic cosmic rays with a much smaller contribution from the decay of natural radionuclides (U, Th, K, Rb). The production of most of the TL occurs after the break up of the large parent bodies into meter-size objects which are thus exposed to the ionizing effects of the cosmic rays. Measurements indicate that the low temperature TL represents a dynamic equilibrium between build up from ionizing radiation and thermal draining. The high temperature TL is near saturation. The terrestrial ages currently of greatest interest are those of the recently discovered meteorites in Antarctica. TL measurements were made on 11 of these meteorites and compared with the activities of 14 C, 26 Al, and 36 Cl measured by other workers in terrestrial age studies. A good correlation was found between the TL levels and the activities of cosmogenic radionuclides in these meteorites. Since the TL measurements can be made more rapidly and require much smaller samples (approx. 10 mg) than the radionuclide measurements, TL is most useful as a screening process to select potentially interesting samples for further study by more precise techniques

  7. Molecular Asymmetry in Prebiotic Chemistry: An Account from Meteorites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Pizzarello

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Carbonaceous Chondrite (CC meteorites are fragments of asteroids, solar planetesimals that never became large enough to separate matter by their density, like terrestrial planets. CC contains various amounts of organic carbon and carry a record of chemical evolution as it came to be in the Solar System, at the time the Earth was formed and before the origins of life. We review this record as it pertains to the chiral asymmetry determined for several organic compounds in CC, which reaches a broad molecular distribution and enantiomeric excesses of up to 50%–60%. Because homochirality is an indispensable attribute of extant polymers and these meteoritic enantiomeric excesses are still, to date, the only case of chiral asymmetry in organic molecules measured outside the biosphere, the possibility of an exogenous delivery of primed prebiotic compounds to early Earth from meteorites is often proposed. Whether this exogenous delivery held a chiral advantage in molecular evolution remains an open question, as many others regarding the origins of life are.

  8. Irradiated Benzene Ice Provides Clues to Meteoritic Organic Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callahan, Michael Patrick; Gerakines, Perry Alexander; Martin, Mildred G.; Hudson, Reggie L.; Peeters, Zan

    2013-01-01

    Aromatic hydrocarbons account for a significant portion of the organic matter in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, as a component of both the low molecular weight, solvent-extractable compounds and the insoluble organic macromolecular material. Previous work has suggested that the aromatic compounds in carbonaceous chondrites may have originated in the radiation-processed icy mantles of interstellar dust grains. Here we report new studies of the organic residue made from benzene irradiated at 19 K by 0.8 MeV protons. Polyphenyls with up to four rings were unambiguously identified in the residue by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Atmospheric pressure photoionization Fourier transform mass spectrometry was used to determine molecular composition, and accurate mass measurements suggested the presence of polyphenyls, partially hydrogenated polyphenyls, and other complex aromatic compounds. The profile of low molecular weight compounds in the residue compared well with extracts from the Murchison and Orgueil meteorites. These results are consistent with the possibility that solid phase radiation chemistry of benzene produced some of the complex aromatics found in meteorites.

  9. Purple Salt and Tiny Drops of Water in Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, G. J.

    1999-12-01

    Some meteorites, especially those called carbonaceous chondrites, have been greatly affected by reaction with water on the asteroids in which they formed. These reactions, which took place during the first 10 million years of the Solar System's history, formed assorted water-bearing minerals, but nobody has found any of the water that caused the alteration. Nobody, that is, until now. Michael Zolensky and team of scientists from the Johnson Space Center in Houston and Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Virginia) discovered strikingly purple sodium chloride (table salt) crystals in two meteorites. The salt contains tiny droplets of salt water (with some other elements dissolved in it). The salt is as old as the Solar System, so the water trapped inside the salt is also ancient. It might give us clues to the nature of the water that so pervasively altered carbonaceous chondrites and formed oceans on Europa and perhaps other icy satellites. However, how the salt got into the two meteorites and how it trapped the water remains a mystery - at least for now.

  10. 48Ca HETEROGENEITY IN DIFFERENTIATED METEORITES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Hsin-Wei; Lee, Typhoon; Lee, Der-Chuen; Shen, Jason Jiun-San; Chen, Jiang-Chang

    2011-01-01

    Isotopic heterogeneities of 48 Ca have been found in numerous bulk meteorites that are correlated with 50 Ti and 54 Cr anomalies among differentiated planetary bodies, and the results suggest that a rare subset of neutron-rich Type Ia supernova (nSN Ia) was responsible for contributing these neutron-rich iron-group isotopes into the solar system (SS). The heterogeneity of these isotopes found in differentiated meteorites indicates that the isotopic compositions of the bulk SS are not uniform, and there are significant amounts of nSNe Ia dust incompletely mixed with the rest of SS materials during planetary formation. Combined with the data of now-extinct short-lived nuclide 60 Fe, which can be produced more efficiently from an nSN Ia than a Type II supernova ejecta, the observed planetary-scale isotopic heterogeneity probably reflects a late input of stellar dust grains with neutron-rich nuclear statistical equilibrium nuclides into the early SS.

  11. Featured Image: Diamonds in a Meteorite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2018-04-01

    This unique image which measures only 60 x 80 micrometers across reveals details in the Kapoeta meteorite, an 11-kg stone that fell in South Sudan in 1942. The sparkle in the image? A cluster of nanodiamonds discovered embedded in the stone in a recent study led by Yassir Abdu (University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates). Abdu and collaborators showed that these nanodiamonds have similar spectral features to the interiors of dense interstellar clouds and they dont show any signs of shock features. This may suggest that the nanodiamonds were formed by condensation of nebular gases early in the history of the solar system. The diamonds were trapped in the surface material of the Kapoeta meteorites parent body, thought to be the asteroid Vesta. To read more about the authors study, check out the original article below.CitationYassir A. Abdu et al 2018 ApJL 856 L9. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aab433

  12. Meteorites, atolls and whisky

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1967-06-15

    Improvements in the methods of measuring radioactive traces of elements in substances which can be hundreds of millions of years old have enabled many secrets of the remote past to be revealed. The techniques developed by nuclear scientists can also be applied to more recent times. In a symposium held in Monaco during March the discussions of radioactive dating and methods of low level counting brought references to meteorites, rocks, archaeology, coral atolls, ancient ceramics, and even whisky

  13. Coordinated Chemical and Isotopic Imaging of Bells (CM2) Meteorite Matrix

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clemett, S. J.; Messenger, S.; Naklamura-Messenger, K.; Thomas-Keprta, K. L.

    2014-01-01

    Meteoritic organic matter is a complex conglomeration of species formed in distinct environments and processes in circumstellar space, the interstellar medium, the Solar Nebula and asteroids. Consequently meteorites constitute a unique record of primordial organic chemical evolution. While bulk chemical analysis has provided a detailed description of the range and diversity of organic species present in carbonaceous chondrites, there is little information as to how these species are spatially distributed and their relationship to the host mineral matrix. The distribution of organic phases is nevertheless critical to understanding parent body processes. The CM and CI chondrites all display evidence of low temperature (chemical mapping study of the Bells meteorite using a newly developed two-step laser mass spectrometer (mu-L(sup 2)MS) capable of measuring a broad range of organic compounds.

  14. Chemical Structure of Insoluble Organic Matter of Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derenne, S.; Robert, F.; Binet, L.; Gourier, D.; Rouzaud, J.-N.; Largeau, C.

    A detailed knowledge of the insoluble organic matter (IOM) of the meteorites is essential to estimate to what extent the interstellar organic matter was preserved during the formation of the solar system and to decipher the synthetic pathways of this matter in space. Although predominant, the insoluble organic fraction has been much less extensively studied than soluble one due to specific analytical difficulties. The present work reports the examination of the IOM of two carbonaceous meteorites, Orgueil and Murchison through a number of various spectroscopic and microscopic methods, i. e. XANES for sulphur, carbon and nitrogen, solid state 13C NMR, electron paramagnetic resonance, electron nuclear double resonance and high resolution transmission electron microscopy.

  15. Enrichment of the Amino Acid L-Isovaline by Aqueous Alteration on CI and CM Meteorite Parent Bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Dworkin, Jason P.

    2009-01-01

    The distribution and enantiomeric composition of the 5-carbon (C(sub 5)) amino acids found in Cl-, CM-, and CR-type carbonaceous meteorites were investigated by using liquid chromatography fluorescence detection/TOF-MS coupled with o-phthaldialdehyde/Nacetyl- l-cysteine derivatization. A large L-enantiomeric excess (ee) of the a-methyl amino acid isovaline was found in the CM meteorite Murchison (L(sub ee) = 18.5 +/- 2.6%) and the Cl meteorite Orguell (L(sub ee) = 15.2 +/- 4.0%). The measured value for Murchison is the largest enantiomeric excess in any meteorite reported to date, and the Orgueil measurement of an isovaline excess has not been reported previously for this or any Cl meteorite. The L-isovaline enrichments in these two carbonaceous meteorites cannot be the result of interference from other C(sub 5) amino acid isomers present in the samples, analytical biases, or terrestrial amino acid contamination. We observed no L-isovaline enrichment for the most primitive unaltered Antarctic CR meteorites EET 92042 and QUE 99177. These results are inconsistent with UV circularly polarized light as the primary mechanism for L-isovaline enrichment and indicate that amplification of a small initial isovaline asymmetry in Murchison and Orgueil occurred during an extended aqueous alteration phase on the meteorite parent bodies. The large asymmetry in isovaline and other alpha-dialkyl amino acids found in altered Ct and CM meteorites suggests that amino acids delivered by asteroids, comets, and their fragments would have biased the Earth's prebiotic organic inventory with left-handed molecules before the origin of life.

  16. H-Isotopic Composition of Apatite in Northwest Africa 7034

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, F. M.; Barnes, J. J.; Santos, A. R.; Boyce, J. W.; Anand, M.; Franchi, I. A.; Agee, C. B.

    2016-01-01

    Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034 and its pairings comprise a regolith breccia with a basaltic bulk composition [1] that yields a better match than any other martian meteorite to estimates of Mars' bulk crust composition [1]. Given the similarities between NWA 7034 and the martian crust, NWA 7034 may represent an important sample for constraining the crustal composition of components that cannot be measured directly by remote sensing. In the present study, we seek to constrain the H isotopic composition of the martian crust using Cl-rich apatite in NWA 7034.

  17. Annama H5 meteorite fall: orbit, trajectory, recovery, petrology, noble gases and cosmogenic radionuclides

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kohout, Tomáš; Gritsevich, M.; Lyytinen, E.; Moilanen, J.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 50, Supplement 1 SI (2015) [Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society /78./. 27.07.2015-31.07.2015, Berkeley] Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : meteorite * astrophysics Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  18. Field Characterization of the Mineralogy and Organic Chemistry of Carbonates from the 2010 Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition by Evolved Gas Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAdam, A. C.; Ten Kate, I. L.; Stern, J. C.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Blake, D. F.; Morris, R. V.; Steele, A.; Amundson, H. E. F.

    2011-01-01

    The 2010 Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition (AMASE) investigated two geologic settings using methodologies and techniques being developed or considered for future Mars missions, such as the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), ExoMars, and Mars Sample Return. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) [1] instrument suite, which will be on MSL, consists of a quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS), a gas chromatograph (GC), and a tunable laser mass spectrometer (TLS); all will be applied to analyze gases created by pyrolysis of samples. During AMASE, a Hiden Evolved Gas Analysis-Mass Spectrometer (EGA-MS) system represented the EGA-MS capability of SAM. Another MSL instrument, CheMin, will use x-ray diffraction (XRD) and x-ray fluorescence (XRF) to perform quantitative mineralogical characterization of samples [e.g., 2]. Field-portable versions of CheMin were used during AMASE. AMASE 2010 focused on two sites that represented biotic and abiotic analogs. The abiotic site was the basaltic Sigurdfjell vent complex, which contains Mars-analog carbonate cements including carbonate globules which are excellent analogs for the globules in the ALH84001 martian meteorite [e.g., 3, 4]. The biotic site was the Knorringfjell fossil methane seep, which featured carbonates precipitated in a methane-supported chemosynthetic community [5]. This contribution focuses on EGA-MS analyses of samples from each site, with mineralogy comparisons to CheMin team results. The results give insight into organic content and organic-mineral associations, as well as some constraints on the minerals present.

  19. Carbon Isotope Analyses of Individual Hydrocarbon Molecules in Bituminous Coal, Oil Shale and Murchison Meteorite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyoungsook Kim

    1998-06-01

    Full Text Available To study the origin of organic matter in meteorite, terrestrial rocks which contain organic compounds similar to the ones found in carbonaceous chondrites are studied and compared with Murchison meteorite. Hydrocarbon molecules were extracted by benzene and methanol from bituminous coal and oil shale and the extracts were partitioned into aliphatic, aromatic, and polar fractions by silica gel column chromatography. Carbon isotopic ratios in each fractions were analysed by GC-C-IRMS. Molecular compound identifications were carried by GC-MS Engine. Bituminous coal and oil shale show the organic compound composition similar to that of meteorite. Oil shale has a wide range of δ(13C, -20.1%_0 - -54.4%_0 compared to bituminous coal, -25.2%_0 - -34.3%_0. Delta values of several molecular compounds in two terrestrial samples are different. They show several distinct distributions in isotopic ratios compared to those of meteorite; Murchison meteorite has a range of δ(13C from -13%_0 to +30%_0. These results provide interpretation for the source and the formation condition of each rock, in particular alteration and migration processes of organic matter. Especially, they show an important clue whether some hydrocarbon molecules observed in meteorite are indigenous or not.

  20. The New Peruvian Meteorite Carancas: Mössbauer Spectroscopy and X-Ray Diffraction Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munayco, P.; Munayco, J.; Varela, M. E.; Scorzelli, R. B.

    2013-02-01

    The Carancas meteorite fell on 15 September 2007 approximately 10 km south of Desaguadero, near Lake Titicaca, Peru, producing bright lights, clouds of dust in the sky and intense detonations. The Carancas meteorite is classified as a H4-5 ordinary chondrite with shock stage S3 and a degree of weathering W0. The Carancas meteorite is characterized by well defined chondrules composed either of olivine or pyroxene. The Mössbauer spectra show an overlapping of paramagnetic and magnetic phases. The spectra show two quadrupole doublets associated to olivine and pyroxene; and two magnetic sextets, associated with the primary phases kamacite/taenite and Troilite (Fe2+). Metal particles were extracted from the bulk powdered samples exhibit only kamacite and small amounts of the intergrowth tetrataenite/antitaenite. X-Ray diffractogram shows the primary phases olivine, pyroxene, troilite, kamacite, diopside and albite. Iron oxides has not been detected by Mössbauer spectroscopy or XRD as can be expected for a meteorite immediately recovered after its fall.

  1. Mineralized remains of morphotypes of filamentous cyanobacteria in carbonaceous meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2005-09-01

    The quest for conclusive evidence of microfossils in meteorites has been elusive. Abiotic microstructures, mineral grains, and even coating artifacts may mimic unicellular bacteria, archaea and nanobacteria with simple spherical or rod morphologies (i.e., cocci, diplococci, bacilli, etc.). This is not the case for the larger and more complex microorganisms, colonies and microbial consortia and ecosystems. Microfossils of algae, cyanobacteria, and cyanobacterial and microbial mats have been recognized and described from many of the most ancient rocks on Earth. The filamentous cyanobacteria and sulphur-bacteria have very distinctive size ranges, complex and recognizable morphologies and visibly differentiated cellular microstructures. The taphonomic modes of fossilization and the life habits and processes of these microorganisms often result in distinctive chemical biosignatures associated with carbonization, silicification, calcification, phosphatization and metal-binding properties of their cell-walls, trichomes, sheaths and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). Valid biogenicity is provided by the combination of a suite of known biogenic elements (that differ from the meteorite matrix) found in direct association with recognizable and distinct biological features and microstructures (e.g., uniseriate or multiseriate filaments, trichomes, sheaths and cells of proper size/size range); specialized cells (e.g., basal or apical cells, hormogonia, akinetes, and heterocysts); and evidence of growth characteristics (e.g., spiral filaments, robust or thin sheaths, laminated sheaths, true or false branching of trichomes, tapered or uniform filaments) and evidence of locomotion (e.g. emergent cells and trichomes, coiling hormogonia, and hollow or flattened and twisted sheaths). Since 1997 we have conducted Environmental and Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM and FESEM) studies of freshly fractured interior surfaces of carbonaceous meteorites, terrestrial

  2. Determination of refractory trace elements in Chinese meteorites by RNAA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kraehenbuehl, U.; Burger, M.

    1989-01-01

    Some refractory trace elements are important target elements for spallation reactions in meteorites. These elements also serve to characterize the investigated meteorites. The elements Ti, Y, Zr, Hf, W and Ta were measured after radiochemical separation in chondrites from China. After acid digestion of the irradiated samples, the group separations were obtained by precipitation reactions. The necessary radiochemical purification of the pure β emitter Y was realized on a Lewatite OC 1026 column. For all the other elements discrete gamma radiation was measured. (orig.)

  3. Forging Asteroid-Meteorite Relationships Through Reflectance Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burbine, T. H.; Binzel, R. P.; Bus, S. J.; Buchanan, P. C.; Hinrichs, J. L.; Meibom, A.; Hiroi, T.; Sunshine, J. M.

    2000-01-01

    Near-infrared spectra were obtained for 196 asteroids as part of SMASSIR. SMASSIR focused on observing asteroids assumed to be one of the following: (1) olivine-rich, (2) objects with "Vesta-like spectra" (the "Vestoids"), and (3) postulated meteorite parent bodies.

  4. Are There High Meteorite Concentrations in the Atacama Desert/Chile?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, P.; Delisle, G.

    1992-07-01

    We have visited numerous regions of the Atacama desert between Copiapo (27 degrees, 15'S) and Calama (22 degrees, 25'S) to assess their potential as a high-yield meteorite concentration surface, easily exploitable by search efforts within a reasonable time frame. According to our observations, this desert is characterized by the following features: a) A high percentage of the desert consists of sloping surfaces on which soil movement occurs, presumably by very infrequent, though heavy rain. b) Vast areas of the desert are covered by a dm-thick sand layer of dark colour. Since the sand is too coarse-grained to be transported by wind it presumably resulted from in-situ weathering of rock debris derived from nearby mountains. We suspect that impacting smaller objects can easily penetrate the sand layer. c) The sand layer is typically dotted by rocks, fist-size or smaller, that are covered by a thick layer of desert paint (reddish-brown to black colour). Most country rocks are of volcanic origin (rhyolite, andesite, basalt) and are typically of grey to black colour. A noticeable colour contrast in particular to potential stony meteorites is almost nonexistent. d) Soil salts with a potential to speed up weathering processes are ubiquitous near the surface. e) The Pampa de Mejillones, 45 km north of Antofagasta, is one of the few light-coloured areas in the Atacama desert. The surface, being of Mio-Pliocene age, consists of an almost continuous layer of light-brown fossil shells (bivalves and gastropodes). Fluvially transported dark rocks from adjacent outcrops rest on top. The latter material is covered again by desert paint. Few meteorite discoveries have been reported from this area (Pampa (a),(b),(c)). f) Numerous old tire tracks, in particular around mines in operation, crisscross most areas of the Atacama. Undetected objects such as large masses of iron bodies are not likely to have remained undiscovered in great numbers any more. We conclude that the potential of

  5. Periglacial and glacial analogs for Martian landforms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossbacher, Lisa A.

    1992-01-01

    The list of useful terrestrial analogs for Martian landforms has been expanded to include: features developed by desiccation processes; catastrophic flood features associated with boulder-sized materials; and sorted ground developed at a density boundary. Quantitative analytical techniques developed for physical geography have been adapted and applied to planetary studies, including: quantification of the patterns of polygonally fractured ground to describe pattern randomness independent of pattern size, with possible correlation to the mechanism of origin and quantification of the relative area of a geomorphic feature or region in comparison to planetary scale. Information about Martian geomorphology studied in this project was presented at professional meetings world-wide, at seven colleges and universities, in two interactive televised courses, and as part of two books. Overall, this project has expanded the understanding of the range of terrestrial analogs for Martian landforms, including identifying several new analogs. The processes that created these terrestrial features are characterized by both cold temperatures and low humidity, and therefore both freeze-thaw and desiccation processes are important. All these results support the conclusion that water has played a significant role in the geomorphic history of Mars.

  6. Nucleation of the Widmanstatten Pattern in Iron Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, J.; Goldstein, J. I.

    2004-01-01

    The Widmanstatten pattern develops at low temperatures during the evolution of the asteroids. We have studied the origin of the Widmanstatten pattern in order to obtain metallographic cooling rates in the temperature range (approx. 700 to 300 deg C). This paper summarizes our recent evaluation of the various mechanisms for the formation of the Widmanstatten pattern. All chemical groups of the iron meteorites are considered. We also propose a new mechanism for the formation of the Widmanstatten pattern in the low P metal phase of iron, stony-iron and stony meteorites. The results of this evaluation enables us to more accurately determine metallographic cooling rates particularly when incorporated with other recent advances in Fe-Ni and Fe-Ni (P saturated) phase diagrams and interdiffusion coefficients.

  7. Martian gullies: possible formation mechanism by dry granular material..

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cedillo-Flores, Y.; Durand-Manterola, H. J.

    section Some of the geomorphological features in Mars are the gullies Some theories developed tried explain its origin either by liquid water liquid carbon dioxide or flows of dry granular material We made a comparative analysis of the Martian gullies with the terrestrial ones We propose that the mechanism of formation of the gullies is as follows In winter CO 2 snow mixed with sand falls in the terrain In spring the CO 2 snow sublimate and gaseous CO 2 make fluid the sand which flows like liquid eroding the terrain and forming the gullies By experimental work with dry granular material we simulated the development of the Martian gullies injecting air in the granular material section We present the characteristics of some terrestrial gullies forms at cold environment sited at Nevado de Toluca Volcano near Toluca City M e xico We compare them with Martian gullies choose from four different areas to target goal recognize or to distinguish to identify possible processes evolved in its formation Also we measured the lengths of those Martian gullies and the range was from 24 m to 1775 meters Finally we present results of our experimental work at laboratory with dry granular material

  8. The Search for Organic Compounds of Martian Origin in Gale Crater by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument on Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel; Freissinet, Caroline; Mahaffy, Paul; Miller, Kristen; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Summons, Roger; Archer, Douglas, Jr.; Brunner, Anna; Martin, Mildred; Buch, Arrnaud; hide

    2014-01-01

    One of the key objectives of the Mars Science Laboratory rover and the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite is to determine the inventory of organic and inorganic volatiles in the atmosphere and surface regolith and rocks to help assess the habitability potential of Gale Crater. The SAM instrument on the Curiosity rover can detect volatile organic compounds thermally evolved from solid samples using a combination of evolved gas analysis (EGA) and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) (Mahaffy et al. 2012). The first solid samples analyzed by SAM, a scoop of windblown dust and sand at Rocknest, revealed several chloromethanes and a C4-chlorinated hydrocarbon derived primarily from reactions between a martian oxychlorine phase (e.g. perchlorate) and terrestrial carbon from N-methyl-N-(tertbutyldimethylsilyl)- trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA) vapor present in the SAM instrument background (Glavin et al. 2013). After the analyses at Rocknest, Curiosity traveled to Yellowknife Bay and drilled two separate holes in a fluvio-lacustrine sediment (the Sheepbed unit) designated John Klein and Cumberland. Analyses of the drilled materials by both SAM and the CheMin X-Ray Diffraction instrument revealed a mudstone consisting of 20 wt% smectite clays (Ming et al. 2013; Vaniman et al. 2013), which on Earth are known to aid the concentration and preservation of organic matter. Oxychlorine compounds were also detected in the Sheepbed mudstone during pyrolysis; however, in contrast to Rocknest, much higher levels of chloromethanes were released from the Sheepbed materials, suggesting an additional, possibly martian source of organic carbon (Ming et al. 2013). In addition, elevated abundances of chlorobenzene and a more diverse suite of chlorinated alkanes including dichloropropane and dichlorobutane detected in Cumberland compared to Rocknest suggest that martian or meteoritic organic carbon sources may be preserved in the mudstone (Freissinet et al. 2013

  9. Presolar Diamond in Meteorites

    OpenAIRE

    Amari, Sachiko

    2009-01-01

    Presolar diamond, the carrier of the isotopically anomalous Xe component Xe-HL, was the first mineral type of presolar dust that was isolated from meteorites. The excesses in the light, p-process only isotopes 124Xe and 126Xe, and in the heavy, r-process only isotopes 134Xe and 136Xe relative to the solar ratios indicate that Xe-HL was produced in supernovae: they are the only stellar source where these two processes are believed to take place. Although these processes occur in supernovae, th...

  10. Iron snow in the Martian core?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Christopher J.; Pommier, Anne

    2018-01-01

    The decline of Mars' global magnetic field some 3.8-4.1 billion years ago is thought to reflect the demise of the dynamo that operated in its liquid core. The dynamo was probably powered by planetary cooling and so its termination is intimately tied to the thermochemical evolution and present-day physical state of the Martian core. Bottom-up growth of a solid inner core, the crystallization regime for Earth's core, has been found to produce a long-lived dynamo leading to the suggestion that the Martian core remains entirely liquid to this day. Motivated by the experimentally-determined increase in the Fe-S liquidus temperature with decreasing pressure at Martian core conditions, we investigate whether Mars' core could crystallize from the top down. We focus on the "iron snow" regime, where newly-formed solid consists of pure Fe and is therefore heavier than the liquid. We derive global energy and entropy equations that describe the long-timescale thermal and magnetic history of the core from a general theory for two-phase, two-component liquid mixtures, assuming that the snow zone is in phase equilibrium and that all solid falls out of the layer and remelts at each timestep. Formation of snow zones occurs for a wide range of interior and thermal properties and depends critically on the initial sulfur concentration, ξ0. Release of gravitational energy and latent heat during growth of the snow zone do not generate sufficient entropy to restart the dynamo unless the snow zone occupies at least 400 km of the core. Snow zones can be 1.5-2 Gyrs old, though thermal stratification of the uppermost core, not included in our model, likely delays onset. Models that match the available magnetic and geodetic constraints have ξ0 ≈ 10% and snow zones that occupy approximately the top 100 km of the present-day Martian core.

  11. Meteorite Dichotomy Implies that Jupiter Formed Early

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruijer, T. S.; Burkhardt, C.; Budde, G.; Kleine, T.

    2018-05-01

    Meteorites derive from two distinct nebular reservoirs that co-existed and remained spatially separated between 1 and 3–4 Ma after CAIs. This can most easily be explained if Jupiter acted as a barrier and formed early, within less than 1 Ma.

  12. Chemical composition of Martian fines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.; Baird, A. K.; Weldon, R. J.; Tsusaki, D. M.; Schnabel, L.; Candelaria, M. P.

    1982-01-01

    Of the 21 samples acquired for the Viking X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, 17 were analyzed to high precision. Compared to typical terrestrial continental soils and lunar mare fines, the Martian fines are lower in Al, higher in Fe, and much higher in S and Cl concentrations. Protected fines at the two lander sites are almost indistinguishable, but concentration of the element S is somewhat higher at Utopia. Duricrust fragments, successfully acquired only at the Chryse site, invariably contained about 50% higher S than fines. No elements correlate positively with S, except Cl and possibly Mg. A sympathetic variation is found among the triad Si, Al, Ca; positive correlation occurs between Ti and Fe. Sample variabilities are as great within a few meters as between lander locations (4500 km apart), implying the existence of a universal Martian regolith component of constant average composition. The nature of the source materials for the regolith fines must be mafic to ultramafic.

  13. Sterically crowded monomeric neutral bis(benzamidinato) compounds of aluminium, [PhC(NSiMe(3))(2)](2)AlX (X=Cl, H); X-ray crystal structure of [PhC(NSiMe(3))(2)]2AlH

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duchateau, R; Meetsma, A; Teuben, JH

    1996-01-01

    AlCl3 reacts with [PhC(NSiMe(3))(2)]Li(OEt(2)) to afford the bis(N,N'-bis(trimethylsilyl)benzamidinato)aluminium chloro compound which, on treatment with KBEt(3)H, yields the structurally characterized monomeric hydride derivative, [PhC(NSiMe(3))(2)]2AlH, whose reactivity towards unsaturated

  14. Chladniite: A New Mineral Honoring the Father of Meteoritics

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy, T. J.; Steele, I. M.; Keil, K.; Leonard, B. F.; Endress, M.

    1993-07-01

    The IIICD irons are a small group of meteorites, three of which (Maltahohe, Carlton, and Dayton) contain silicate-bearing inclusions rich in troilite, graphite, schreibersite, and phosphates [1]. The Na,Ca,Mg-rich phosphates bnanite and panethite were first described in Dayton [2]. We have discovered a new mineral, Na(sub)2CaMg(sub)7(PO(sub)4)(sub)6, as a single grain within a silicate-bearing inclusion in the Carlton (IIICD) iron meteorite. The mineral and mineral name have been approved by the Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names of the International Mineralogical Association. Chladniite occurs as a single grain near the edge of a silicate-bearing inclusion in polished section USNM 2707. This inclusion is dominated by chlorapatite and contains olivine, pyroxene, plagioclase, schreibersite, and troilite. Chladniite occurs as a single, massive grain (975 x 175 micrometers) and is cross-cut by hydrated iron oxides of terrestrial origin. In polished section, it is gray, dark, and weakly anisotropic. Cleavage is rhomboidal in plan and very likely rhombohedral in three dimension. The formula for chladniite (derived from five microprobe analyses) is Na(sub)1.77Si(sub)0.08 Ca(sub)0.98(Mg(sub)6.96Fe(sub)0.26Mn(sub)0.04)(sub)Sigma = 7.26(Po(sub)0.98 O(sub)4)(sub)6. The idealized formula is Na(sub)2CaMg(sub)7(PO(sub)4)(sub)6. Chladniite is related to two rare minerals, fillowite [3] and johnsomervilleite [4], where fillowite is the Mn-dominated and johnsomervilleite the Fe-dominated analog of chladniite. The unique occurrence of chladniite, the relatively small size of the grain, and the presence of terrestrial weathering veins all presented challenges for removing material for X-ray studies. A 30-micrometer-diameter spindle of material was removed after microdrilling a shallow trench and breaking the spindle with a surgical scalpel. Studies were performed using both a Gandolfi camera to obtain a powder pattern and a four-circle diffractometer to determine the unit

  15. Magnetic particles extracted from manganese nodules: Suggested origin from stony and iron meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finkelman, R.B.

    1970-01-01

    On the basis of x-ray diffraction and electron microprobe data, spherical and ellipsoidal particles extracted from manganese nodules were divided into three groups. Group I particles are believed to be derived from iron meteorites, and Group II particles from stony meteorites. Group III particles are believed to be volcanic in origin.

  16. Minor bodies of the Solar system: meteorite orbits, relationship, mirror symmetry in C-distribution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Terent'eva, A.K.

    1989-01-01

    Population of large meteor bodies having masses from several kilograms up to several tens of tons has been revealed by means of photographic observations of bright fireballs. 39 of 69 objects of this population is meteorites producing. A unique class of meteorite orbits of an extremely short period (the Earth's group) has been found. The analysis of the distributions of minor bodies by Tisserand constant C (the perturbing planet is Jupiter) allowed to make conclusions about possible genetic connections and families inside the complex of minor bodies - comets, asteroids, large meteor bodies including meteorites and meteor streams. About 8 per cent of meteorites and 15 per cent of asteroids of the Amour group may have a cometary origin. Mirror symmetry has been found in C-distribution of minor bodies relative to the gap in the center of which collinear points of libration are located

  17. Planetary interchange of bioactive material: probability factors and implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B C

    2001-01-01

    It is now well-accepted that both lunar and martian materials are represented in the meteorite collections. Early suggestions that viable organisms might survive natural transport between planets have not yet been thoroughly examined. The concept of Planetary Interchange of Bioactive Material (PIBM) is potentially relevant to the conditions under which life originated. PIBM has been also invoked to infer that the potential danger to Earth from martian materials is non-existent, an inference with, however, many pitfalls. Numerous impediments to efficient transfer of viable organisms exist. In this work, the lethality of space radiation during long transients and the biasing of launched objects toward materials unlikely to host abundant organisms are examined and shown to reduce the likelihood of successful transfer by orders of magnitude. It is also shown that martian meteorites studied to date assuredly have been subjected to sterilizing levels of ionizing radiation in space. PIBM considerations apply to both the solar system locale(s) of the origin of life and to the applicability of planetary protection protocols to preserve the biospheres of planetary bodies, including our own.

  18. Organics in meteorites - Solar or interstellar?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Conel M. O'D.; Cody, George D.; Fogel, Marilyn; Yabuta, Hikaru

    2008-10-01

    The insoluble organic material (IOM) in primitive meteorites is related to the organic material in interplanetary dust particles and comets, and is probably related to the refractory organic material in the diffuse interstellar medium. If the IOM is representative of refractory ISM organics, models for how and from what it formed will have to be revised.

  19. Delivery of asteroids and meteorites to the inner solar system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greenberg, R.; Nolan, M.C.

    1989-01-01

    This paper discusses how critical observational constraints on the delivery of asteroids (including the very small ones, called meteorites, that land on the Earth) include orbital distributions, exposure ages and mineralogy. Orbital maturity in the inner solar system is indicated by the AM/PM distribution of meteorite falls and fireballs: orbits with perihelia at 1 AU are less mature and arrive preferentially in the PM. Ordinary chondrites have short exposure ages, but their AM/PM fall statistics indicate significant orbital maturity. Hence, many may be collisional offspring of slightly larger parents that emigrated from the main belt. The required size distribution, extrapolated up to multi-km-size bodies, would also yield numbers of planet-crossing asteroids comparable to those astronomically observed. However, such a distribution requires launch on Earth-bound trajectories by catastrophic disruption events, which probably cannot launch sufficient material at high enough velocities Cratering events offer higher ejecta velocities, and if dominant would explain the abundance of basaltic meteorites relative to olivine, which should constitute the bulk of a differentiated parent body's volume

  20. Studies on New Halfa Meteorite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abdu, Y.A.M.

    1996-01-01

    Mossbauer spectroscopy in the temperature range (295 deg K - 4.2 deg K), electron microprobe, and X-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements have been carried out for the investigation of a Sudanese meteorite, named New Halfa, from a new fall. The specimen contains well defined chondrules which consist mainly of radiating orthopyroxene and olivine. The XRD and the microprobe analysis show the presence of the silicate phases (olivine and pyroxene), iron sulphide (troilite), and Fe-Ni alloys (kamacite and taenite). The olivine appears to have a constant composition throughout the specimen, whereas pyroxene have a varying composition and both orthopyroxene (which is the dominant pyroxene) and clinopyroxene were present. The microprobe trace of Ni concentration across a kamacite-taenite-kamacite area shows a high Ni concentration at the interface between kamacite and taenite phases. The room temperature Mossbauer spectrum is fitted with with three sextets and two doublets. The sextets were assigned Fe in troilite, kamacite and taenite, and the two doublets to Fe 2+ in olivine and pyroxene (no Fe 3+ was found). The Mossbauer spectrum at 4.2 K shows that olivine, which is paramagnetic at room temperature, is magnetic showing relaxation effects. The Mossbauer data of this meteorite confirm it as an ordinary L-chondrite. (author). 19 refs., 5 tabs., 17 figs

  1. Martian Neutron Energy Spectrometer (MANES)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurer, R. H.; Roth, D. R.; Kinnison, J. D.; Goldsten, J. O.; Fainchtein, R.; Badhwar, G.

    2000-01-01

    High energy charged particles of extragalactic, galactic, and solar origin collide with spacecraft structures and planetary atmospheres. These primaries create a number of secondary particles inside the structures or on the surfaces of planets to produce a significant radiation environment. This radiation is a threat to long term inhabitants and travelers for interplanetary missions and produces an increased risk of carcinogenesis, central nervous system (CNS) and DNA damage. Charged particles are readily detected; but, neutrons, being electrically neutral, are much more difficult to monitor. These secondary neutrons are reported to contribute 30-60% of the dose equivalent in the Shuttle and MIR station. The Martian atmosphere has an areal density of 37 g/sq cm primarily of carbon dioxide molecules. This shallow atmosphere presents fewer mean free paths to the bombarding cosmic rays and solar particles. The secondary neutrons present at the surface of Mars will have undergone fewer generations of collisions and have higher energies than at sea level on Earth. Albedo neutrons produced by collisions with the Martian surface material will also contribute to the radiation environment. The increased threat of radiation damage to humans on Mars occurs when neutrons of higher mean energy traverse the thin, dry Martian atmosphere and encounter water in the astronaut's body. Water, being hydrogeneous, efficiently moderates the high energy neutrons thereby slowing them as they penetrate deeply into the body. Consequently, greater radiation doses can be deposited in or near critical organs such as the liver or spleen than is the case on Earth. A second significant threat is the possibility of a high energy heavy ion or neutron causing a DNA double strand break in a single strike.

  2. Secondary Sulfate Mineralization and Basaltic Chemistry of Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho: Potential Martian Analog

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    C. Doc Richardson; Nancy W. Hinman; Lindsay J. McHenry; J. Michelle Kotler; Jill R. Scott

    2012-05-01

    Secondary deposits associated with the basaltic caves of Craters of the Moon National Monument (COM) in southern Idaho were examined using X-ray powder diffraction, X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, Fourier transform infrared spectrometry, and Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FTICR-MS). The secondary mineral assemblages are dominated by Na-sulfate minerals (thenardite, mirabilite) with a small fraction of the deposits containing minor concentrations of Na-carbonate minerals. The assemblages are found as white, efflorescent deposits in small cavities along the cave walls and ceilings and as localized mounds on the cave floors. Formation of the deposits is likely due to direct and indirect physiochemical leaching of meteoritic water through the overlying basalts. Whole rock data from the overlying basaltic flows are characterized by their extremely high iron concentrations, making them good analogs for martian basalts. Understanding the physiochemical pathways leading to secondary mineralization at COM is also important because lava tubes and basaltic caves are present on Mars. The ability of FTICR-MS to consistently and accurately identify mineral species within these heterogeneous mineral assemblages proves its validity as a valuable technique for the direct fingerprinting of mineral species by deductive reasoning or by comparison with reference spectra.

  3. The Innisfree meteorite: Dynamical history of the orbit - Possible family of meteor bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galibina, I. V.; Terent'eva, A. K.

    1987-09-01

    Evolution of the Innisfree meteorite orbit caused by secular perturbations is studied over the time interval of 500000 yrs (from the current epoch backwards). Calculations are made by the Gauss-Halphen-Gorjatschew method taking into account perturbations from the four outer planets - Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. In the above mentioned time interval the meteorite orbit has undergone no essential transformations. The Innisfree orbit intersected in 91 cases the Earth orbit and in 94 - the Mars orbit. A system of small and large meteor bodies (producing ordinary meteors and fireballs) which may be genetically related to the Innisfree meteorite has been found, i.e. there probably exists an Innisfree family of meteor bodies.

  4. Lunar Meteorites Sayh Al Uhaymir 449 and Dhofar 925, 960, and 961: Windows into South Pole

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegler, Ryan A.; Jolliff, B. L.; Korotev, R. L.

    2013-01-01

    In 2003, three lunar meteorites were collected in close proximity to each other in the Dhofar region of Oman: Dhofar 925 (49 g), Dhofar 960 (35 g), and Dhofar 961 (22 g). In 2006, lunar meteorite Sayh al Uhaymir (SaU) 449 (16.5 g) was found about 100 km to the NE. Despite significant differences in the bulk composition of Dhofar 961 relative to Dhofar 925/960 and SaU 449 (which are identical to each other), these four meteorites are postulated to be paired based on their find locations, bulk composition, and detailed petrographic analysis. Hereafter, they will collectively be referred to as the Dhofar 961 clan. Comparison of meteorite and component bulk compositions to Lunar Prospector 5-degree gamma-ray data suggest the most likely provenance of this meteorite group is within the South Pole-Aitken Basin. As the oldest, largest, and deepest recognizable basin on the Moon, the composition of the material within the SPA basin is of particular importance to lunar science. Here we review and expand upon the geochemistry and petrography of the Dhofar 961 clan and assess the likelihood that these meteorites come from within the SPA basin based on their bulk compositions and the compositions and characteristics of the major lithologic components found within the breccia.

  5. On the chemistry of the Martian surface

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keil, K.

    1978-01-01

    Analyses of 13 smaples of Martian surface materials with the Viking X-ray fluorescence spectrometers show SiO 2 similar to that of terrestrial mafic rocks, whereas Fe 2 O 3 , Cl, and S are higher and Al 2 O 3 , K 2 O, Rb, Sr, Y, and Zr are lower. Low totals suggest presence of CO 2 , H 2 O, and Na 2 O. Duricrust fragments are higher in S than fines, but samples from both landing sites are surprisingly similar. We suggest that Martian surface materials are aeolian deposits of complex mixtures of weathering products of mafic-ultramafic rocks, possibly consisting of iron-rich clays, sulfates, iron oxides, carbonates, and chlorides. (orig.) 891 HK [de

  6. On to Mars! chronicles of Martian simulations

    CERN Document Server

    PLETSER, Vladimir

    2018-01-01

    This book introduces the Martian simulations, one installed on Devon Island, an uninhabited island in the Canadian Arctic, well within the polar circle, and two in the desert of Utah, several hundreds of kilometers South of Salt Lake City. The book is based on the diaries during the simulations, held by Vladimir Pletser, a physicist-engineer, who was selected to attend these simulations. It relates the details of everyday life in these Martian habitats and of the scientific and exploratory work conducted in these extreme environments in preparation for future manned missions to Mars. Through the real experiences described in the book, readers will find space explorations and living on Mars more tangible. .

  7. Local Dynamics of Baroclinic Waves in the Martian Atmosphere

    KAUST Repository

    Kavulich, Michael J.

    2013-11-01

    The paper investigates the processes that drive the spatiotemporal evolution of baroclinic transient waves in the Martian atmosphere by a simulation experiment with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) Mars general circulation model (GCM). The main diagnostic tool of the study is the (local) eddy kinetic energy equation. Results are shown for a prewinter season of the Northern Hemisphere, in which a deep baroclinic wave of zonal wavenumber 2 circles the planet at an eastward phase speed of about 70° Sol-1 (Sol is a Martian day). The regular structure of the wave gives the impression that the classical models of baroclinic instability, which describe the underlying process by a temporally unstable global wave (e.g., Eady model and Charney model), may have a direct relevance for the description of the Martian baroclinic waves. The results of the diagnostic calculations show, however, that while the Martian waves remain zonally global features at all times, there are large spatiotemporal changes in their amplitude. The most intense episodes of baroclinic energy conversion, which take place in the two great plain regions (Acidalia Planitia and Utopia Planitia), are strongly localized in both space and time. In addition, similar to the situation for terrestrial baroclinic waves, geopotential flux convergence plays an important role in the dynamics of the downstream-propagating unstable waves. © 2013 American Meteorological Society.

  8. Local Dynamics of Baroclinic Waves in the Martian Atmosphere

    KAUST Repository

    Kavulich, Michael J.; Szunyogh, Istvan; Gyarmati, Gyorgyi; Wilson, R. John

    2013-01-01

    The paper investigates the processes that drive the spatiotemporal evolution of baroclinic transient waves in the Martian atmosphere by a simulation experiment with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) Mars general circulation model (GCM). The main diagnostic tool of the study is the (local) eddy kinetic energy equation. Results are shown for a prewinter season of the Northern Hemisphere, in which a deep baroclinic wave of zonal wavenumber 2 circles the planet at an eastward phase speed of about 70° Sol-1 (Sol is a Martian day). The regular structure of the wave gives the impression that the classical models of baroclinic instability, which describe the underlying process by a temporally unstable global wave (e.g., Eady model and Charney model), may have a direct relevance for the description of the Martian baroclinic waves. The results of the diagnostic calculations show, however, that while the Martian waves remain zonally global features at all times, there are large spatiotemporal changes in their amplitude. The most intense episodes of baroclinic energy conversion, which take place in the two great plain regions (Acidalia Planitia and Utopia Planitia), are strongly localized in both space and time. In addition, similar to the situation for terrestrial baroclinic waves, geopotential flux convergence plays an important role in the dynamics of the downstream-propagating unstable waves. © 2013 American Meteorological Society.

  9. Martian Atmospheric Pressure Static Charge Elimination Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, Michael R.

    2014-01-01

    A Martian pressure static charge elimination tool is currently in development in the Electrostatics and Surface Physics Laboratory (ESPL) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. In standard Earth atmosphere conditions, static charge can be neutralized from an insulating surface using air ionizers. These air ionizers generate ions through corona breakdown. The Martian atmosphere is 7 Torr of mostly carbon dioxide, which makes it inherently difficult to use similar methods as those used for standard atmosphere static elimination tools. An initial prototype has been developed to show feasibility of static charge elimination at low pressure, using corona discharge. A needle point and thin wire loop are used as the corona generating electrodes. A photo of the test apparatus is shown below. Positive and negative high voltage pulses are sent to the needle point. This creates positive and negative ions that can be used for static charge neutralization. In a preliminary test, a floating metal plate was charged to approximately 600 volts under Martian atmospheric conditions. The static elimination tool was enabled and the voltage on the metal plate dropped rapidly to -100 volts. This test data is displayed below. Optimization is necessary to improve the electrostatic balance of the static elimination tool.

  10. Preferential occupation of pyroxene sites by iron in diogenite meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Verma, H. C.; Tewari, V. C.; Paliwal, B. S.; Tripathi, R. P.

    2008-01-01

    Three diogenite meteorites ALHA77256-121, Tatahounie and Bilanga are studied using Moessbauer spectroscopy to look at the iron occupancy in the two inequivalent pyroxene sites. Though the three meteorites belong to three different conditions, one is an Antarctica find, one is 75 years old fall and one is a recent fall, the iron occupancy in pyroxene sites is very similar. Fe 2+ occupies only the less distorted site and hence a single sharp doublet is observed in the Moessbauer spectra of all these samples. In contrast eucrites show a distribution of iron ions in the two sites of pyroxenes.

  11. Impact Metamorphism of Subsurface Organic Matter on Mars: A Potential Source for Methane and Surface Alteration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehler, D. Z.; Allen, C. C.; McKay, D. S.

    2005-01-01

    Reports of methane in the Martian atmosphere have spurred speculation about sources for that methane [1-3]. Discussion has centered on cometary/ meteoritic delivery, magmatic/mantle processes, UV-breakdown of organics, serpentinization of basalts, and generation of methane by living organisms. This paper describes an additional possibility: that buried organic remains from past life on Mars may have been generating methane throughout Martian history as a result of heating associated with impact metamorphism.

  12. "Sweating meteorites"—Water-soluble salts and temperature variation in ordinary chondrites and soil from the hot desert of Oman

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zurfluh, Florian J.; Hofmann, Beda A.; Gnos, Edwin; Eggenberger, Urs

    2013-10-01

    The common appearance of hygroscopic brine ("sweating") on ordinary chondrites (OCs) from Oman during storage under room conditions initiated a study on the role of water-soluble salts on the weathering of OCs. Analyses of leachates from OCs and soils, combined with petrography of alteration features and a 11-month record of in situ meteorite and soil temperatures, are used to evaluate the role of salts in OC weathering. Main soluble ions in soils are Ca2+, SO42-, HCO3-, Na+, and Cl-, while OC leachates are dominated by Mg2+ (from meteoritic olivine), Ca2+ (from soil), Cl- (from soil), SO42- (from meteoritic troilite and soil), and iron (meteoritic). "Sweating meteorites" mainly contain Mg2+ and Cl-. The median Na/Cl mass ratio of leachates changes from 0.65 in soils to 0.07 in meteorites, indicating the precipitation of a Na-rich phase or loss of an efflorescent Na-salt. The total concentrations of water-soluble ions in bulk OCs ranges from 600 to 9000 μg g-1 (median 2500 μg g-1) as compared to 187-14140 μg g-1 in soils (median 1148 μg g-1). Soil salts dissolved by rain water are soaked up by meteorites by capillary forces. Daily heating (up to 66.3 °C) and cooling of the meteorites cause a pumping effect, resulting in a strong concentration of soluble ions in meteorites over time. The concentrations of water-soluble ions in meteorites, which are complex mixtures of ions from the soil and from oxidation and hydrolysis of meteoritic material, depend on the degree of weathering and are highest at W3. Input of soil contaminants generally dominates over the ions mobilized from meteorites. Silicate hydrolysis preferentially affects olivine and is enhanced by sulfide oxidation, producing local acidic conditions as evidenced by jarosite. Plagioclase weathering is negligible. After completion of troilite oxidation, the rate of chemical weathering slows down with continuing Ca-sulfate contamination.

  13. Enantiomer excesses of rare and common sugar derivatives in carbonaceous meteorites

    OpenAIRE

    Cooper, George; Rios, Andro C.

    2016-01-01

    The majority of biological sugars and their derivatives contain higher abundances of the “d” mirror-image forms relative to the “l” forms. For example, nucleic acids are composed of only d sugars. Carbonaceous meteorites can potentially assist in understanding the long-sought origin of such phenomena; They preserve a record of the earliest (∼4.5 Gy) chemical processes in the Solar System. To date, there have been no systematic studies of d/l (i.e., enantiomer) ratios of meteoritic sugar deriv...

  14. Martian Cryogenic Carbonate Formation: Stable Isotope Variations Observed in Laboratory Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Socki, Richard A.; Niles, Paul B.; Sun, Tao; Fu, Qi; Romanek, Christopher S.; Gibson, Everett K. Jr.

    2014-01-01

    The history of water on Mars is tied to the formation of carbonates through atmospheric CO2 and its control of the climate history of the planet. Carbonate mineral formation under modern martian atmospheric conditions could be a critical factor in controlling the martian climate in a means similar to the rock weathering cycle on Earth. The combination of evidence for liquid water on the martian surface and cold surface conditions suggest fluid freezing could be very common on the surface of Mars. Cryogenic calcite forms easily from freezing solutions when carbon dioxide degasses quickly from Ca-bicarbonate-rich water, a process that has been observed in some terrestrial settings such as arctic permafrost cave deposits, lake beds of the Dry Valleys of Antarctica, and in aufeis (river icings) from rivers of N.E. Alaska. A series of laboratory experiments were conducted that simulated cryogenic carbonate formation on Mars in order to understand their isotopic systematics. The results indicate that carbonates grown under martian conditions show variable enrichments from starting bicarbonate fluids in both carbon and oxygen isotopes beyond equilibrium values.

  15. Sparking young minds with Moon rocks and meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, G. Jeffrey; Lindstrom, Marilyn M.

    1993-01-01

    What could be more exciting than seeing pieces of other worlds? The Apollo program left a legacy of astounding accomplishments and precious samples. Part of the thrill of those lunar missions is brought to schools by the lunar sample educational disks, which contain artifacts of six piloted trips to the Moon. Johnson Space Center (JSC) is preparing 100 new educational disks containing pieces of meteorites collected in Antarctica. These represent chunks of several different asteroids, that were collected in one of the most remote, forbidding environments on Earth. These pieces of the Moon and asteroids represent the products of basic planetary processes (solar nebular processes, initial differentiation, volcanism, and impact), and, in turn, these processes are controlled by basic physical and chemical processes (energy, energy transfer, melting, buoyancy, etc.). Thus, the lunar and meteorite sample disks have enormous educational potential. New educational materials are being developed to accompany the disks. Present materials are not as effective as they could be, especially in relating samples to processes and to other types of data such as spectral studies and photogeology. Furthermore, the materials are out of date. New background materials will be produced for teachers, assembling slide sets with extensive captions, and devising numerous hands-on classroom activities to do while the disks are at a school and before and after they arrive. The classroom activities will be developed by teams of experienced teachers working with lunar and meteorite experts.

  16. Activity and stability of a complex bacterial soil community under simulated Martian conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Aviaja Anna; Merrison, Jonathan; Nørnberg, Per; Aagaard Lomstein, Bente; Finster, Kai

    2005-04-01

    A simulation experiment with a complex bacterial soil community in a Mars simulation chamber was performed to determine the effect of Martian conditions on community activity, stability and survival. At three different depths in the soil core short-term effects of Martian conditions with and without ultraviolet (UV) exposure corresponding to 8 Martian Sol were compared. Community metabolic activities and functional diversity, measured as glucose respiration and versatility in substrate utilization, respectively, decreased after UV exposure, whereas they remained unaffected by Martian conditions without UV exposure. In contrast, the numbers of culturable bacteria and the genetic diversity were unaffected by the simulated Martian conditions both with and without UV exposure. The genetic diversity of the soil community and of the colonies grown on agar plates were evaluated by denaturant gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) on DNA extracts. Desiccation of the soil prior to experimentation affected the functional diversity by decreasing the versatility in substrate utilization. The natural dominance of endospores and Gram-positive bacteria in the investigated Mars-analogue soil may explain the limited effect of the Mars incubations on the survival and community structure. Our results suggest that UV radiation and desiccation are major selecting factors on bacterial functional diversity in terrestrial bacterial communities incubated under simulated Martian conditions. Furthermore, these results suggest that forward contamination of Mars is a matter of great concern in future space missions.

  17. Discovery of Carbonate-Rich Outcrops in the Gusev Crater Columbia Hills by the MER Rover Spirit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Richard V.; Ruff, Steven W.; Gellert, Ralf; Ming, Douglas W.; Arvidson, Raymond E.; Clark, Benton C.; Golden, Dadi C.; Siebach, Kirsten L.; Klingelhoefer, Goestar; Schroeder, Christian; hide

    2010-01-01

    The chemical composition, global abundance, distribution, and formation pathways of carbonates are central to understanding aqueous processes, climate, and habitability of early Mars. The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit analyzed a series of olivine-rich outcrops while descending from the summit region of Husband Hill into the Inner Basin of the Columbia Hills of Gusev Crater to the eastern edge of the El Dorado ripple field in late 2005. Reanalysis of Spirit s mineralogical data from the Moessbauer Spectrometer (MB) and the Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) and chemical data from the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) in 2010, coupled with new laboratory data for carbonate-bearing samples, lead to identification of carbonate in one of the outcrops (Comanche) [Morris, R.V., et al., Science, 329, 421-424]. The carbonate is rich in magnesium and iron (Mc62Sd25Cc11Rh2, assuming all Ca and Mn is associated with the carbonate) and is a major component of the Comanche outcrops (16 to 34 wt.%). The mineralogical, chemical, and abundance data are constrained in multiple, mutually consistent ways by the MER analyses. For example, a low-Ca carbonate is required by the MB and APXS data and is consistent with Mini-TES data. Three spectral features attributable to fundamental infrared vibrational modes of low-Ca carbonate are present in the Mini-TES spectra of Comanche outcrops. The average composition of Comanche carbonate approximates the average composition of the carbonate globules in Martian meteorite ALH 84001. Analogy with ALH 84001, terrestrial, and synthetic carbonate globules suggests that Comanche carbonate precipitated from aqueous solutions under hydrothermal conditions at near neutral pH in association with volcanic activity during the Noachian era. Comanche outcrop morphology suggests they are remnants of a larger carbonate-bearing formation that evolved in ultramafic rock and then preferentially eroded by a combination of aeolian

  18. Curiosity analyzes Martian soil samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy; Balcerak, Ernie

    2012-12-01

    NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has conducted its first analysis of Martian soil samples using multiple instruments, the agency announced at a 3 December news briefing at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco. "These results are an unprecedented look at the chemical diversity in the area," said NASA's Michael Meyer, program scientist for Curiosity.

  19. Multivariate Curve Resolution-Alternating Least Squares (MCR-ALS) with Raman Imaging Applied to Lunar Meteorites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Joseph P; Smith, Frank C; Booksh, Karl S

    2018-03-01

    Lunar meteorites provide a more random sampling of the surface of the Moon than do the returned lunar samples, and they provide valuable information to help estimate the chemical composition of the lunar crust, the lunar mantle, and the bulk Moon. As of July 2014, ∼96 lunar meteorites had been documented and ten of these are unbrecciated mare basalts. Using Raman imaging with multivariate curve resolution-alternating least squares (MCR-ALS), we investigated portions of polished thin sections of paired, unbrecciated, mare-basalt lunar meteorites that had been collected from the LaPaz Icefield (LAP) of Antarctica-LAP 02205 and LAP 04841. Polarized light microscopy displays that both meteorites are heterogeneous and consist of polydispersed sized and shaped particles of varying chemical composition. For two distinct probed areas within each meteorite, the individual chemical species and associated chemical maps were elucidated using MCR-ALS applied to Raman hyperspectral images. For LAP 02205, spatially and spectrally resolved clinopyroxene, ilmenite, substrate-adhesive epoxy, and diamond polish were observed within the probed areas. Similarly, for LAP 04841, spatially resolved chemical images with corresponding resolved Raman spectra of clinopyroxene, troilite, a high-temperature polymorph of anorthite, substrate-adhesive epoxy, and diamond polish were generated. In both LAP 02205 and LAP 04841, substrate-adhesive epoxy and diamond polish were more readily observed within fractures/veinlet features. Spectrally diverse clinopyroxenes were resolved in LAP 04841. Factors that allow these resolved clinopyroxenes to be differentiated include crystal orientation, spatially distinct chemical zoning of pyroxene crystals, and/or chemical and molecular composition. The minerals identified using this analytical methodology-clinopyroxene, anorthite, ilmenite, and troilite-are consistent with the results of previous studies of the two meteorites using electron microprobe

  20. Comets as parent bodies of CI1 carbonaceous meteorites and possible habitats of ice-microbes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickramasinghe, N. Chandra; Wickramasinghe, Janaki T.; Wallis, Jamie; Hoover, Richard B.; Rozanov, Alexei Y.

    2011-10-01

    Recent studies of comets and cometary dust have confirmed the presence of biologically relevant organic molecules along with clay minerals and water ice. It is also now well established by deuterium/hydrogen ratios that the CI1 carbonaceous meteorites contain indigenous extraterrestrial water. The evidence of extensive aqueous alteration of the minerals in these meteorites led to the hypothesis that water-bearing asteroids or comets represent the parent bodies of the CI1 (and perhaps CM2) carbonaceous meteorites. These meteorites have also been shown to possess a diverse array of complex organics and chiral and morphological biomarkers. Stable isotope studies by numerous independent investigators have conclusively established that the complex organics found in these meteorites are both indigenous and extraterrestrial in nature. Although the origin of these organics is still unknown, some researchers have suggested that they originated by unknown abiotic mechanisms and may have played a role in the delivery of chiral biomolecules and the origin of life on Early Earth. In this paper we review these results and investigate the thermal history of comets. We show that permanent as well as transient domains of liquid water can be maintained on a comet under a plausible set of assumptions. With each perihelion passage of a comet volatiles are preferentially released, and during millions of such passages the comet could shed crustal debris that may survive transit through the Earth's atmosphere as a carbonaceous meteorite. We review the current state of knowledge of comets and carbonaceous meteorites. We also present the results of recent studies on the long-term viability of terrestrial ice-microbiota encased in ancient glacial ice and permafrost. We suggest that the conditions which have been observed to prevail on many comets do not preclude either survivability (or even the active metabolism and growth) of many types of eukaryotic and prokaryotic microbial

  1. Comets as Parent Bodies of CI1 Carbonaceous Meteorites and Possible Habitats of Ice-Microbiota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickramasinghe, N. Chandra; Wallis, Daryl H.; Rozanov, Alexei Yu.; Hoover, Richard B.

    2011-01-01

    Recent studies of comets and cometary dust have confirmed the presence of biologically relevant organic molecules along with clay minerals and water ice. It is also now well established by deuterium/hydrogen ratios that the CI1 carbonaceous meteorites contain indigenous extraterrestrial water. The evidence of extensive aqueous alteration of the minerals in these meteorites led to the hypothesis that water-bearing asteroids or comets represent the parent bodies of the CI1 (and perhaps CM2) carbonaceous meteorites. These meteorites have also been shown to possess a diverse array of complex organics and chiral and morphological biomarkers. Stable isotope studies by numerous independent investigators have conclusively established that the complex organics found in these meteorites are both indigenous and extraterrestrial in nature. Although the origin of these organics is still unknown, some researchers have suggested that they originated by unknown abiotic mechanisms and may have played a role in the delivery of chiral biomolecules and the origin of life on Early Earth. In this paper we review these results and investigate the thermal history of comets. We show that permanent as well as transient domains of liquid water can be maintained on a comet under a plausible set of assumptions. With each perihelion passage of a comet volatiles are preferentially released, and during millions of such passages the comet could shed crustal debris that may survive transit through the Earth s atmosphere as a carbonaceous meteorite. We review the current state of knowledge of comets and carbonaceous meteorites. We also present the results of recent studies on the long-term viability of terrestrial ice-microbiota encased in ancient glacial ice and permafrost. We suggest that the conditions which have been observed to prevail on many comets do not preclude either survivability (or even the active metabolism and growth) of many types of eukaryotic and prokaryotic microbial

  2. Origin of giant Martian polygons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcgill, George E.; Hills, L. S.

    1992-01-01

    Extensive areas of the Martian northern plains in Utopia and Acidalia planitiae are characterized by 'polygonal terrane'. Polygonal terrane consists of material cut by complex troughs defining a pattern resembling mudcracks, columnar joints, or frost-wedge polygons on earth. However, the Martian polygons are orders of magnitude larger than these potential earth analogues, leading to severe mechanical difficulties for genetic models based on simple analogy arguments. Plate-bending and finite element models indicate that shrinkage of desiccating sediment or cooling volcanics accompanied by differential compaction over buried topography can account for the stresses responsible for polygon troughs as well as the large size of the polygons. Although trough widths and depths relate primarily to shrinkage, the large scale of the polygonl pattern relates to the spacing between topographic elevations on the surface buried beneath polygonal terrane material. Geological relationships favor a sedimentary origin for polygonal terrane material, but our model is not dependent on the specific genesis. Our analysis also suggests that the polygons must have formed at a geologically rapid rate.

  3. The meteoritic record of presolar and early solar system organic chemistry. [Abstract only

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cronin, John R.; Pizzarello, Sandra

    1994-01-01

    Carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen isotopic analyses of various classes of organic compounds done in collaboration with Epstein and Krishnamurthy (Caltech) have shown these compounds to be enriched to varying degrees in the heavier isotopes. These results, in particular the large deuterium enrichments, have been interpreted as indicating an interstellar origin for the meteorite compounds or their precursors. Such isotopic fractionations, of hydrogen especially, are characteristic of low temperature ion-molecule reactions in cold interstellar clouds. There is also evidence from the large corresponding suites of alpha-amino and alpha-hydroxy acids found in meteorites suggesting that aqueous phase chemistry on the meteorite parent body played an important role in the formation of these compounds. These data support the hypothesis that interstellar compounds survived in the solar nebula at a radial distance corresponding to the asteroid belt, were incorporated into the parent body in icy, volatile-rich, planetesinals, and underwent further reactions during a period of aqueous activity within the early parent body to give the present suite of meteorite compounds. This formation hypothesis will be discussed and the results of recent isotopic and molecular analyses bearing on it will be presented.

  4. Determination of Meteorite Porosity Using Liquid Nitrogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohout, T.; Kletetschka, G.; Pesonen, L. J.; Wasilewski, P. J.

    2005-01-01

    We introduce a new harmless method for porosity measurement suitable for meteorite samples. The method is a modification of the traditional Archimedean method based on immersion of the samples in a liquid medium like water or organic liquids. In our case we used liquid nitrogen for its chemically inert characteristics.

  5. Asteroids and Meteorites from Venus? Only the Earth Goddess Knows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dones, Henry; Zahnle, Kevin J.; Alvarellos, José L.

    2018-04-01

    No meteorites from Venus have been found; indeed, some find theirexistence unlikely because of the perceived difficulty of launchingrocks at speeds above 10 km/s and traversing the planet's 93 baratmosphere. [1] Nonetheless, we keep hope alive, since cosmochemistssay they can identify Cytherean meteorites, should candidates be found[2]. Gladman et al. [3] modeled the exchange of impact ejecta betweenthe terrestrial planets, but did not consider meteorites launched fromVenus in any detail. At the time of Gladman's work, no asteroids thatremained entirely within Earth's orbit were known. 14 suchEarth-interior objects with good orbits have now been discovered, andare known as Atiras, for the Pawnee goddess of the Earth. The largestknown member of the class is 163693 Atira, a binary whose componentshave diameters of approximately 4.8 and 1 km. Discovery of Atiras isvery incomplete because they can only be seen at small solarelongations [4]. Greenstreet et al. [5] modeled the orbitaldistribution of Atiras from main-belt asteroidal and cometary sourceregions, while Ribeiro et al. [6] mapped the stability region ofhypothetical Atiras and integrated the orbits of clones of 12 realAtiras for 1 million years. 97% of the clones survived for 1 Myrimpact with Venus was the most common fate of those that met theirends. We have performed orbital integrations of 1000 clones of each ofthe known Atiras, and of hypothetical ejecta that escape Venus afterasteroid impacts, for 10-100 Myr. The latter calculations usetechniques like those of Alvarellos et al. [7] and Zahnle et al. [8]for transfer amongst Jupiter's galilean satellites. Our goals are toestimate the fraction of Atiras that are ejecta launched from Venus,the time spent in space by hypothetical meteorites from Venus, and therate at which such meteorites strike the Earth.[1] Gilmore M., et al (2017). Space Sci. Rev. 212, 1511. [2] JourdanF., Eroglu E. (2017). MAPS 52, 884. [3] Gladman B.J., etal. (1996). Science 271, 1387. [4

  6. Isotopic coherence of refractory inclusions from CV and CK meteorites: Evidence from multiple isotope systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shollenberger, Quinn R.; Borg, Lars E.; Render, Jan; Ebert, Samuel; Bischoff, Addi; Russell, Sara S.; Brennecka, Gregory A.

    2018-05-01

    Calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs) are the oldest dated materials in the Solar System and numerous previous studies have revealed nucleosynthetic anomalies relative to terrestrial rock standards in many isotopic systems. However, most of the isotopic data from CAIs has been limited to the Allende meteorite and a handful of other CV3 chondrites. To better constrain the isotopic composition of the CAI-forming region, we report the first Sr, Mo, Ba, Nd, and Sm isotopic compositions of two CAIs hosted in the CK3 desert meteorites NWA 4964 and NWA 6254 along with two CAIs from the CV3 desert meteorites NWA 6619 and NWA 6991. After consideration of neutron capture processes and the effects of hot-desert weathering, the Sr, Mo, Ba, Nd, and Sm stable isotopic compositions of the samples show clearly resolvable nucleosynthetic anomalies that are in agreement with previous results from Allende and other CV meteorites. The extent of neutron capture, as manifested by shifts in the observed 149Sm-150Sm isotopic composition of the CAIs is used to estimate the neutron fluence experienced by some of these samples and ranges from 8.40 × 1013 to 2.11 × 1015 n/cm2. Overall, regardless of CAI type or host meteorite, CAIs from CV and CK chondrites have similar nucleosynthetic anomalies within analytical uncertainty. We suggest the region that CV and CK CAIs formed was largely uniform with respect to Sr, Mo, Ba, Nd, and Sm isotopes when CAIs condensed and that CAIs hosted in CV and CK meteorites are derived from the same isotopic reservoir.

  7. Study of Meteoritic Inclusion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Mia Bjørg Stolberg

    of meteorite samples that date back to the birth of the solar system. In this thesis, we have taken advantage of novel methods for the high-precision analysis of various radiogenic and stable isotope systems by plasma source and thermal ionization mass spectrometry (ICPMS and TIMS) as well as by secondary....... The manuscripts presented in this thesis have provided critical insights into the origin and distribution of short-lived radioisotopes as well as the formation and transport history of chondrules and, by extension, the precursor material to asteroidal and planetary bodies. The proposal of 26Al heterogeneity...

  8. Experimental Simulation of Meteorite Ablation during Earth Entry Using a Plasma Wind Tunnel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Loehle, Stefan; Zander, Fabian; Hermann, Tobias; Eberhart, Martin; Meindl, Arne; Oefele, Rainer [High Enthalpy Flow Diagnostics Group, Institut für Raumfahrtsysteme, Universität Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 29, D-70569 Stuttgart (Germany); Vaubaillon, Jeremie; Colas, Francois [Institut de Mécanique Céleste et de Calcul des Éphémerides, Observatoire de Paris, Av. de l’Observatoire, Paris (France); Vernazza, Pierre; Drouard, Alexis [Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, LAM, Marseille (France); Gattacceca, Jerome [CNRS, Aix-Marseille Univ, IRD, Coll France, CEREGE, Aix-en-Provence,France, Avenue Louis Philibert, 13545 Aix-en-Provence (France)

    2017-03-10

    Three different types of rocks were tested in a high enthalpy air plasma flow. Two terrestrial rocks, basalt and argillite, and an ordinary chondrite, with a 10 mm diameter cylindrical shape were tested in order to observe decomposition, potential fragmentation, and spectral signature. The goal was to simulate meteoroid ablation to interpret meteor observation and compare these observations with ground based measurements. The test flow with a local mass-specific enthalpy of 70 MJ kg{sup −1} results in a surface heat flux at the meteorite fragment surface of approximately 16 MW m{sup −2}. The stagnation pressure is 24 hPa, which corresponds to a flight condition in the upper atmosphere around 80 km assuming an entry velocity of 10 km s{sup −1}. Five different diagnostic methods were applied simultaneously to characterize the meteorite fragmentation and destruction in the ground test: short exposure photography, regular video, high-speed imaging with 10 kHz frame rate, thermography, and Echelle emission spectroscopy. This is the first time that comprehensive testing of various meteorite fragments under the same flow condition was conducted. The data sets indeed show typical meteorite ablation behavior. The cylindrically shaped fragments melt and evaporate within about 4 s. The spectral data allow the identification of the material from the spectra which is of particular importance for future spectroscopic meteor observations. For the tested ordinary chondrite sample a comparison to an observed meteor spectra shows good agreement. The present data show that this testing methodology reproduces the ablation phenomena of meteoritic material alongside the corresponding spectral signatures.

  9. Chemical and Physical Interactions of Martian Surface Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, J. L.

    1999-09-01

    A model of alteration and maturation of the Martian surface material is described involving both chemical and physical interactions. Physical processes involve distribution and mixing of the fine-grained soil particles across the surface and into the atmosphere. Chemical processes include reaction of sulfate, salt and oxidizing components of the soil particles; these agents in the soils deposited on rocks will chew through the rock minerals forming coatings and will bind surface soils together to form duricrust deposits. Formation of crystalline iron oxide/oxyhydroxide minerals through hydrothermal processes and of poorly crystalline and amorphous phases through palagonitic processes both contribute to formation of the soil particles. Chemical and physical alteration of these soil minerals and phases contribute to producing the chemical, magnetic and spectroscopic character of the Martian soil as observed by Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor. Minerals such as maghemite/magnetite and jarosite/alunite have been observed in terrestrial volcanic soils near steam vents and may be important components of the Martian surface material. The spectroscopic properties of several terrestrial volcanic soils containing these minerals have been analyzed and evaluated in terms of the spectroscopic character of the surface material on Mars.

  10. Electrical Activity in Martian Dust Storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majid, W.; Arabshahi, S.; Kocz, J.

    2016-12-01

    Dust storms on Mars are predicted to be capable of producing electrostatic fields and discharges, even larger than those in dust storms on Earth. Such electrical activity poses serious risks to any Human exploration of the planet and the lack of sufficient data to characterize any such activity has been identified by NASA's MEPAG as a key human safety knowledge gap. There are three key elements in the characterization of Martian electrostatic discharges: dependence on Martian environmental conditions, frequency of occurrence, and the strength of the generated electric fields. We will describe a recently deployed detection engine using NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) to carry out a long term monitoring campaign to search for and characterize the entire Mars hemisphere for powerful discharges during routine tracking of spacecraft at Mars on an entirely non-interfering basis. The resulting knowledge of Mars electrical activity would allow NASA to plan risk mitigation measures to ensure human safety during Mars exploration. In addition, these measurements will also allow us to place limits on presence of oxidants such as H2O2 that may be produced by such discharges, providing another measurement point for models describing Martian atmospheric chemistry and habitability. Because of the continuous Mars telecommunication needs of NASA's Mars-based assets, the DSN is the only instrument in the world that combines long term, high cadence, observing opportunities with large sensitive telescopes, making it a unique asset worldwide in searching for and characterizing electrostatic activity at Mars from the ground.

  11. Meteoritic Constraints on Models of the Solar Nebula: The Abundances of Moderately Volatile Elements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassen, Patrick; Cuzzi, Jeff (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    The "moderately volatile" elements are those which condense (or evaporate) in the temperature range 650 - 1350 K, as a mix of material with solar abundances is cooled (or heated) tinder equilibrium conditions. Their relative abundances in chondritic meteorites are solar (or "cosmic", as defined by the composition of Cl meteorites) to within a factor of several, but vary within that range in a way that correlates remarkably well with condensation temperature, independent of chemical affinity. It has been argued that this correlation reflects a systematically selective process which favored the accretion of refractory material over volatile material from a cooling nebula. Wasson and Chou (Meteoritics 9, 69-94, 1974, and Wasson and co-authors in subsequent papers) suggested that condensation and settling of solids contemporaneously with the cooling and removal of nebular gas could produce the observed abundance patterns, but a quantitative model has been lacking. We show that the abundance patterns of the moderately volatile elements in chondritic meteorites can be produced, in some degree of quantitative detail, by models of the solar nebula that are designed to conform to observations of T Tauri stars and the global conservation laws. For example, even if the local surface density of the nebula is not decreasing, condensation and accretion of solids from radially inflowing gas in a cooling nebula can result in depletions of volatiles, relative to refractories, like those observed, The details of the calculated abundance patterns depend on (but are not especially sensitive to) model parameters, and can exhibit the variations that distinguish the meteorite classes. Thus it appears that nebula characteristics such as cooling rates, radial flow velocities, and particle accumulation rates can be quantitatively constrained by demanding that they conform to meteoritic data; and the models, in turn, can produce testable hypotheses regarding the time and location of the

  12. Remote Sensing Studies Of The Current Martian Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, F. W.; McCleese, D. J.; Schofield, J. T.; Calcutt, S. B.; Moroz, V. I.

    A systematic and detailed experimental study of the Martian atmosphere remains to be carried out, despite many decades of intense interest in the nature of the Martian climate system, its interactions, variability and long-term stability. Such a study is planned by the 2005 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, using limb-scanning infrared radiometric techniques similar to those used to study trace species in the terrestrial stratosphere. For Mars, the objectives are temperature, humidity, dust and condensate abundances with high vertical resolution and global coverage in the 0 to 80 km height range. The paper will discuss the experiment and its methodology and expectations for the results.

  13. Isotopically Anomalous Carbonaceous Nanoglobules in Meteorites and Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Gregorio, B. T.; Alexander, C.; Bassim, N. D.; Cody, G. D.; Kilcoyne, D.; Nittler, L.; Stroud, R.; Zega, T. J.

    2009-12-01

    Sub-micron, spherical, organic globules are prevalent in primitive meteorites and interplanetary dust particles. Many of these globules are significantly enriched in 15N and/or D, relative to solar values, which suggest that they or their precursors formed in cold regions of the solar nebula or in interstellar molecular clouds. We have used correlated transmission electron microscopy (TEM), synchrotron-based X-ray absorption near-edge structure spectroscopy (XANES), and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) to determine the elemental and isotopic composition and organic functional group chemistry of individual carbonaceous nanoglobules in a suite of insoluble organic matter (IOM) residues prepared from carbonaceous and ordinary chondrites, and two additional organic globules from the Stardust comet 81P/Wild 2 sample collection. The majority of the meteoritic nanoglobules have a similar chemistry to the bulk IOM, with, on average, a small but significant enrichment in aromatic ketone (-C=O) and carboxyl (-COOH) functional groups. However, some of the meteoritic nanoglobules and one of the Stardust nanoglobules contain highly aromatic organic matter with no significant oxygen functionality. Preliminary measurements indicate that the highest 15N enrichments are associated with the highly aromatic nanoglobules and that aromatic nanoglobules are more prevalent in IOM from more primitive meteorites (e.g. Bells contains more aromatic globules than Murchison). For example, of two adjacent nanoglobules with nearly identical hollow morphologies from Murchison, one contains highly aromatic organic matter and the other contains oxidized IOM-like organic matter. SIMS analysis of these two globules reveals that the highly aromatic globule has the greatest 15N enrichment (δ15N ~ +500‰) of all meteoritic globules in which both XANES and SIMS was performed, whereas the adjacent IOM-like globule has a smaller 15N enrichment (δ15N ~ +300‰) but still greater than bulk IOM (δ15

  14. Which fireballs are meteorites - A study of the Prairie Network photographic meteor data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetherill, G. W.; Revelle, D. O.

    1981-11-01

    With the exception of three recovered meteorites with photographic fireball data (Pribram, Lost City, Innisfree), there is generally little information regarding the location of meteorites in the solar system prior to their impact on the earth. An investigation is conducted with the objective to identify those fireballs (bright meteor) data from the Prairie Network. The investigation is based on the belief that many small ordinary chondrites must be present among the photographed bright fireballs. Observations of the recovered fireballs are used to identify characteristics of their dynamics while passing through the atmosphere. In this way criteria are established for identifying those fireballs with similar dynamical characteristics. On the basis of the studies, a catalog is provided of fireballs which have a high probability of being ordinary chondrites or other strong meteorites.

  15. Early planetesimal melting from an age of 4.5662 Gyr for differentiated meteorites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baker, J.; Bizzarro, Martin; Wittig, N.

    2005-01-01

    for these meteorites, however, are typically younger than age constraints for planetesimal differentiation. Such young ages indicate that the energy required to melt their parent bodies could not have come from the most likely heat source-radioactive decay of short-lived nuclides (Al and Fe) injected from a nearby...... decay could have triggered planetesimal melting. Small Mg excesses in bulk angrite samples confirm that Al decay contributed to the melting of their parent body. These results indicate that the accretion of differentiated planetesimals pre-dated that of undifferentiated planetesimals, and reveals......Long- and short-lived radioactive isotopes and their daughter products in meteorites are chronometers that can test models for Solar System formation. Differentiated meteorites come from parent bodies that were once molten and separated into metal cores and silicate mantles. Mineral ages...

  16. Gerontology of the Allende meteorite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jessberger, A.K.; Dominik, B.

    1979-01-01

    In the Allende meteorite several elements are found to have an isotopic composition that cannot be due to radioactive or spallation or fractionation processes. These isotope anomalies are mostly confined to white inclusions enriched in refractory elements (Ca-Al-rich inclusions) and are thought to be introduced into the Solar System by precondensed grains. The results of the Ar 40 -Ar 39 analysis of some coarse grained Allende inclusions that showed ages in excess of 4,550 Myr are here reported. (author)

  17. Mars, solar wind, and supernova - implications of the Viking data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shimizu, M.

    1977-01-01

    A scenario for the evolution of the Martian atmosphere consistent with various data of the Viking 1 and 2 and the Mariner 9 has been presented: Mars was formed from Renazzo-type meteorites polluted by the products of supernova explosion. A dense ancient Martian atmosphere has been swept away by the solar wind and the present tenuous atmosphere was supplied recently by the volcanic gas from the Tharsis region, after the occurrence of the magnetic field. (Auth.)

  18. Determination of {sup 10}Be, {sup 26}Al, and {sup 36}Cl in meteorites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Merchel, S.; Herpers [Koeln Univ. (Germany); Neumann, S.; Michel, R. [Hannover Univ. (Germany); Kubik, P.W.; Synal, H.A. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland); Suter, M. [Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule, Zurich (Switzerland)

    1997-09-01

    Long-lived cosmogenic radionuclides were determined in stony ({sup 10}Be, {sup 26}Al) and iron ({sup 10}Be, {sup 26}Al, {sup 36}Cl) meteorites using AMS after radiochemical separation. A selection of these data is briefly discussed with respect to exposure histories of the meteorites and is compared to model calculations. (author) 2 figs., 5 refs.

  19. Investigation of carbonates in the Sutter's Mill meteorite grains with hyperspectral infrared imaging micro-spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yesiltas, Mehmet

    2018-04-01

    Synchrotron-based high spatial resolution hyperspectral infrared imaging technique provides thousands of infrared spectra with high resolution, thus allowing us to acquire detailed spatial maps of chemical molecular structures for many grains in short times. Utilizing this technique, thousands of infrared spectra were analyzed at once instead of inspecting each spectrum separately. Sutter's Mill meteorite is a unique carbonaceous type meteorite with highly heterogeneous chemical composition. Multiple grains from the Sutter's Mill meteorite have been studied using this technique and the presence of both hydrous and anhydrous silicate minerals have been observed. It is observed that the carbonate mineralogy varies from simple to more complex carbonates even within a few microns in the meteorite grains. These variations, the type and distribution of calcite-like vs. dolomite-like carbonates are presented by means of hyperspectral FTIR imaging spectroscopy with high resolution. Various scenarios for the formation of different carbonate compositions in the Sutter's Mill parent body are discussed.

  20. Carbon isotope composition of individual amino acids in the Murchison meteorite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Engel, M.H.; Macko, S.A.; Silter, J.A.

    1996-01-01

    A SIGNIFICANT parties of prebiotic organic matter on the early Earth may have been introduced by carbonaceous asteroids and comets. 1 The distribution and stable-isotope composition of individual organic compounds in carbonaceous meteorites, which are thought to be derived from asteroidal parent bodies, may therefore provide important information concerning mechanistic pathways for prebiotic synthesis 2 and the composition of organic matter on Earth before living systems developed. 3 Previous studies 11,12 have shown that meteorite amino acids are enriched in 13 C relatives to their terrestrial counterparts, but individual species were not distinguished. Here we report the 13 C contents of individual amino acids in the Murchison meteorite. The amino acids are enriched in 13 C, indicating an extraterrestrial origin. Alanine is not racemic, and the 13 C enrichment of its D- and L-enantiomers implies that the excess of the L-enantiomer is indigenous rather than terrestrial contamination, suggesting that optically active materials were present in the early Solar System before life began. copyright 1996 American Institute of Physics

  1. Post-Viking view of Martian geologic evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arvidson, R.E.; Goettel, K.A.; Hohenberg, C.M.

    1980-01-01

    The mean density, 3.393 g/cm 3 , and the estimated moment of inertia factor constrain the density distribution within Mars but do not define it uniquely. For plausible core density, core radii can range from approx. 1350 to approx. 2200 km, with the core constituting from approx. 13 to approx. 35% of the planet's mass. Possible extremes for the zero-pressure density of the Martian mantle could be as high as 3.6 g/cm 3 or as low as 3.3 g/cm 3 . The Martian mantle is probably denser than the terrestrial mantle. The dominant Martian lavas are probably mafic or ultramafic. Martian surface materials probably consist of variable proportions of mafic igneous minerals and weathering products, the latter primarily oxides and carbonates. A major geologic dichotomy exists between the complex northern plains and the ancient southern cratered terrain. The Tharsis plateau, which dominates the low-degree harmonics of the gravity field, appears to be only partially compensated; Olympus Mons appears to be completely uncompensated. Substantial stresses must be supported, either statically by a thick, rigid lithosphere, or dynamically. Mean crustal thicknesses from 23 to 40 km have been obtained from modeling of Bouguer gravity data. Lithospheric thicknesses from 25 to 50 km under volcanoes in the Tharsis and Elysium provinces to >150 km under olympus Mons have been obtained from consideration of the effects of mass loading by volcanic constructs. Many of the compressional and extensional features on Mars have orientations consistent with formation by fracturing in response to loading by the Tharsis plateau. The deficiency of small craters within cratered terrain is attributed to obliteration by volcanism. The maximum resurfacing rate due to volcanism occurred between 1.0 and 1.5 b.y. ago if a constant cratering flux is assumed and between 3.5 and 4.0 b.y. ago if the lunar cratering flux (scaled to Mars) is assumed

  2. Permeability Barrier Generation in the Martian Lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schools, Joe; Montési, Laurent

    2015-11-01

    Permeability barriers develop when a magma produced in the interior of a planet rises into the cooler lithosphere and crystallizes more rapidly than the lithosphere can deform (Sparks and Parmentier, 1991). Crystallization products may then clog the porous network in which melt is propagating, reducing the permeability to almost zero, i.e., forming a permeability barrier. Subsequent melts cannot cross the barrier. Permeability barriers have been useful to explain variations in crustal thickness at mid-ocean ridges on Earth (Magde et al., 1997; Hebert and Montési, 2011; Montési et al., 2011). We explore here under what conditions permeability barriers may form on Mars.We use the MELTS thermodynamic calculator (Ghiorso and Sack, 1995; Ghiorso et al., 2002; Asimow et al., 2004) in conjunction with estimated Martian mantle compositions (Morgan and Anders, 1979; Wänke and Dreibus, 1994; Lodders and Fegley, 1997; Sanloup et al., 1999; Taylor 2013) to model the formation of permeability barriers in the lithosphere of Mars. In order to represent potential past and present conditions of Mars, we vary the lithospheric thickness, mantle potential temperature (heat flux), oxygen fugacity, and water content.Our results show that permeability layers can develop in the thermal boundary layer of the simulated Martian lithosphere if the mantle potential temperature is higher than ~1500°C. The various Martian mantle compositions yield barriers in the same locations, under matching variable conditions. There is no significant difference in barrier location over the range of accepted Martian oxygen fugacity values. Water content is the most significant influence on barrier development as it reduces the temperature of crystallization, allowing melt to rise further into the lithosphere. Our lower temperature and thicker lithosphere model runs, which are likely the most similar to modern Mars, show no permeability barrier generation. Losing the possibility of having a permeability

  3. Falling sky the science and history of meteorites and why we should learn to love them

    CERN Document Server

    Nield, Ted

    2011-01-01

    Did an enormous collision in the Asteroid Belt, orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter, bombard Earth with meteorites 470 million years ago? Astonishing new research suggests it did, and a revolutionary theory is emerging that this bombardment resulted in the single greatest increase in biological diversity on the planet since the origin of life. Introducing these discoveries to the general public for the first time, Ted Nield challenges the view that meteorites are bad news. Tracing the history of meteorites from the first recorded strike to the videos made routinely today, he reveals the fascinating ways in which meteorites have transformed from omens of doom to a stepping stone to Mars in twenty-first-century space exploration. The Falling Sky will shatter everything you thought you knew about one of the most terrifying forces in the universe.

  4. Low γ activity measurement of meteorites using HPGe–NaI detector system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Colombetti, P. [Dipartimento di Fisica dell' Università di Torino (Italy); Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino – INAF, Torino (Italy); Taricco, C., E-mail: carla.taricco@unito.it [Dipartimento di Fisica dell' Università di Torino (Italy); Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino – INAF, Torino (Italy); Bhandari, N. [Basic Sciences Research Institute, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad (India); Sinha, N. [Department of Science, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston (United States); Di Martino, M.; Cora, A. [Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino – INAF, Torino (Italy); Vivaldo, G. [Dipartimento di Fisica dell' Università di Torino (Italy)

    2013-08-01

    The radioactivity in natural samples like cosmogenic isotopes in meteorites, in Moon samples, in earth and ice in Antarctica, produced by protons, neutrons, μ mesons and other charged particles, is very low, usually below 0.001 disintegration per minute per gram. Therefore, very special techniques are required, particularly if the sample cannot be destroyed for chemical separation and system must have possibility of counting large amount of sample. For this purpose we have developed a highly selective Ge–NaI coincidence spectrometer, operating in the underground Laboratory of Monte dei Cappuccini (INAF) in Torino. We have then improved it by developing a multiparametric acquisition system, which allows better selectivity of the coincidence windows (e.g., in meteorites, to disentangle cosmogenic {sup 44}Ti signal from overlapping {sup 214}Bi, originated by naturally occurring {sup 238}U). Applications of this system to the study of meteorites (chondrite, achondrite and iron samples) are described.

  5. Microwave Palaeointensity Experiments On Terrestrial and Martian Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, J.; Hill, M.; Gratton, M.

    The microwave palaeointensity technique was developed in Liverpool University (Walton et al 1996) and has successfully been applied to archaeological ceramics and recent lavas (Shaw et al 1996, 1999.; Hill et al 1999,2000). These published results show that microwave analysis provides accurate palaeointensity determinations com- bined with a very high success rate. Most recently the technique has been successfully applied to Martian material (Shaw et al, 2001) to look for the existence of an internal Martian dynamo early in Martian history. New experiments have been carried out us- ing microwaves to demagnetise synthetic muti-component TRM's and new palaeoin- tensity experiments providing a comparison between microwave analysis of laboratory TRM's and conventional thermal Thellier analysis of microwave generated mTRM's. These experiments demonstrate the equivalence of microwave and thermally gener- ated TRM's. D. Walton, S Snape, T.C. Rolph, J. Shaw and J.A. Share, Application of ferromagnetic resonance heating to palaeointensity determinations.1996, Phys Earth Planet Int,94, 183-186. J. Shaw, D. Walton, S Yang, T.C.Rolph, and J.A. Share. Microwave Archaeointensities from Peruvian Ceramics. 1996, Geophys. J. Int,124,241-244 J. Shaw, S. Yang, T. C. Rolph, and F. Y. Sun. A comparison of archaeointensity results from Chinese ceramics using Microwave and conventional ThellierSs and ShawSs methods.,1999, G J Int.136, 714-718 M. Hill, and J. Shaw, 1999, Palaeointensity results for Historic Lavas from Mt. Etna using microwave demagnetisation/remagnetisation in a modified Thellier type exper- iment. G. J. Int, 139, 583-590 M. J. Hill, and J. Shaw, 2000. Magnetic field intensity study of the 1960 Kilauea lava flow, Hawaii, using the microwave palaeointensity technique, Geophys. J. Int., 142, 487-504. J. Shaw, M. Hill, and S. J. Openshaw, 2001, Investigating the ancient Martian magnetic field using microwaves, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 190 (2001) 103-109

  6. Melt Inclusion Analysis of RBT 04262 with Relationship to Shergottites and Mars Surface Compositions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potter, S. A.; Brandon, A. D.; Peslier, A. H.

    2015-01-01

    Martian meteorite RBT 04262 is in the shergottite class. It displays the two lithologies typically found in "lherzolitic shergottites": one with a poikilitic texture of large pyroxene enclosing olivine and another with non-poikilitic texture. In the case of RBT 04262, the latter strongly ressembles an olivine- phyric shergottite which led the initial classification of this meteorite in that class. RBT 04262 has been studied with regards to its petrology, geochemistry and cosmic ray exposure and belongs to the enriched oxidized end-member of the shergottites. Studies on RBT 04262 have primarily focused on the bulk rock composition or each of the lithologies independently. To further elucidate RBT 04262's petrology and use it to better understand Martian geologic history, an in-depth study of its melt inclusions (MI) is being conducted. The MI chosen for this study are found within olivine grains. MI are thought to be trapped melts of the crystallizing magma preserved by the encapsulating olivine and offer snapshots of the composition of the magma as it evolves. Some MI, in the most Mg-rich part of the olivine of olivine-pyric shergottites, may even be representative of the meteorite parent melt.

  7. Magnetism in meteorites. [terminology, principles and techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herndon, J. M.; Rowe, M. W.

    1974-01-01

    An overview of this subject is presented. The paper includes a glossary of magnetism terminology and a discussion of magnetic techniques used in meteorite research. These techniques comprise thermomagnetic analysis, alternating field demagnetization, thermal demagnetization, magnetic anisotropy, low-temperature cycling, and coercive forces, with emphasis on the first method. Limitations on the validity of paleointensity determinations are also discussed.

  8. Pairing Relationships Among Feldspathic Lunar Meteorites from Miller Range, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeigler, Ryan A.; Korotev, R. L.; Jolliff, B. L.

    2012-01-01

    The Miller Range ice fields have been amongst the most prolific for lunar meteorites that ANSMET has searched [1-3]. Six different stones have been recovered during the 2005, 2007, and 2009 field seasons: MIL 05035 (142 g), MIL 07006 (1.4 g), MIL 090034 (196 g), MIL 090036 (245 g), MIL 090070 (137 g), and MIL 090075 (144 g). Of these, the five stones collected during the 2007 and 2009 seasons are feldspathic breccias. Previous work on the Miller Range feldspathic lunar meteorites (FLMs) has suggested that they are not all paired with each other [4-5]. Here we examine the pairing relationships among the Miller Range FLMs using petrography in concert with traceand major-element compositions.

  9. Meteorite-catalyzed synthesis of nucleosides and other prebiotic compounds

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ferus, Martin; Knížek, Antonín; Civiš, Svatopluk

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 112, č. 23 (2015), s. 7109-7110 ISSN 0027-8424 Institutional support: RVO:61388955 Keywords : meteorite-catalzzed synthesis * nucleosides * prebiotic compounds Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry Impact factor: 9.423, year: 2015

  10. Radio Emissions from Electrical Activity in Martian Dust Storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majid, W.; Arabshahi, S.; Kocz, J.; Schulter, T.; White, L.

    2017-12-01

    Dust storms on Mars are predicted to be capable of producing electrostatic fields and discharges, even larger than those in dust storms on Earth. There are three key elements in the characterization of Martian electrostatic discharges: dependence on Martian environmental conditions, event rate, and the strength of the generated electric fields. The detection and characterization of electric activity in Martian dust storms has important implications for habitability, and preparations for human exploration of the red planet. Furthermore, electrostatic discharges may be linked to local chemistry and plays an important role in the predicted global electrical circuit. Because of the continuous Mars telecommunication needs of NASA's Mars-based assets, the Deep Space Network (DSN) is the only facility in the world that combines long term, high cadence, observing opportunities with large sensitive telescopes, making it a unique asset worldwide in searching for and characterizing electrostatic activity from large scale convective dust storms at Mars. We will describe a newly inaugurated program at NASA's Madrid Deep Space Communication Complex to carry out a long-term monitoring campaign to search for and characterize the entire Mars hemisphere for powerful discharges during routine tracking of spacecraft at Mars on an entirely non-interfering basis. The ground-based detections will also have important implications for the design of a future instrument that could make similar in-situ measurements from orbit or from the surface of Mars, with far greater sensitivity and duty cycle, opening up a new window in our understanding of the Martian environment.

  11. Formation of a hybrid-type proto-atmosphere on Mars accreting in the solar nebula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Hiroaki; Kuramoto, Kiyoshi

    2018-03-01

    Recent studies of the chronology of Martian meteorites suggest that the growth of Mars was almost complete within a few Myr after the birth of the Solar system. During such rapid accretion, proto-Mars likely gravitationally maintained both the solar nebula component and the impact degassing component, containing H2O vapour and reduced gas species, as a proto-atmosphere to be called a hybrid-type proto-atmosphere. Here we numerically analyse the mass and composition of the degassed component and the atmospheric thermal structure sustained by accretional heating. Our results predict that a growing Mars possibly acquired a massive and hot hybrid-type proto-atmosphere with surface pressure and temperature greater than several kbar and 2000 K, respectively, which is sufficient to produce a deep magma ocean. In such a high-temperature and high-pressure environment, a significant amount of H2O, CH4, CO, and H2 is expected to be partitioned into the planetary interior, although this would strongly depend on the dynamics of the magma ocean and mantle solidification. The dissolved H2O may explain the wet Martian mantle implied from basaltic Martian meteorites. Along with the remnant reduced atmosphere after the hydrodynamic atmospheric escape, dissolved reduced gas species may have maintained an earliest Martian surface environment that allowed prebiotic chemical evolution and liquid H2O activities.

  12. Nature and evolution of the meteorite parent bodies: Evidence from petrology and metallurgy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, J. A.

    1978-01-01

    The physical as well as chemical properties of the meteorite parent bodies are reviewed and it is concluded that many differentiated meteorites were likely formed in asteroidal-sized parents. A new model is developed for the formation of pallasites at the interface between an iron core and olivine mantle in differentiated bodies only about 10 km in diameter, which are later incorporated into a second generation of larger (100 km) parent bodies.

  13. Martian Bow Shock and Magnetic Pile-Up Barrier Formation Due to the Exosphere Ion Mass-Loading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eojin Kim

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Bow shock, formed by the interaction between the solar wind and a planet, is generated in different patterns depending on the conditions of the planet. In the case of the earth, its own strong magnetic field plays a critical role in determining the position of the bow shock. However, in the case of Mars of which has very a small intrinsic magnetic field, the bow shock is formed by the direct interaction between the solar wind and the Martian ionosphere. It is known that the position of the Martian bow shock is affected by the mass loading-effect by which the supersonic solar wind velocity becomes subsonic as the heavy ions originating from the planet are loaded on the solar wind. We simulated the Martian magnetosphere depending on the changes of the density and velocity of the solar wind by using the three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic model built by modifying the comet code that includes the mass loading effect. The Martian exosphere model of was employed as the Martian atmosphere model, and only the photoionization by the solar radiation was considered in the ionization process of the neutral atmosphere. In the simulation result under the normal solar wind conditions, the Martian bow shock position in the subsolar point direction was consistent with the result of the previous studies. The three-dimensional simulation results produced by varying the solar wind density and velocity were all included in the range of the Martian bow shock position observed by Mariner 4, Mars 2, 3, 5, and Phobos 2. Additionally, the simulation result also showed that the change of the solar wind density had a greater effect on the Martian bow shock position than the change of the solar wind velocity. Our result may be useful in analyzing the future observation data by Martian probes.

  14. A Meteorite Dropping Superbolide from the Catastrophycally Disrupted Comet C1919Q2 Metcalf: A Pathway for Meteorites from Jupiter Family Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trigo-Rodríguez, J. M.; Madiedo, J. M.; Williams, I. P.; Castro-Tirado, A. J.; Llorca, J.; Vítek, S.; Jelínek, M.

    2009-03-01

    A meter-sized meteoroid probably produced during the disintegration of comet C1919Q2 Metcalf was observed producing a -18 magn. bolide (MNRAS, in press).The progenitor meteoroid was sufficiently large and of high enough tensile strength to produce meteorites.

  15. Stardust from meteorites an introduction to presolar grains

    CERN Document Server

    Lugaro, Maria

    2005-01-01

    The study of presolar meteoritic grains is a new inter-disciplinary field that brings together topics from nuclear physics to astronomy and chemistry. Traditionally, most of the information about the cosmos has been gathered by observing light through telescopes. However, with the recent discovery that some dust grains extracted from primitive meteorites were produced in stellar environments, we now have the opportunity to gather information about stars and our Galaxy from the laboratory analysis of tiny pieces of stardust. Stellar grains represent a unique and fascinating subject of study. Their analysis is a breakthrough in research on stellar nucleosynthesis and the origin of the elements. While a number of specialized reviews exist on the topic, this book is the first work that brings together in a unified and accessible manner the background knowledge necessary for the study of presolar grains together with up-to-date discoveries in the field. The book includes exercise questions and answers, an extensiv...

  16. Structural Characterization of Iron Meteorites through Neutron Tomography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Caporali

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available In this communication, we demonstrate the use of neutron tomography for the structural characterization of iron meteorites. These materials prevalently consist of metallic iron with variable nickel content. Their study and classification is traditionally based on chemical and structural analysis. The latter requires cutting, polishing and chemical etching of large slabs of the sample in order to determine the average width of the largest kamacite lamellae. Although this approach is useful to infer the genetical history of these meteorites, it is not applicable to small or precious samples. On the base of different attenuation coefficient of cold neutrons for nickel and iron, neutron tomography allows the reconstruction of the Ni-rich (taenite and Ni-poor (kamacite metallic phases. Therefore, the measure of the average width of the largest kamacite lamellae could be determined in a non-destructive way. Furthermore, the size, shape, and spatial correlation between kamacite and taenite crystals were obtained more efficiently and accurately than via metallographic investigation.

  17. Investigations of Al-Dalang and Al-Hawashat meteorites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gismelseed, A. M., E-mail: abbasher@squ.edu.om [Sultan Qaboos University, College of Science (Oman); Abdallah, S. B. [University of Khartoum, Department of Geology, Faculty of Science (Sudan); Al-Rawas, A. D.; Al-Mabsali, F. N.; Widatallah, H. M.; Elzain, M. E.; Yousif, A. A. [Sultan Qaboos University, College of Science (Oman); Ericsson, T. [Uppsala University, Department of Physics and Material Sciences (Sweden); Annersten, H. [Uppsala University, Department of Earth Sciences (Sweden)

    2016-12-15

    Mössbauer spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements, and electron microprobe analysis (EMPA) have been performed on two meteorites named Al-Dalang and Al-Hawashat after identifying their falling sites in the Western region of Sudan. These two meteorites are ordinary chondrites with similar mineralogy. XRD and EMPA show that the two specimens consist of primary olivine, ortho-pyroxene and later crystallising clino-pyroxene as reaction rims against plagioclase. Fe-metal phases are dominated by kamacite (≈6 wt.% Ni) and minor amounts of tetrataenite (≈52 wt.% Ni). Troilite (FeS) and alabandite (MnS) are optically observed as sulphide phases. The Mössbauer measurements at 295 and 78 K are in agreement with the above characterizations, showing at least two paramagnetic doublets which are assigned to olivine and pyroxene and magnetic sextets assigned to kamacite (hyperfine field ≈33.5 T) and troilite FeS (hyperfine field ≈31 T).

  18. Viking orbiter imaging observations of dust in the Martian atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Briggs, G.A.; Baum, W.A.; Barnes, J.

    1979-01-01

    More than 20 local Martian dust clouds and two global dust storms were observed with the Viking orbiter camera. Sixteen of the local clouds were imaged in two colors or were observed with other instruments confirming their identification as dust clouds. These Viking results are compared with earth-based observations of Martian dust storms and with Mariner 9 data. Most of the dust activity seen by Viking occurred during southern hemisphere spring and early summer, when Mars was near perihelion and isolation was near maximum. About half the local clouds occurred near the edge of the southern polar cap, where winds are presumably enhanced by a strong regional temperature gradient. The other half occurred mainly in the southern hemisphere near regions where circulation models incorporating topography predict positive vertical velocities. Although dust clouds observed from earth show a similar partial correlation with models, some ambiguity exists concerning interpretation of regions near Hellespontus that have spawned the most spectacular Martian dust storms on record

  19. Lunar and Meteorite Sample Education Disk Program — Space Rocks for Classrooms, Museums, Science Centers, and Libraries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, J.; Luckey, M.; McInturff, B.; Huynh, P.; Tobola, K.; Loftin, L.

    2010-03-01

    NASA’s Lunar and Meteorite Sample Education Disk Program has Lucite disks containing Apollo lunar samples and meteorite samples that are available for trained educators to borrow for use in classrooms, museums, science center, and libraries.

  20. Do the age differences given by relative or absolute chronologies of the most ancient meteorites correspond to real age differences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pellas, P.

    1982-01-01

    Recent results from absolute and relative chronologies of the most ancient meteorites are reviewed in order to analyze if they are significant or not. Use of the various chronometers to analyze the same meteoritic sample is shown to be an interesting approach to retrace the prehistory of meteorites and their environments. (orig.)

  1. The chemical reactivity of the Martian soil and implications for future missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zent, Aaron P.; Mckay, Christopher P.

    1994-01-01

    Possible interpretations of the results of the Viking Biology Experiments suggest that greater than 1 ppm of a thermally labile oxidant, perhaps H2O2, and about 10 ppm of a thermally stable oxidant are present in the martian soil. We reexamine these results and discuss implications for future missions, the search for organics on Mars, and the possible health and engineering effects for human exploration. We conclude that further characterization of the reactivity of the martian regolith materials is warrented-although if our present understanding is correct the oxidant does not pose a hazard to humans. There are difficulties in explaining the reactivity of the Martian soil by oxidants. Most bulk phase compounds that are capable of oxidizing H2O to O2 per the Gas Exchange Experiment (GEx) are thermally labile or unstable against reduction by atmospheric CO2. Models invoking trapped O2 or peroxynitrates (NOO2(-)) require an unlikely geologic history for the Viking Lander 2 site. Most suggested oxidants, including H2O2, are expected to decompose rapidly under martian UV. Nonetheless, we conclude that the best model for the martian soil contains oxidants produced by heterogeneous chemical reactions with a photochemically produced atmospheric oxidant. The GEx results may be due to catalytic decomposition of an unstable oxidizing material by H2O. We show that interfacial reaction sites covering less than 1% of the available soil surfaces could explain the Viking Biology Experiments results.

  2. Characterization and classification or the first meteorite fall in Varre-Sai town, southeast Brazil, using X-ray microfluorescence technique

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alves, Haimon D.L. [Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (COPPE/UFRJ), RJ (Brazil). Coordenacao dos Programas de Pos-Graduacao de Engenharia. Programa de Engenharia Nuclear; Assis, Joaquim T. de, E-mail: joaquim@iprj.uerj.b [Instituto Politecnico do Rio de Janeiro (IPRJ/UERJ), Nova Friburgo, RJ (Brazil); Valeriano, Claudio [Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), RJ (Brazil). Dept. de Geologia; Turbay, Caio [Universidade Federal do Espirito Santo (UFES), Alegre, ES (Brazil). Dept. de Geologia

    2011-07-01

    On the night of June 19th, 2010, a meteorite fell nearby the town of Varre-Sai, Rio de Janeiro state, southeast Brazil. A small part of it was found and taken for analysis. A meteorite analysis can give researchers a better understanding of the origins of the Universe. However, some of the most traditionalist methods of characterization and classification of meteorites are destructive. In this paper we present the results of a chemical analysis and classification of this particular meteorite using X-ray microfluorescence ({mu}XRF), a non-destructive technique that allows for a quick and easy elemental analysis within the range of micrometers. Both sides of the meteorite were measured, 35 points in total, using Artax, a state of the art {mu}XRF system developed by Bruker, at 50 kV tension and 700 {mu}A current. Quantitative analysis using direct comparison of counting rates method showed concentrations of iron and nickel together of roughly 7.86%. We found that it is possible to distinguish this meteorite from most of the categories as an ordinary L-type chondrite but a more thorough analysis might be necessary so as to obtain a more detailed classification. (author)

  3. Molybdenum isotopic evidence for the origin of chondrules and a distinct genetic heritage of carbonaceous and non-carbonaceous meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budde, Gerrit; Burkhardt, Christoph; Brennecka, Gregory A.; Fischer-Gödde, Mario; Kruijer, Thomas S.; Kleine, Thorsten

    2016-11-01

    Nucleosynthetic isotope anomalies are powerful tracers to determine the provenance of meteorites and their components, and to identify genetic links between these materials. Here we show that chondrules and matrix separated from the Allende CV3 chondrite have complementary nucleosynthetic Mo isotope anomalies. These anomalies result from the enrichment of a presolar carrier enriched in s-process Mo into the matrix, and the corresponding depletion of this carrier in the chondrules. This carrier most likely is a metal and so the uneven distribution of presolar material probably results from metal-silicate fractionation during chondrule formation. The Mo isotope anomalies correlate with those reported for W isotopes on the same samples in an earlier study, suggesting that the isotope variations for both Mo and W are caused by the heterogeneous distribution of the same carrier. The isotopic complementary of chondrules and matrix indicates that both components are genetically linked and formed together from one common reservoir of solar nebula dust. As such, the isotopic data require that most chondrules formed in the solar nebula and are not a product of protoplanetary impacts. Allende chondrules and matrix together with bulk carbonaceous chondrites and some iron meteorites (groups IID, IIIF, and IVB) show uniform excesses in 92Mo, 95Mo, and 97Mo that result from the addition of supernova material to the solar nebula region in which these carbonaceous meteorites formed. Non-carbonaceous meteorites (enstatite and ordinary chondrites as well as most iron meteorites) do not contain this material, demonstrating that two distinct Mo isotope reservoirs co-existed in the early solar nebula that remained spatially separated for several million years. This separation was most likely achieved through the formation of the gas giants, which cleared the disk between the inner and outer solar system regions parental to the non-carbonaceous and carbonaceous meteorites. The Mo isotope

  4. Mars Gardens in the University - Red Thumbs: Growing Vegetables in Martian regolith simulant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guinan, Edward Francis

    2018-01-01

    Over the next few decades NASA and private enterprise missions plan to send manned missions to Mars with the ultimate aim to establish a permanent human presence on this planet. For a self-sustaining colony on Mars it will be necessary to provide food by growing plants in sheltered greenhouses on the Martian surface. As part of an undergraduate student project in Astrobiology at Villanova University, experiments are being carried out, testing how various plants grow in Martian regolith. A wide sample of plants are being grown and tested in Mars regolith simulant commercially available from The Martian Garden (TheMartian Garden.com). This Mars regolith simulant is based on Mojave Mars Simulant (MMS) developed by NASA and JPL for the Mars Phoenix mission. The MMS is based on the Mojave Saddleback basalt similar that used by JPL/NASA. Additional reagents were added to this iron rich basalt to bring the chemical content close to actual Mars regolith. The MMS used is an approximately 90% similar to regolith found on the surface of Mars - excluding poisonous perchlorates commonly found on actual Mars surface.The students have selected various vegetables and herbs to grow and test. These include carrots, spinach, dandelions, kale, soy beans, peas, onions, garlic and of course potatoes and sweet potatoes. Plants were tested in various growing conditions, using different fertilizers, and varying light conditions and compared with identical “control plants” grown in Earth soil / humus. The results of the project will be discussed from an education view point as well as from usefulness for fundamental research.We thank The Martian Garden for providing Martian regolith simulant at education discounted prices.

  5. Gamma-emissions of some meteorites and terrestrial rocks. Evaluation of lunar soil radioactivity; Emissions gamma de quelques meteorites et roches terrestres. Evaluation de la radioactivite du sol lunaire

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nordemann, D. [Commissariat a l' Energie Atomique, Centre d' Etudes Nucleaires de Saclay, 91 - Gif-sur-Yvette (France)

    1966-07-01

    The gamma-emissions of some terrestrial rocks and of the following meteorites: Bogou, Eagle-Station, Granes, and Dosso were studied by quantitative low background gamma spectrometry. These measurements and their interpretation lead to the evaluation of the possible gamma-emissions of several models of lunar soils. (author) [French] Les emissions gamma des meteorites Bogou, Eagle-Station, Granes et Dosso et de quelques roches terrestres ont ete etudiees par spectrometrie gamma quantitative a faible mouvement propre. Ces mesures et leur interpretation permettent d'evaluer les principales contributions des emissions gamma du sol lunaire pour des modeles de compositions possibles variees. (auteur)

  6. Gamma-emissions of some meteorites and terrestrial rocks. Evaluation of lunar soil radioactivity; Emissions gamma de quelques meteorites et roches terrestres. Evaluation de la radioactivite du sol lunaire

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nordemann, D [Commissariat a l' Energie Atomique, Centre d' Etudes Nucleaires de Saclay, 91 - Gif-sur-Yvette (France)

    1966-07-01

    The gamma-emissions of some terrestrial rocks and of the following meteorites: Bogou, Eagle-Station, Granes, and Dosso were studied by quantitative low background gamma spectrometry. These measurements and their interpretation lead to the evaluation of the possible gamma-emissions of several models of lunar soils. (author) [French] Les emissions gamma des meteorites Bogou, Eagle-Station, Granes et Dosso et de quelques roches terrestres ont ete etudiees par spectrometrie gamma quantitative a faible mouvement propre. Ces mesures et leur interpretation permettent d'evaluer les principales contributions des emissions gamma du sol lunaire pour des modeles de compositions possibles variees. (auteur)

  7. Meteor Crater (Barringer Meteorite Crater), Arizona: Summary of Impact Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roddy, D. J.; Shoemaker, E. M.

    1995-09-01

    Meteor Crater in northern Arizona represents the most abundant type of impact feature in our Solar System, i.e., the simple bowl-shaped crater. Excellent exposures and preservation of this large crater and its ejecta blanket have made it a critical data set in both terrestrial and planetary cratering research. Recognition of the value of the crater was initiated in the early 1900's by Daniel Moreau Barringer, whose 27 years of exploration championed its impact origin [1]. In 1960, Shoemaker presented information that conclusively demonstrated that Meteor Crater was formed by hypervelocity impact [2]. This led the U.S. Geological Survey to use the crater extensively in the 1960-70's as a prime training site for the Apollo astronauts. Today, Meteor Crater continues to serve as an important research site for the international science community, as well as an educational site for over 300,000 visitors per year. Since the late 1950's, studies of this crater have presented an increasingly clearer view of this impact and its effects and have provided an improved view of impact cratering in general. To expand on this data set, we are preparing an upgraded summary on the Meteor Crater event following the format in [3], including information and interpretations on: 1) Inferred origin and age of the impacting body, 2) Inferred ablation and deceleration history in Earth's atmosphere, 3) Estimated speed, trajectory, angle of impact, and bow shock conditions, 4) Estimated coherence, density, size, and mass of impacting body, 5) Composition of impacting body (Canyon Diablo meteorite), 6) Estimated kinetic energy coupled to target rocks and atmosphere, 7) Terrain conditions at time of impact and age of impact, 8) Estimated impact dynamics, such as pressures in air, meteorite, and rocks, 9) Inferred and estimated material partitioning into vapor, melt, and fragments, 10) Crater and near-field ejecta parameters, 11) Rock unit distributions in ejecta blanket, 12) Estimated far

  8. The Wells Creek Meteorite Impact Site and Changing Views on Impact Cratering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, J. R. H.; Orchiston, Wayne; Clendening, Ron

    2012-11-01

    Wells Creek is a confirmed meteorite impact site in Tennessee, USA. The Wells Creek structure was first noticed by railroad surveyors around 1855 and brought to the attention of J.M. Safford, Tennessee's State Geologist. He included an insert in the 1869 Geologic Map of Tennessee, which is the first known map to include the structure. The origin of the Wells Creek structure was controversial, and was interpreted as being either the result of volcanic steam explosion or meteorite impact. It was only in the 1960s that Wilson and Stearns were able to state that the impact hypothesis was preferred. Evidence for a Wells Creek meteorite impact includes drill core results, extreme brecciation and shatter cones, while a local lack of volcanic material is telling. Just to the north of the Wells Creek Basin are three small basins that Wilson concluded were associated with the Wells Creek impact event, but evidence regarding the origin of the Austin, Indian Mound and Cave Spring Hollow sites is not conclusive.

  9. No evidence for a decrease of nuclear decay rates with increasing heliocentric distance based on radiochronology of meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Matthias M. M.; Wieler, Rainer

    2014-03-01

    It has been argued that the decay rates of several radioactive nuclides are slightly lower at Earth's aphelion than at perihelion, and that this effect might depend on heliocentric distance. It might then be expected that nuclear decay rates be considerably lower at larger distances from the sun, e.g., in the asteroid belt at 2-3 AU from where most meteorites originate. If so, ages of meteorites obtained by analyses of radioactive nuclides and their stable daughter isotopes might be in error, since these ages are based on decay rates determined on Earth. Here we evaluate whether the large data base on nuclear cosmochronology offers any hint for discrepancies which might be due to radially variable decay rates. Chlorine-36 (t1/2 = 301,000 a) is produced in meteorites by interactions with cosmic rays and is the nuclide for which a decay rate dependence from heliocentric distance has been proposed, which, in principle, can be tested with our approach and the current data base. We show that compilations of 36Cl concentrations measured in meteorites offer no support for a spatially variable 36Cl decay rate. For very short-lived cosmic-ray produced radionuclides (half-lives uranium decay rates in different meteorite parent bodies in the asteroid belt. Moreover, the oldest U-Pb ages of meteorites agree with the main-sequence age of the sun derived from helioseismology within the formal ˜1% uncertainty of the latter. Meteorite ages also provide no evidence for a decrease of decay rates with heliocentric distance for nuclides such as 87Rb (decay mode β-) 40K (β- and electron capture), and 147Sm (α).

  10. Characterization of the Carancas-Puno meteorite by energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffractometry and transmission Moessbauer spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ceron Loayza, Maria L., E-mail: malucelo@hotmail.com; Bravo Cabrejos, Jorge A. [Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Laboratorio de Analisis de Suelos, Facultad de Ciencias Fisicas (Peru)

    2011-11-15

    We report the results of the study of a meteorite that impacted an inhabited zone on 15 September 2007 in the neighborhood of the town of Carancas, Puno Region, about 1,300 km south of Lima. The analysis carried out by energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffractometry and transmission Moessbauer spectroscopy (at room temperature and at 4.2 K), reveal the presence in the meteorite sample of magnetic sites assigned to taenite (Fe,Ni) and troilite (Fe,S) phases, and of two paramagnetic doublets assigned to Fe{sup 2 + }, one associated with olivine and the other to pyroxene. In accord with these results, this meteorite is classified as a type IV chondrite meteorite.

  11. Supply of the numerical simulation for the evaluation of the sonic boom of meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Henneton, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Within the framework of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, infra-sound is one survey technique monitoring nuclear explosions. These ones have to be distinguished from natural sources of infra-sound like atmospheric meteorite entries. With a view to investigate meteorites as an infra-sound source, finite volume simulations of the hypersonic flow are performed at sufficiently far distances to reach the acoustic regime. They are then matched to a nonlinear ray tracing method to propagate the signal within the atmosphere down to the ground. For perfect gases, this approach allows us to validate the theoretical model based on simplifying assumptions. More realistic simulations in real gases at thermochemical equilibrium, show a major modification of the pressure field in the near field but a moderate influence for infra-sound at the ground level. Numerical results are compared to infra-sound and seismic measurements in the case of the well-documented meteorite of Carancas (Peru, 2007). This confrontation highlights a good agreement for the spectrum of the waveform but a large overestimation of the overpressure at receptors located near the impact crater. This study also allowed us to propose a new entry trajectory for the meteorite, and to identify one of the recorded signals as a sonic boom. (author) [fr

  12. Organic and inorganic interpretations of the martian UV-IR reflectance spectrum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pang, K D; Ajello, J M [Jet Propulsion Lab., Pasadena, CA (USA); Chun, S F.S. [California Univ., San Francisco (USA). School of Medicine; Nansheng, Z [Beijing Planetarium (China); Minji, L [Beijing Glass Institute (China)

    1982-01-07

    The Viking gas chromatography-mass spectrometer analysis of martian soil samples are discussed, in particular why no organic molecules were detected at the landing sites, whether the sterility of the two sites is representative of the entire planet and if there are locations on Mars more conducive to the formation and preservation of organics. The destruction of organic compounds has been simulated in Mars-like laboratory conditions and the possible planetwide destructive mechanism considered. The UV and IR reflectance spectra of Mars has been re-examined for any evidence of organic molecules and an upper limit on the organic carbon content of average martian soil has been set. The results reveal that the average martian soil is organic-poor, makes an unfavourable habitat for life forms based on carbon chemistry, and there is no reason to believe that organic molecules are preferentially preserved anywhere on the planet.

  13. Organic and inorganic interpretations of the martian UV-IR reflectance spectrum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pang, K.D.; Ajello, J.M.; Chun, S.F.S.; Minji, L.

    1982-01-01

    The Viking gas chromatography-mass spectrometer analysis of martian soil samples are discussed, in particular why no organic molecules were detected at the landing sites, whether the sterility of the two sites is representative of the entire planet and if there are locations on Mars more conducive to the formation and preservation of organics. The destruction of organic compounds has been simulated in Mars-like laboratory conditions and the possible planetwide destructive mechanism considered. The UV and IR reflectance spectra of Mars has been re-examined for any evidence of organic molecules and an upper limit on the organic carbon content of average martian soil has been set. The results reveal that the average martian soil is organic-poor, makes an unfavourable habitat for life forms based on carbon chemistry, and there is no reason to believe that organic molecules are preferentially preserved anywhere on the planet. (U.K.)

  14. The Kosice meteorite fall: Recovery and strewn field

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Toth, J.; Svoreň, J.; Borovička, Jiří; Spurný, Pavel; Igaz, A.; Kornos, L.; Vereš, P.; Husárik, M.; Koza, J.; Kučera, A.; Zigo, P.; Gajdoš, Š.; Világi, J.; Čapek, David; Krisandova, Z.; Tomko, D.; Šilha, J.; Schunová, E.; Bodnárová, M.; Búzová, Diana; Krejčová, T.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 50, č. 5 (2015), s. 853-863 ISSN 1086-9379 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP209/11/1382 Institutional support: RVO:67985815 ; RVO:67179843 Keywords : Kosice meteorite * fragments * impact Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics; EI - Biotechnology ; Bionics (UEK-B) Impact factor: 2.819, year: 2015

  15. Remote Sensing Observations and Numerical Simulation for Martian Layered Ejecta Craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, L.; Yue, Z.; Zhang, C.; Li, D.

    2018-04-01

    To understand past Martian climates, it is important to know the distribution and nature of water ice on Mars. Impact craters are widely used ubiquitous indicators for the presence of subsurface water or ice on Mars. Remote sensing observations and numerical simulation are powerful tools for investigating morphological and topographic features on planetary surfaces, and we can use the morphology of layered ejecta craters and hydrocode modeling to constrain possible layering and impact environments. The approach of this work consists of three stages. Firstly, the morphological characteristics of the Martian layered ejecta craters are performed based on Martian images and DEM data. Secondly, numerical modeling layered ejecta are performed through the hydrocode iSALE (impact-SALE). We present hydrocode modeling of impacts onto targets with a single icy layer within an otherwise uniform basalt crust to quantify the effects of subsurface H2O on observable layered ejecta morphologies. The model setup is based on a layered target made up of a regolithic layer (described by the basalt ANEOS), on top an ice layer (described by ANEOS equation of H2O ice), in turn on top of an underlying basaltic crust. The bolide is a 0.8 km diameter basaltic asteroid hitting the Martian surface vertically at a velocity of 12.8 km/s. Finally, the numerical results are compared with the MOLA DEM profile in order to analyze the formation mechanism of Martian layered ejecta craters. Our simulations suggest that the presence of an icy layer significantly modifies the cratering mechanics, and many of the unusual features of SLE craters may be explained by the presence of icy layers. Impact cratering on icy satellites is significantly affected by the presence of subsurface H2O.

  16. Element distribution and noble gas isotopic abundances in lunar meteorite Allan Hills A81005

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kraehenbuehl, U.; Eugster, O.; Niedermann, S.

    1986-01-01

    Antarctic meteorite ALLAN HILLS A81005, an anorthositic breccia, is recognized to be of lunar origin. The noble gases in this meteorite were analyzed and found to be solar-wind implanted gases, whose absolute and relative concentrations are quite similar to those in lunar regolith samples. A sample of this meteorite was obtained for the analysis of the noble gas isotopes, including Kr(81), and for the determination of the elemental abundances. In order to better determine the volume derived from the surface correlated gases, grain size fractions were prepared. The results of the instrumental measurements of the gamma radiation are listed. From the amounts of cosmic ray produced noble gases and respective production rates, the lunar surface residence times were calculated. It was concluded that the lunar surface time is about half a billion years

  17. A Stranger in the Midst: Searching for Relict Grains from Rare Meteorite Types in Mid-Ordovician Limestone Strata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, E.; Schmitz, B.

    2016-08-01

    A layer of Mid-Ordovician limestone harbors exceptional amounts of L-chondritic chromite grains. The layer also contains grains from potentially rarer types of meteorites, following the discovery of the fossil meteorite Österplana 065.

  18. I-Xe and 40Ar-39Ar analyses of silicate from the Eagle Station pallasite and the anomalous iron meteorite Enon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Niemeyer, S.

    1983-01-01

    Silicate from two unusual iron-rich meteorites were analyzed by the I-Xe and 40 Ar- 39 Ar techniques. Enon, an anomalous iron meteorite with chondritic silicate, shows no loss of radiogenic 40 Ar at low temperature, and gives a plateau age of 4.59 +- 0.03 Ga. Although the Xe data fail to define an I-Xe correlation the inferred Pu/U ratio is more than 2 σ above the chondritic value, and the Pu abundance derived from the concentration of Pu-fission Xe is 6 times greater than the abundance inferred for CI meteorites. These findings for Enon, coupled with data for IAB iron meteorites, suggest that presence of chondritic silicate in an iron-rich meteorite is diagnostic of an old radiometric age with little subsequent thermal disturbance. The Eagle Station pallasite, the most 16 O-rich meteorite known, gives a complex 40 Ar- 39 Ar age pattern which suggests a recent severe thermal disturbance. The absence of excess 129 Xe, and the low trapped Ar and Xe contents, are consistent with this interpretation. The similarity between 40 Ar- 39 Ar data for Eagle Station and for the olivine-rich meteorite Chassigny lends credence to the previous suggestion of a connection between Chassigny and pallasites. (author)

  19. Polygons in Martian Frost

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-428, 21 July 2003This June 2003 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a polygonal pattern developed in seasonal carbon dioxide frost in the martian southern hemisphere. The frost accumulated during the recent southern winter; it is now spring, and the carbon dioxide frost is subliming away. This image is located near 80.4oS, 200.2oW; it is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left, and covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) across.

  20. New insights on the Dronino iron meteorite by double-pulse micro-Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tempesta, Gioacchino; Senesi, Giorgio S.; Manzari, Paola; Agrosì, Giovanna

    2018-06-01

    Two fragments of an iron meteorite shower named Dronino were characterized by a novel technique, i.e. Double-Pulse micro-Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (DP-μLIBS) combined with optical microscope. This technique allowed to perform a fast and detailed analysis of the chemical composition of the fragments and permitted to determine their composition, the alteration state differences and the cooling rate of the meteorite. Qualitative analysis indicated the presence of Fe, Ni and Co in both fragments, whereas the elements Al, Ca, Mg, Si and, for the first time Li, were detected only in one fragment and were related to its post-falling alteration and contamination by weathering processes. Quantitative analysis data obtained using the calibration-free (CF) - LIBS method showed a good agreement with those obtained by traditional methods generally applied to meteorite analysis, i.e. Electron Dispersion Spectroscopy - Scanning Electron Microscopy (EDS-SEM), also performed in this study, and Electron Probe Microanalysis (EMPA) (literature data). The local and coupled variability of Ni and Co (increase of Ni and decrease of Co) determined for the unaltered portions exhibiting plessite texture, suggested the occurrence of solid state diffusion processes under a slow cooling rate for the Dronino meteorite.

  1. Martian Methane From a Cometary Source: A Hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M.; Christou, A.; Archer, D.; Conrad, P.; Cooke, W.; Eigenbrode, J.; ten Kate, I. L.; Matney, M.; Niles, P.; Sykes, M.; hide

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, methane in the martian atmosphere has been detected by Earth-based spectroscopy, the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer on the ESA Mars Express mission, and the NASA Mars Science Laboratory. The methane's origin remains a mystery, with proposed sources including volcanism, exogenous sources like impacts and interplanetary dust, aqueous alteration of olivine in the presence of carbonaceous material, release from ancient deposits of methane clathrates, and/or biological activity. An additional potential source exists: meteor showers from the emission of large comet dust particles could generate martian methane via UV pyrolysis of carbon-rich infall material. We find a correlation between the dates of Mars/cometary orbit encounters and detections of methane on Mars. We hypothesize that cometary debris falls onto Mars during these interactions, generating methane via UV photolysis.

  2. On the Maillard reaction of meteoritic amino acids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolb, Vera M.; Bajagic, Milica; Liesch, Patrick J.; Philip, Ajish; Cody, George D.

    2006-08-01

    We have performed the Maillard reaction of a series of meteoritic amino acids with sugar ribose under simulated prebiotic conditions, in the solid state at 65°C and at the room temperature. Many meteoritic amino acids are highly reactive with ribose, even at the room temperature. We have isolated high molecular weight products that are insoluble in water, and have studied their structure by the IR (infrared) and solid-state C-13 NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) spectroscopic methods. The functional groups and their distribution were similar among these products, and were comparable to the previously isolated insoluble organic materials from the Maillard reaction of the common amino acids with ribose. In addition, there were some similarities with the insoluble organic material that is found on Murchison. Our results suggest that the Maillard products may contribute to the composition of the part of the insoluble organic material that is found on Murchison. We have also studied the reaction of sodium silicate solution with the Maillard mixtures, to elucidate the process by which the organic compounds are preserved under prebiotic conditions.

  3. THE CULTURAL HISTORY OF THE INNAANGANEQ/ CAPE YORK METEORITE

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Appelt, Martin; Jensen, Jens Fog; Myrup, Mikkel

    2015-01-01

    can be used to detect buried even deeply buried iron meteorites, and that the background noise is significantly less than the expected. The additional scannings done in 2014 indicate that the anomalies are more likely to be the result of terrestial rather than extraterrestial phenomenons....

  4. Interrelating meteorite and asteroid spectra at UV-Vis-NIR wavelengths using novel multiple-scattering methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martikainen, Julia; Penttilä, Antti; Gritsevich, Maria; Muinonen, Karri

    2017-10-01

    Asteroids have remained mostly the same for the past 4.5 billion years, and provide us information on the origin, evolution and current state of the Solar System. Asteroids and meteorites can be linked by matching their respective reflectance spectra. This is difficult, because spectral features depend strongly on the surface properties, and meteorite surfaces are free of regolith dust present in asteroids. Furthermore, asteroid surfaces experience space weathering which affects their spectral features.We present a novel simulation framework for assessing the spectral properties of meteorites and asteroids and matching their reflectance spectra. The simulations are carried out by utilizing a light-scattering code that takes inhomogeneous waves into account and simulates light scattering by Gaussian-random-sphere particles large compared to the wavelength of the incident light. The code uses incoherent input and computes phase matrices by utilizing incoherent scattering matrices. Reflectance spectra are modeled by combining olivine, pyroxene, and iron, the most common materials that dominate the spectral features of asteroids and meteorites. Space weathering is taken into account by adding nanoiron into the modeled asteroid spectrum. The complex refractive indices needed for the simulations are obtained from existing databases, or derived using an optimization that utilizes our ray-optics code and the measured spectrum of the material.We demonstrate our approach by applying it to the reflectance spectrum of (4) Vesta and the reflectance spectrum of the Johnstown meteorite measured with the University of Helsinki integrating-sphere UV-Vis-NIR spectrometer.Acknowledgments. The research is funded by the ERC Advanced Grant No. 320773 (SAEMPL).

  5. Qualitative Elemental Analyses of a Meteorite Sample Found in Turkey by Photo-activation Analysis Method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ertugay, C; Boztosun, I; Ozmen, S F; Dapo, H

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, a meteorite sample provided from TÜBITAK National Observatory found in Turkey has been investigated by using a clinical linear accelerator that has endpoint energy of 18 MeV, and a high purity Germanium detector for qualitative elemental analysis within photo-activation analysis method. 21 nuclei ranging from 24Na to 149Nd have been identified in the meteorite sample. (paper)

  6. The Impact and Oxidation Survival of Selected Meteoritic Compounds: Signatures of Asteroid Organic Material on Planetary Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, George; Horz, Fred; Oleary, Alanna; Chang, Sherwood

    2013-01-01

    Polar, non-volatile organic compounds may be present on the surfaces (or near surfaces) of multiple Solar System bodies. If found, by current or future missions, it would be desirable to determine the origin(s) of such compounds, e.g., asteroidal or in situ. To test the possible survival of meteoritic compounds both during impacts with planetary surfaces and under subsequent (possibly) harsh ambient conditions, we subjected known meteoritic compounds to relatively high impact-shock pressures and/or to varying oxidizing/corrosive conditions. Tested compounds include sulfonic and phosphonic acids (S&P), polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) amino acids, keto acids, dicarboxylic acids, deoxy sugar acids, and hydroxy tricarboxylic acids (Table 1). Meteoritic sulfonic acids were found to be relatively abundant in the Murchison meteorite and to possess unusual S-33 isotope anomalies (non mass-dependent isotope fractionations). Combined with distinctive C-S and C-P bonds, the S&P are potential signatures of asteroidal organic material.

  7. Cation ordering in orthopyroxenes and cooling rates of meteorites: Low temperature cooling rates of Estherville, Bondoc and Shaw

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganguly, J.; Yang, H.; Ghose, S.

    1993-01-01

    The cooling rates of meteorites provide important constraints on the size of their parent bodies, and their accretionary and evolutionary histories. However, the cooling rates obtained so far from the commonly used metallographic, radiometric and fission-track methods have been sometimes quite controversial, such as in the case of the mesosiderites and the meteorite Shaw. We have undertaken a systematic study of the cooling rates of meteorites using a different approach, which involves single crystal x-ray determination of Fe(2+)-Mg ordering in orthopyroxenes (OP(x)) in meteorites, subject to bulk compositional constraints, and numerical simulation of the evolution of the ordering state as a function of cooling rate, within the framework of the thermodynamic and kinetic principles governing cation ordering. We report the results obtained for OP(x) crystals from Shaw and two mesosiderites, Estherville and Bondoc.

  8. Magnetism of nakhlites and chassignites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cisowski, S. M.

    1985-01-01

    Hysteresis measurements on three shergottite and two nakhlite meteorites indicate single domain grain size behavior for the highly shocked Shergotty, Zagami, and EETA 79001 meteorites, with more multidomain-like behavior for the unshocked Nakhla and Governador Valadares meteorites. High viscosity and initial susceptibility for Antarctic shergottite ALHA 7705 indicate the presence of superparamagnetic grains in this specimen. Thermomagnetic analysis indicate Shergotty and Zagami as the least initially oxidized, while EETA 79001 appears to be the most oxidized. Cooling of the meteorite samples from high temperature in air results in a substantial increase in magnetization due to the production of magnetite through oxidation exsolution of titanomagnetite. However, vacuum heating substantially suppresses this process, and in the case of EETA 79001 and Nakhla, results in a rehomogenization of the titanomagnetite grains. Remanence measurements on several subsamples of Shergotty and Zagami meteorites reveal a large variation in intensity that does not seem related to the abundance of remanence carriers. The other meteorites carry only weak remanence, suggesting weak magnetizing fields as the source of their magnetic signal. The meteorites' weak field environment is consistent with Martian or asteroidal body origin but inconsistent with terrestrial origin.

  9. The distribution of chiral asymmetry in meteorites: An investigation using asymmetric autocatalytic chiral sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawasaki, Tsuneomi; Hatase, Kunihiko; Fujii, Yusuke; Jo, Kazumichi; Soai, Kenso; Pizzarello, Sandra

    2006-11-01

    We separated and analyzed several organic and inorganic phases of the carbonaceous chondrite matrix to determine whether they contained any inherent asymmetry. Our intent was to determine any possible foci of asymmetry besides the one determined for meteoritic amino acids. As a probe, we employed a very sensitive asymmetric autocatalytic reaction. We were able to determine that asymmetry still resides in powders after extraction with water and solvents as well as in the insoluble organic material (IOM) obtained after demineralization. Asymmetry is not found any longer in the IOM after hydrothermal treatment and in meteorite powders from which all organics had been removed by O 2 plasma at low temperature. The data are interpreted to indicate a diverse molecular asymmetry residing in yet unknown meteorite organics; these organics might have had an inductive effect on organic molecular evolution upon exogenous delivery to the early Earth.

  10. Superheavy-element fission tracks in iron meteorites, and reply by Bull, R.K

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Runcorn, S.K.

    1980-01-01

    Comment is made on the lack of superheavy element (SHE) fission tracks observed in silicates from the class IA Odessa iron meteorite by Bull (Nature; 282:393 (1979)). Two explanations are suggested. Firstly, a thermal history for Odessa can be constructed in which the meteorite reaches track retention temperatures only after a time corresponding to many half lives for the SHEs (taken to be approximately 100 Myr) has elapsed and secondly that the IA irons never took up many SHEs. These suggestions are discussed in a reply by Bull. (U.K.)

  11. Sidi Ali Ou Azza (L4): A New Moroccan Fall

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chennaoui Aoudjehane, H.; Agee, C. B.; Aaranson, A.; Bouragaa, A.

    2016-08-01

    Sidi Ali Ou Azza is the latest meteorite fall in Morocco, it occurred on 28 July 2015 very close (about 40 km) to Tissint martian shergottite fall that occurred on 18 July 2011. It's one of the small group of 23 L4 ordinary chondrite falls.

  12. Methylated silicates may explain the release of chlorinated methane from Martian soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Ebbe N.; Jensen, Svend J. Knak; Nørnberg, Per; Finster, Kai

    2016-01-01

    The only organic compounds that have been detected in the Martian soil are simple chlorinated compounds released from heated surface material. However, the sources of the organic carbon are in dispute. Wind abraded silicates, which are widespread on the Martian surface, can sequester atmospheric methane which generates methylated silicates and thus could provide a mechanism for accumulation of reduced carbon in the surface soil. In this study we show that thermal volatilization of methylated silicates in the presence of perchlorate leads to the production of chlorinated methane. Thus, methylated silicates could be a source of the organic carbon released as chlorinated methane upon thermal volatilization of Martian soil samples. Further, our experiments show that the ratio of the different chlorinated compounds produced is dependent on the mass ratio of perchlorate to organic carbon in the soil.

  13. Ice photochemistry as a source of amino acids and other organic molecules in meteorites, and implications for the origin of life and the search for life in the Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernstein, Max

    2005-01-01

    The tons of extraterrestrial organic material that come to the Earth every day probably helped to made the Earth habitable, and possibly played a role in the origin of life. At the astrochemistry lab (http://www.astrochem.orq) we investigate the formation and distribution of organic molecules in space and consider the impact such molecules may have on the habitability of planets and the search for life in the Solar System. The organic compounds in meteorites include amino acids, aromatics of various sorts including purine and pyrimidine bases, and fatty acids that form bi-layer vesicles. The origin of many of these species remains mysterious, but in recent years we and others have performed experiments that suggest low temperature radiation chemistry could account for the presence and deuterium enrichment of many of these molecules. . I will present our laboratory experiments that show the viability of low temperature radiation chemistry as a source of organic molecules such as;amino acids (Nature, 2002, 416, 401-403), amphiphiles (Astrobiology, 2003, 2, 371, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 2001, 98, 815), quinones (Science, 1999, 283, 1135) and other functionalized aromatic compounds (Meteoritics, 2001, 36, 351 ; Astrophysical Journal., 2003, 582, L25), some of which were invoked as potential biomarkers in the Alan Hills 84001 Martian meteorite. Understanding how components of proteins and DNA could form in sterile space environments is also of relevance to our search for life elsewhere in the Solar System, the great task now ahead of NASA. If we find evidence of Life elsewhere in the Solar System it will probably be in form of chemical biomarkers, quintessentially biological molecules that indicate the presence of micro-organisms. While most people think of molecules such as amino acids, and nucleo-bases as good candidate biomarkers, these molecules are produced non-biotically in space and are expected to be present on the surface of other planets even in the absence of

  14. Absolute isotopic abundances of Ti in meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Niederer, F.R.; Papanastassiou, D.A.; Wasserburg, G.J.

    1985-01-01

    The absolute isotope abundance of Ti has been determined in Ca-Al-rich inclusions from the Allende and Leoville meteorites and in samples of whole meteorites. The absolute Ti isotope abundances differ by a significant mass dependent isotope fractionation transformation from the previously reported abundances, which were normalized for fractionation using 46 Ti/ 48 Ti. Therefore, the absolute compositions define distinct nucleosynthetic components from those previously identified or reflect the existence of significant mass dependent isotope fractionation in nature. We provide a general formalism for determining the possible isotope compositions of the exotic Ti from the measured composition, for different values of isotope fractionation in nature and for different mixing ratios of the exotic and normal components. The absolute Ti and Ca isotopic compositions still support the correlation of 50 Ti and 48 Ca effects in the FUN inclusions and imply contributions from neutron-rich equilibrium or quasi-equilibrium nucleosynthesis. The present identification of endemic effects at 46 Ti, for the absolute composition, implies a shortfall of an explosive-oxygen component or reflects significant isotope fractionation. Additional nucleosynthetic components are required by 47 Ti and 49 Ti effects. Components are also defined in which 48 Ti is enhanced. Results are given and discussed. (author)

  15. Redox Interactions between Iron and Carbon in Planetary Mantles: Implications for Degassing and Melting Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, A.; Righter, K.

    2009-01-01

    Carbon stability in planetary mantles has been studied by numerous authors because it is thought to be the source of C-bearing atmospheres and of C-rich lavas observed at the planetary surface. In the Earth, carbonaceous peridotites and eclogites compositions have been experimentally studied at mantle conditions [1] [2] [3]. [4] showed that the fO2 variations observed in martian meteorites can be explained by polybaric graphite-CO-CO2 equilibria in the Martian mantle. Based on thermodynamic calculations [4] and [5] inferred that the stable form of carbon in the source regions of the Martian basalts should be graphite (and/or diamond), and equilibrium with melts would be a source of CO2 for the martian atmosphere. Considering the high content of iron in the Martian mantle (approx.18.0 wt% FeO; [6]), compared to Earth s mantle (8.0 wt% FeO; [7]) Fe/C redox interactions should be studied in more detail.

  16. Chlorine and Sulfur Volatiles from in Situ Measurements of Martian Surface Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.

    2014-12-01

    A sentinel discovery by the first in situ measurements on Mars was the high sulfur and chlorine content of global-wide soils. A variety of circumstantial evidence led to the conclusion that soil S is in the form of sulfate, and the Cl is probably chloride. An early hypothesis states that these volatiles are emitted as gases from magmas, and quickly react with dust, soil, and exposed rocks. Subsequent determination that SNC meteorites are also samples of the martian crust revealed a significantly higher S content, as sulfide, than terrestrial igneous rocks but substantially less than in soils. The ensuing wet chemical analyses by the high-latitude Phoenix mission discovered not only chloride but also perchlorate and possibly chlorate. MSL data now also implicate perchlorate at low latitudes. Gaseous interactions may have produced amorphous material on grain surfaces without forming stoichiometric salts. Yet, when exposed to liquid water, Phoenix samples released electrolytes, indicating that the soils have not been leached by rain or fresh groundwater. Sulfate occurrences at many locations on Mars, as well as some chloride enrichments, have now been discovered by remote sensing, Landed missions have discovered Cl-enrichments and ferric, Mg, Ca and more complex sulfates as duricrust, subsurface soil horizons, sandstone evaporites, and rock coatings - most of which cannot be detected from orbit. Salt-forming volatiles affect habitability wherever they are in physical contact: physicochemical parameters (ionic strength, freezing point, water activity); S is an essential element for terrestrial organisms; perchlorate is an oxidant which can degrade some organics but also can be utilized as an energy source; the entire valence range of S-compounds has been exploited by diverse microbiota on Earth. Whether such salt-induced conditions are "extremes" of habitability depends on the relative abundance of liquid H2O.

  17. Biological life support systems for martian missions: some problems and prospects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tikhomirov, A. A.; Ushakova, S. A.; Kovaleva, N. P.; Lasseur, C.

    Taking into account the experience of scientific researches obtained during experiments in the BIOS - 3 of the Institute of Biophysics of Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Science (IBP SB RAS) and the MELISSA program (ESA), approaches in creation biological life support systems for a flight period and a fixed-site base of Martian mission are considered. Various alternate variants of designing of elements of BLSS based on use of Chlorella and/or Spirulina, and also greenhouses with higher plants for the flight period of Martian mission are analyzed. For this purpose construction of BLSS ensuring full closure of matter turnover according to gas exchange and water and partial closure on the human's exometabolites is supposed. For the fixed site Martian station BLSS based on use of higher plants with a various degree of closure of internal mass exchange are suggested. Various versions of BLSS configuration and degree of closure of mass exchange depending on duration of Martian mission, the diet type of a crew and some other conditions are considered. Special attention is given to problems of reliability and tolerance of matter turnover processes in BLSS which maintenance is connected, in particular, with additional oxygen reproduction inside a system. Technologies for realization of BLSS of various configurations are offered and justified. The auxiliary role of the physicochemical methods in BLSS functioning both for the flight period and for the crew stay on Mars is justified.

  18. Mineralogic and compositional properties of Martian soil and dust: results from Mars Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, J.F.; McSween, H.Y.; Crisp, J.A.; Morris, R.V.; Murchie, S.L.; Bridges, N.T.; Johnson, J. R.; Britt, D.T.; Golombek, M.P.; Moore, H.J.; Ghosh, A.; Bishop, J.L.; Anderson, R.C.; Brückner, J.; Economou, T.; Greenwood, J.P.; Gunnlaugsson, H.P.; Hargraves, R.M.; Hviid, S.; Knudsen, J.M.; Madsen, M.B.; Reid, R.; Rieder, R.; Soderblom, L.

    2000-01-01

    Mars Pathfinder obtained multispectral, elemental, magnetic, and physical measurements of soil and dust at the Sagan Memorial Station during the course of its 83 sol mission. We describe initial results from these measurements, concentrating on multispectral and elemental data, and use these data, along with previous Viking, SNC meteorite, and telescopic results, to help constrain the origin and evolution of Martian soil and dust. We find that soils and dust can be divided into at least eight distinct spectral units, based on parameterization of Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) 400 to 1000 nm multispectral images. The most distinctive spectral parameters for soils and dust are the reflectivity in the red, the red/blue reflectivity ratio, the near-IR spectral slope, and the strength of the 800 to 1000 nm absorption feature. Most of the Pathfinder spectra are consistent with the presence of poorly crystalline or nanophase ferric oxide(s), sometimes mixed with small but varying degrees of well-crystalline ferric and ferrous phases. Darker soil units appear to be coarser-grained, compacted, and/or mixed with a larger amount of dark ferrous materials relative to bright soils. Nanophase goethite, akaganeite, schwertmannite, and maghemite are leading candidates for the origin of the absorption centered near 900 nm in IMP spectra. The ferrous component in the soil cannot be well-constrained based on IMP data. Alpha proton X-ray spectrometer (APXS) measurements of six soil units show little variability within the landing site and show remarkable overall similarity to the average Viking-derived soil elemental composition. Differences exist between Viking and Pathfinder soils, however, including significantly higher S and Cl abundances and lower Si abundances in Viking soils and the lack of a correlation between Ti and Fe in Pathfinder soils. No significant linear correlations were observed between IMP spectral properties and APXS elemental chemistry. Attempts at constraining

  19. JESENICE (L6)-A RECENT METEORITE FALL FROM SLOVENIA

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bischoff, A.; Jersek, M.; Grau, T.; Mirtic, B.; Ott, U.; Kučera, Jan; Horstmann, M.; Laubenstein, M.; Herrmann, S.; Řanda, Zdeněk; Weber, M.; Heusser, G.

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 45, Suppl. S (2010), A15-A15 ISSN 1086-9379. [73rd Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical-Society. 26.07.2010-30.07.2010, New York] Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10480505 Keywords : SHOCK METAMORPHISM Subject RIV: BG - Nuclear, Atomic and Molecular Physics, Colliders

  20. S-process krypton of variable isotopic composition in the Murchison meteorite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ott, Urlich; Begemann, Friedrich; Yang, Yongmann; Epstein, Samuel

    1988-01-01

    Data are reported which, for the first time, permit the derivation of the full isotopic spectrum of s-process krypton with reasonable precision. It is shown that this s-Kr in a residue from the Murchison meteorite did not originate in one single s-process but rather is a mixture of contributions from stellar environments where the density of free neutrons was not the same. The astrophysical conditions under which this krypton was produced were distinct from those that have been invoked to explain the solar system s-process abundance. Similar to the C-13-rich carbon component in an aliquot of the same residue, the s-process Kr from different astrophysical sites has retained its identity during the accumulation and subsequent history of the meteorite.

  1. S-process krypton of variable isotopic composition in the Murchison meteorite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ott, U.; Begemann, F.; Yang, J.; Epstein, S.

    1988-01-01

    We report data that allow us to derive with reasonable precision the full isotopic spectrum of s-process krypton. We show that this s-Kr in a residue from Murchison meteorite did not originate in one single s-process but rather is a mixture of contributions from stellar environments where the density of free neutrons was not the same. The astrophysical conditions under which this krypton has been produced were distinct from those that have been invoked to explain the Solar System s-process abundance. Similar to the 13 C-rich carbon component in an aliquot of the same residue, the s-process Kr from different astrophysical sites has retained its identify during the accumulation and subsequent history of the meteorite. (author)

  2. Mars analog minerals' spectral reflectance characteristics under Martian surface conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poitras, J. T.; Cloutis, E. A.; Salvatore, M. R.; Mertzman, S. A.; Applin, D. M.; Mann, P.

    2018-05-01

    We investigated the spectral reflectance properties of minerals under a simulated Martian environment. Twenty-eight different hydrated or hydroxylated phases of carbonates, sulfates, and silica minerals were selected based on past detection on Mars through spectral remote sensing data. Samples were ground and dry sieved to <45 μm grain size and characterized by XRD before and after 133 days inside a simulated Martian surface environment (pressure 5 Torr and CO2 fed). Reflectance spectra from 0.35 to 4 μm were taken periodically through a sapphire (0.35-2.5 μm) and zinc selenide (2.5-4 μm) window over a 133-day period. Mineral stability on the Martian surface was assessed through changes in spectral characteristics. Results indicate that the hydrated carbonates studied would be stable on the surface of Mars, only losing adsorbed H2O while maintaining their diagnostic spectral features. Sulfates were less stable, often with shifts in the band position of the SO, Fe, and OH absorption features. Silicas displayed spectral shifts related to SiOH and hydration state of the mineral surface, while diagnostic bands for quartz were stable. Previous detection of carbonate minerals based on 2.3-2.5 μm and 3.4-3.9 μm features appears to be consistent with our results. Sulfate mineral detection is more questionable since there can be shifts in band position related to SO4. The loss of the 0.43 μm Fe3+ band in many of the sulfates indicate that there are fewer potential candidates for Fe3+ sulfates to permanently exist on the Martian surface based on this band. The gypsum sample changed phase to basanite during desiccation as demonstrated by both reflectance and XRD. Silica on Mars has been detected using band depth ratio at 1.91 and 1.96 μm and band minimum position of the 1.4 μm feature, and the properties are also used to determine their age. This technique continues to be useful for positive silica identifications, however, silica age appears to be less consistent

  3. Assessment of the turbulence parameterization schemes for the Martian mesoscale simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Temel, Orkun; Karatekin, Ozgur; Van Beeck, Jeroen

    2016-07-01

    Turbulent transport within the Martian atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) is one of the most important physical processes in the Martian atmosphere due to the very thin structure of Martian atmosphere and super-adiabatic conditions during the diurnal cycle [1]. The realistic modeling of turbulent fluxes within the Martian ABL has a crucial effect on the many physical phenomena including dust devils [2], methane dispersion [3] and nocturnal jets [4]. Moreover, the surface heat and mass fluxes, which are related with the mass transport within the sub-surface of Mars, are being computed by the turbulence parameterization schemes. Therefore, in addition to the possible applications within the Martian boundary layer, parameterization of turbulence has an important effect on the biological research on Mars including the investigation of water cycle or sub-surface modeling. In terms of the turbulence modeling approaches being employed for the Martian ABL, the "planetary boundary layer (PBL) schemes" have been applied not only for the global circulation modeling but also for the mesoscale simulations [5]. The PBL schemes being used for Mars are the variants of the PBL schemes which had been developed for the Earth and these schemes are either based on the empirical determination of turbulent fluxes [6] or based on solving a one dimensional turbulent kinetic energy equation [7]. Even though, the Large Eddy Simulation techniques had also been applied with the regional models for Mars, it must be noted that these advanced models also use the features of these traditional PBL schemes for sub-grid modeling [8]. Therefore, assessment of these PBL schemes is vital for a better understanding the atmospheric processes of Mars. In this framework, this present study is devoted to the validation of different turbulence modeling approaches for the Martian ABL in comparison to Viking Lander [9] and MSL [10] datasets. The GCM/Mesoscale code being used is the PlanetWRF, the extended version

  4. Chirality of meteoritic free and IOM-derived monocarboxylic acids and implications for prebiotic organic synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aponte, José C.; Tarozo, Rafael; Alexandre, Marcelo R.; Alexander, Conel M. O.'D.; Charnley, Steven B.; Hallmann, Christian; Summons, Roger E.; Huang, Yongsong

    2014-04-01

    The origin of homochirality and its role in the development of life on Earth are among the most intriguing questions in science. It has been suggested that carbonaceous chondrites seeded primitive Earth with the initial organic compounds necessary for the origin of life. One of the strongest pieces of evidence supporting this theory is that certain amino acids in carbonaceous chondrites display a significant L-enantiomeric excess (ee), similar to those use by terrestrial life. Analyses of ee in meteoritic molecules other than amino acids would shed more light on the origins of homochirality. In this study we investigated the stereochemistry of two groups of compounds: (1) free monocarboxylic acids (MCAs) from CM2 meteorites LON 94101 and Murchison; and (2) the aliphatic side chains present in the insoluble organic matter (IOM) and extracted in the form of monocarboxylic acids (MCAs) from EET 87770 (CR2) and Orgueil (CI1). Contrary to the well-known ee observed for amino acids in meteorites, we found that meteoritic branched free and IOM-derived MCAs with 5-8 carbon atoms are essentially racemic. The racemic nature of these compounds is used to discuss the possible influence of ultraviolet circularly polarized light (UVCPL) and aqueous alterations on the parent body on chirality observed in in carbonaceous chondrites.

  5. Production of reactive oxygen species from abraded silicates. Implications for the reactivity of the Martian soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Ebbe N.; Zafirov, Kaloyan; Merrison, Jonathan P.; Jensen, Svend J. Knak; Nørnberg, Per; Gunnlaugsson, Haraldur P.; Finster, Kai

    2017-09-01

    The results of the Labeled Release and the Gas Exchange experiments conducted on Mars by the Viking Landers show that compounds in the Martian soil can cause oxidation of organics and a release of oxygen in the presence of water. Several sources have been proposed for the oxidizing compounds, but none has been validated in situ and the cause of the observed oxidation has not been resolved. In this study, laboratory simulations of saltation were conducted to examine if and under which conditions wind abrasion of silicates, a process that is common on the Martian surface, can give rise to oxidants in the form of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and hydroxyl radicals (ṡOH). We found that silicate samples abraded in simulated Martian atmospheres gave rise to a significant production of H2O2 and ṡOH upon contact with water. Our experiments demonstrated that abraded silicates could lead to a production of H2O2 facilitated by atmospheric O2 and inhibited by carbon dioxide. Furthermore, during simulated saltation the silicate particles became triboelectrically charged and at pressures similar to the Martian surface pressure we observed glow discharges. Electrical discharges can cause dissociation of CO2 and through subsequent reactions lead to a production of H2O2. These results indicate that the reactions linked to electrical discharges are the dominant source of H2O2 during saltation of silicates in a simulated Martian atmosphere, given the low pressure and the relatively high concentration of CO2. Our experiments provide evidence that wind driven abrasion could enhance the reactivity of the Martian soil and thereby could have contributed to the oxidation of organic compounds and the O2 release observed in the Labeled Release and the Gas Exchange experiments. Furthermore, the release of H2O2 and ṡOH from abraded silicates could have a negative effect on the persistence of organic compounds in the Martian soil and the habitability of the Martian surface.

  6. Flank tectonics of Martian volcanoes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomas, P.J.; Squyres, S.W.; Carr, M.H.

    1990-01-01

    On the flanks of Olympus Mons is a series of terraces, concentrically distributed around the caldera. Their morphology and location suggest that they could be thrust faults caused by compressional failure of the cone. In an attempt to understand the mechanism of faulting and the possible influences of the interior structure of Olympus Mons, the authors have constructed a numerical model for elastic stresses within a Martian volcano. In the absence of internal pressurization, the middle slopes of the cone are subjected to compressional stress, appropriate to the formation of thrust faults. These stresses for Olympus Mons are ∼250 MPa. If a vacant magma chamber is contained within the cone, the region of maximum compressional stress is extended toward the base of the cone. If the magma chamber is pressurized, extensional stresses occur at the summit and on the upper slopes of the cone. For a filled but unpressurized magma chamber, the observed positions of the faults agree well with the calculated region of high compressional stress. Three other volcanoes on Mars, Ascraeus Mons, Arsia Mons, and Pavonis Mons, possess similar terraces. Extending the analysis to other Martian volcanoes, they find that only these three and Olympus Mons have flank stresses that exceed the compressional failure strength of basalt, lending support to the view that the terraces on all four are thrust faults

  7. Martian Radiative Transfer Modeling Using the Optimal Spectral Sampling Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eluszkiewicz, J.; Cady-Pereira, K.; Uymin, G.; Moncet, J.-L.

    2005-01-01

    The large volume of existing and planned infrared observations of Mars have prompted the development of a new martian radiative transfer model that could be used in the retrievals of atmospheric and surface properties. The model is based on the Optimal Spectral Sampling (OSS) method [1]. The method is a fast and accurate monochromatic technique applicable to a wide range of remote sensing platforms (from microwave to UV) and was originally developed for the real-time processing of infrared and microwave data acquired by instruments aboard the satellites forming part of the next-generation global weather satellite system NPOESS (National Polarorbiting Operational Satellite System) [2]. As part of our on-going research related to the radiative properties of the martian polar caps, we have begun the development of a martian OSS model with the goal of using it to perform self-consistent atmospheric corrections necessary to retrieve caps emissivity from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) spectra. While the caps will provide the initial focus area for applying the new model, it is hoped that the model will be of interest to the wider Mars remote sensing community.

  8. Determination of primordial and cosmogenic radioactivity in achondritic meteorites by low-level, gamma-ray spectrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Muntean, R.A.

    1979-08-01

    A high-sensitivity, low-background gamma-ray spectrometer containing two 23 cm by 13 cm thallium-activated, sodium iodide detectors was used to measure long-lived primordial and cosmogenic radioactivity in a suite of achondritic meteorites. Potassium, thorium, uranium, and 26 Al abundances were established for sixteen brecciated eucrites, two unbrecciated eucrites, a nakhlite, a chassignite, and a unique meteorite from Antarctica by nondestructive counting techniques. In several cases, multiple samples of the same meteorite fall were examined. Concentrations ranged from 79.8 ppM to 1150 ppM for potassium, 55.6 ppb to 663 ppb for thorium, 18.1 ppb to 190 ppb for uranium, and 45.0 dpm/kg to 99.0 dpm/kg for 26 Al. In addition, a 137 Cs concentration of 264 dpm/kg was observed in the Allan Hills 77005,9 specimen

  9. Lava Tubes as Martian Analog sites on Hawaii Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Christian; Hamilton, J. C.; Adams, M.

    2013-10-01

    The existence of geologic features similar to skylights seen in Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HIRISE imagery suggest Martian lava tube networks. Along with pit craters, these features are evidence of a past era of vulcanism. If these were contemporary with the wet Mars eras, then it is suggestive that any Martian life may have retreated into these subsurface oases. Hawaii island has numerous lava tubes of differing ages, humidity, lengths and sizes that make ideal analog test environments for future Mars exploration. PISCES has surveyed multiple candidate sites during the past summer with a team of University of Hawaii at Hilo student interns. It should be noted that Lunar features have also been similarly discovered via Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter LROC imagery.

  10. Spectroscopic investigation of the Dergaon meteorite with reference ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Analysis of a part of the meteorite which fell at Dergaon (India) on March 2, 16.40 local time (2001) is presented with the help of FTIR, absorption and atomic spectra. The FTIR spectrum exhibits prominent absorption bands in the region 800–1100 cm-1, originating from the valence vibration of SiO4, a basic component of the ...

  11. Survival of microorganisms in smectite clays - Implications for Martian exobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moll, Deborah M.; Vestal, J. R.

    1992-01-01

    The survival of Baccillus subtilis, Azotobacter chroococcum, and the enteric bacteriophage MS2 has been examined in clays representing terrestrial (Wyoming type montmorillonite) and Martian (Fe3+ montmorillonite) soils exposed to terrestrial and Martian environmental conditions of temperature and atmospheric composition and pressure. An important finding is that MS2 survived simulated Mars conditions better than the terrestrial environment, probably owing to stabilization of the virus caused by the cold and dry conditions of the simulated Mars environment. This finding, the first published indication that viruses may be able to survive in Mars-type soils, may have important implications for future missions to Mars.

  12. Crater size-frequency distributions and a revised Martian relative chronology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barlow, N.G.

    1988-01-01

    A relative plotting technique is applied to Viking 1:2M photomosaics of 25,826 Martian craters of diameter greater than 8 km and age younger than that of the Martian surface. The size-frequency distribution curves are calculated and analyzed in detail, and the results are presented in extensive tables and maps. It is found that about 60 percent of the crater-containing lithologic units, including many small volcanoes and the ridged planes, were formed during the heavy-bombardment period (HBP), while 40 percent arose after the HBP. Wide region-to-region variation in the crater density is noted, and localized age estimates are provided. 42 references

  13. The investigation of active Martian dune fields using very high resolution photogrammetric measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jungrack; Kim, Younghwi; Park, Minseong

    2016-10-01

    At the present time, arguments continue regarding the migration speeds of Martian dune fields and their correlation with atmospheric circulation. However, precisely measuring the spatial translation of Martian dunes has succeeded only a very few times—for example, in the Nili Patera study (Bridges et al. 2012) using change-detection algorithms and orbital imagery. Therefore, in this study, we developed a generic procedure to precisely measure the migration of dune fields with recently introduced 25-cm resolution orbital imagery specifically using a high-accuracy photogrammetric processor. The processor was designed to trace estimated dune migration, albeit slight, over the Martian surface by 1) the introduction of very high resolution ortho images and stereo analysis based on hierarchical geodetic control for better initial point settings; 2) positioning error removal throughout the sensor model refinement with a non-rigorous bundle block adjustment, which makes possible the co-alignment of all images in a time series; and 3) improved sub-pixel co-registration algorithms using optical flow with a refinement stage conducted on a pyramidal grid processor and a blunder classifier. Moreover, volumetric changes of Martian dunes were additionally traced by means of stereo analysis and photoclinometry. The established algorithms have been tested using high-resolution HIRISE time-series images over several Martian dune fields. Dune migrations were iteratively processed both spatially and volumetrically, and the results were integrated to be compared to the Martian climate model. Migrations over well-known crater dune fields appeared to be almost static for the considerable temporal periods and were weakly correlated with wind directions estimated by the Mars Climate Database (Millour et al. 2015). As a result, a number of measurements over dune fields in the Mars Global Dune Database (Hayward et al. 2014) covering polar areas and mid-latitude will be demonstrated

  14. Extended survival of several organisms and amino acids under simulated martian surface conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, A. P.; Pratt, L. M.; Vishnivetskaya, T.; Pfiffner, S.; Bryan, R. A.; Dadachova, E.; Whyte, L.; Radtke, K.; Chan, E.; Tronick, S.; Borgonie, G.; Mancinelli, R. L.; Rothschild, L. J.; Rogoff, D. A.; Horikawa, D. D.; Onstott, T. C.

    2011-02-01

    Recent orbital and landed missions have provided substantial evidence for ancient liquid water on the martian surface as well as evidence of more recent sedimentary deposits formed by water and/or ice. These observations raise serious questions regarding an independent origin and evolution of life on Mars. Future missions seek to identify signs of extinct martian biota in the form of biomarkers or morphological characteristics, but the inherent danger of spacecraft-borne terrestrial life makes the possibility of forward contamination a serious threat not only to the life detection experiments, but also to any extant martian ecosystem. A variety of cold and desiccation-tolerant organisms were exposed to 40 days of simulated martian surface conditions while embedded within several centimeters of regolith simulant in order to ascertain the plausibility of such organisms' survival as a function of environmental parameters and burial depth. Relevant amino acid biomarkers associated with terrestrial life were also analyzed in order to understand the feasibility of detecting chemical evidence for previous biological activity. Results indicate that stresses due to desiccation and oxidation were the primary deterrent to organism survival, and that the effects of UV-associated damage, diurnal temperature variations, and reactive atmospheric species were minimal. Organisms with resistance to desiccation and radiation environments showed increased levels of survival after the experiment compared to organisms characterized as psychrotolerant. Amino acid analysis indicated the presence of an oxidation mechanism that migrated downward through the samples during the course of the experiment and likely represents the formation of various oxidizing species at mineral surfaces as water vapor diffused through the regolith. Current sterilization protocols may specifically select for organisms best adapted to survival at the martian surface, namely species that show tolerance to radical

  15. Plasma and wave properties downstream of Martian bow shock: Hybrid simulations and MAVEN observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Chuanfei; Winske, Dan; Cowee, Misa; Bougher, Stephen W.; Andersson, Laila; Connerney, Jack; Epley, Jared; Ergun, Robert; McFadden, James P.; Ma, Yingjuan; Toth, Gabor; Curry, Shannon; Nagy, Andrew; Jakosky, Bruce

    2015-04-01

    Two-dimensional hybrid simulation codes are employed to investigate the kinetic properties of plasmas and waves downstream of the Martian bow shock. The simulations are two-dimensional in space but three dimensional in field and velocity components. Simulations show that ion cyclotron waves are generated by temperature anisotropy resulting from the reflected protons around the Martian bow shock. These proton cyclotron waves could propagate downward into the Martian ionosphere and are expected to heat the O+ layer peaked from 250 to 300 km due to the wave-particle interaction. The proton cyclotron wave heating is anticipated to be a significant source of energy into the thermosphere, which impacts atmospheric escape rates. The simulation results show that the specific dayside heating altitude depends on the Martian crustal field orientations, solar cycles and seasonal variations since both the cyclotron resonance condition and the non/sub-resonant stochastic heating threshold depend on the ambient magnetic field strength. The dayside magnetic field profiles for different crustal field orientation, solar cycle and seasonal variations are adopted from the BATS-R-US Mars multi-fluid MHD model. The simulation results, however, show that the heating of O+ via proton cyclotron wave resonant interaction is not likely in the relatively weak crustal field region, based on our simplified model. This indicates that either the drift motion resulted from the transport of ionospheric O+, or the non/sub-resonant stochastic heating mechanism are important to explain the heating of Martian O+ layer. We will investigate this further by comparing the simulation results with the available MAVEN data. These simulated ion cyclotron waves are important to explain the heating of Martian O+ layer and have significant implications for future observations.

  16. Asteroids from a Martian Mega Impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2018-04-01

    capable of producing enough ejecta and with the appropriate compositions and orbits to explain the Mars trojans and the A-type asteroids we observe. Tackling this problem, researchers Ryuki Hyodo and Hidenori Genda have performed numerical simulations to explore the ejecta from such a collision.Distributing DebrisHyodo and Genda examine the outcomes of a Mars mega impact using smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations. They test different impactor masses, impactor speeds, angles of impact, and more to determine how these properties affect the properties of the Martian ejecta that result.Debris ejected in a Mars mega impact, at 20 hours post-impact. Blue particles are from the impactor, red particles are from Mars, yellow particles are clumps of 10 particles. [Hyodo Genda 2018]The authors find that a large amount of debris can be ejected from Mars during such an impact and distributed between 0.53 AU in the solar system. Roughly 2% of this debris could originate from Marss olivine-rich, unmelted upper mantle which could indeed be the source of the olivine-rich Mars Trojan asteroids and rare A-type asteroids.How can we further explorethis picture? Debris from a Mars mega impact would not justhave been the source of new asteroids; the debris likely also collided with pre-existing asteroids or even transferred to early Earth. Signatures of a Mars mega impact may therefore be recorded in main-belt asteroids or in meteorites found on Earth, providing tantalizing targets for future studies in the effort to map out Marss past.CitationRyuki Hyodo and Hidenori Genda 2018 ApJL 856 L36. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aab7f0

  17. Cryolitozone of Mars- as the climatic indicator of the Martian relict ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozorovich, Y.; Fournier-Sicre, A.; Linkin, V.; Kosov, A.; Skulachev, D.; Gorbatov, S.; Ivanov, A.; Heggy, E.

    2015-10-01

    The existance of a large Martian cryolitozone consisting of different cryogenic formations both on the surface- polar caps ice and in subsurface layer (and probably overcooled salt solutions in lower horizons) is conditioned mostly by the planet's geological history and atmosphere evolution. The very structure of the cryolitozone with its strongly pronounced zone character owing to drying up of 0 to 200 m thick surface layer in the equatorial latitudes ranging from + 30 to - 300 was formed in the course of long-periodic climatic variations and at present is distincly heterogeneous both depthward and in latitudinal and longtudinal dimensions. The dryed up region of Martian frozen rocks is estimated to have been developing during more than 3.5 bln years, so the upper layer boundary of permafrost can serve as a sort of indicator reflecting the course of Martian climatic evolution. Since the emount of surface moisture and its distribition character are conditioned by the cryolitozone scale structure its investigation is considered to be an important aspect of the forthcoming Martian projects. In order to create Martian climate and atmosphere circulation models the whole complex information on surface provided by optical and infrared ranges observations, regional albedo surface measurements, ground layer thermal flow investigations, etc. must be carefully studed. The investigation of permafrost formation global distribution and their appearance in h ≤1 m thick subsurface layer may be provided successfully by using active-passive microwave remote sensing techniques [1]. Along with optical and infrared observations the method of orbital panoramic microwave radiometry in centi- and decimeter ranges would contribute to the mapping of the cryolitozone global surface distribution. This proposal discusses methodical and experimental possibilities of this global observation of Martian cryolitozone as the additional way for investigation subsurface of Mars. The main idea of

  18. The Meteoritical Quincentennial: The Stone of Ensisheim 1492-1992

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marvin, U. B.

    1992-07-01

    This year marks the 500th anniversary of the fall of a meteorite at Ensisheim in Alsace. In at least two respects this event is unique in the history of meteoritics. First, this was the earliest witnessed meteorite fall in the West from which pieces are preserved. Second, it is the only meteorite of which a continuous five-century public record exists in manuscripts and books. Beginning with newsheets printed in 1492, writings about this event illuminate the evolution of ideas from a 15th century belief that stones from the sky were of miraculous origin, to an 18th century conviction that stones do not fall from the sky, to our present view that they fall in abundance, originating in interplanetary space (Marvin, 1992). This paper will highlight certain previously unexamined aspects of the story and address problems inherent in historical analysis. Unusable Maps. The fall of the stone was heralded by an explosion which, according to Sebastian Brant (1492), was heard along the valleys of the Danube, Neckar, Aare, Ill, and Rhine and in the alpine cantons of Schwyz and Uri. Contemporary maps, such as that published in The Nuremberg Chronicle of 1493, so distorted the regional geography that a fireball trajectory cannot be reconstructed on them. On modern maps, however, the areas Brant listed stretch about 150 km to the southeast of Ensisheim, a distance well within the range of sounds reported from other exploding fireballs. Newton (1891) and Marvin (1992) worked out possible trajectories that could account for the sound being heard in all named localities. This suggests that, far from exaggerating distances for dramatic effect, Brant's description may well have been accurate. If so, he compiled his information from word-of-mouth reports without reference to the rudimentary maps available in his time. The Language of Wonder. A document mounted beside the stone in the Ensisheim church stated that learned men did not know what it was: it must be supernatural, a wonder

  19. Feldspathic Meteorites MIL 090034 and 090070: Late Additions to the Lunar Crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyquist, L. E.; Shirai, N.; Yamaguchi, A.; Shih, C.-Y.; Park, J.; Ebihara, M.

    2016-01-01

    Our studies of the Miller Range lunar meteorites MIL 090034, 090036, and 090070 show them to be a diverse suite of rocks from the lunar highlands hereafter referred to as MIL 34, MIL 36, and MIL 70, resp. MIL34 and MIL70, the focus of this work, are crystalline melt breccias. Plagioclase compositions in both peak sharply around An96-97. Mg numbers of olivine vary from 58-65 with a few higher values. MIL36 is a regolith breccia. MIL 34 and MIL 70 have some of the highest Al2O3 abundances of lunar highland meteorites, indicating that they have among the largest modal abundances of plagioclase for lunar meteorites. They have lower Sc and Cr abundances than nearly all lunar highland meteorites except Dho 081, Dho 489 and Dho 733. MIL34 and MIL70 also have similar cosmic ray exposure (CRE) ages of approximately 1-2 Ma indicating they are launch paired. (MIL36 has a larger CRE age approximately greater than 70 Ma). Park et al. found a variation in Ar-Ar ages among subsamples of MIL 34 and MIL70, but preferred ages of 3500+/-110 Ma for the "Dark" phase of MIL 34 anorthite and 3520+/-30 Ma for the "Light" phase of MIL70. Bouvier et al. reported a Pb-Pb age of 3894+/-39 Ma for a feldspathic clast of MIL 34 and a similar age for a melt lithology. Here we reexamine the Rb-Sr and Sm-Nd isotopic data, which show complexities qualitatively consistent with those of the Ar-Ar and Pb-Pb data. The Sm-Nd data in particular suggest that the feldspathic compositions of MIL 34 and MIL 70 formed during initial lunar geochemical differentiation, and REE modeling suggests a relatively late-stage formation.

  20. Spore-Forming Thermophilic Bacterium within Artificial Meteorite Survives Entry into the Earth's Atmosphere on FOTON-M4 Satellite Landing Module.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slobodkin, Alexander; Gavrilov, Sergey; Ionov, Victor; Iliyin, Vyacheslav

    2015-01-01

    One of the key conditions of the lithopanspermia hypothesis is that microorganisms situated within meteorites could survive hypervelocity entry from space through the Earth's atmosphere. So far, all experimental proof of this possibility has been based on tests with sounding rockets which do not reach the transit velocities of natural meteorites. We explored the survival of the spore-forming thermophilic anaerobic bacterium, Thermoanaerobacter siderophilus, placed within 1.4-cm thick basalt discs fixed on the exterior of a space capsule (the METEORITE experiment on the FOTON-M4 satellite). After 45 days of orbital flight, the landing module of the space vehicle returned to Earth. The temperature during the atmospheric transit was high enough to melt the surface of basalt. T. siderophilus survived the entry; viable cells were recovered from 4 of 24 wells loaded with this microorganism. The identity of the strain was confirmed by 16S rRNA gene sequence and physiological tests. This is the first report on the survival of a lifeform within an artificial meteorite after entry from space orbit through Earth's atmosphere at a velocity that closely approached the velocities of natural meteorites. The characteristics of the artificial meteorite and the living object applied in this study can serve as positive controls in further experiments on testing of different organisms and conditions of interplanetary transport.

  1. Spore-Forming Thermophilic Bacterium within Artificial Meteorite Survives Entry into the Earth's Atmosphere on FOTON-M4 Satellite Landing Module.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Slobodkin

    Full Text Available One of the key conditions of the lithopanspermia hypothesis is that microorganisms situated within meteorites could survive hypervelocity entry from space through the Earth's atmosphere. So far, all experimental proof of this possibility has been based on tests with sounding rockets which do not reach the transit velocities of natural meteorites. We explored the survival of the spore-forming thermophilic anaerobic bacterium, Thermoanaerobacter siderophilus, placed within 1.4-cm thick basalt discs fixed on the exterior of a space capsule (the METEORITE experiment on the FOTON-M4 satellite. After 45 days of orbital flight, the landing module of the space vehicle returned to Earth. The temperature during the atmospheric transit was high enough to melt the surface of basalt. T. siderophilus survived the entry; viable cells were recovered from 4 of 24 wells loaded with this microorganism. The identity of the strain was confirmed by 16S rRNA gene sequence and physiological tests. This is the first report on the survival of a lifeform within an artificial meteorite after entry from space orbit through Earth's atmosphere at a velocity that closely approached the velocities of natural meteorites. The characteristics of the artificial meteorite and the living object applied in this study can serve as positive controls in further experiments on testing of different organisms and conditions of interplanetary transport.

  2. Martian crustal dichotomy: product of accretion and not a specific event?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frey, H.; Schultz, R.A.; Maxwell, T.A.

    1987-01-01

    Attempts to explain the fundamental crustal dichotomy on Mars range from purely endogenic to extreme exogenic processes, but to date no satisfactory theory has evolved. What is accepted is: (1) the dichotomy is an ancient feature of the Martian crust, and (2) the boundary between the cratered highlands and northern plains which marks the dichotomy in parts of Mars has undergone significant and variable modification during the observable parts of Martian history. Some ascribe it to a single mega-impact event, essentially an instantaneous rearrangement of the crustal structures (topography and lithospheric thickness). Others prefer an internal mechanism: a period of vigorous convection subcrustally erodes the northern one third of Mars, causing foundering and isostatic lowering of that part of Mars. The evidence for each theory is reviewed, with the conclusion that there is little to recommend either. An alternative is suggested: the formation of the crustal dichotomy on Mars was not a specific tectonic event but a byproduct of the accretionary process and therefore a primordial characteristic of the Martian crust, predating the oldest recognizable landforms

  3. Orbital evolution and origin of the Martian satellites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szeto, A.M.K.

    1983-01-01

    The orbital evolution of the Martian satellites is considered from a dynamical point of view. Celestial mechanics relevant to the calculation of satellite orbital evolution is introduced and the physical parameters to be incorporated in the modeling of tidal dissipation are discussed. Results of extrapolating the satellite orbits backward and forward in time are presented and compared with those of other published work. Collision probability calculations and results for the Martian satellite system are presented and discussed. The implications of these calculations for the origin scenarios of the satellites are assessed. It is concluded that Deimos in its present form could not have been captured, for if it had been, it would have collided with Phobos at some point. An accretion model is therefore preferred over capture, although such a model consistent with the likely carbonaceous chondritic composition of the satellites has yet to be established. 91 references

  4. Plasma Extraction of Oxygen from Martian Atmosphere, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Plasma techniques are proposed for the extraction of oxygen from the abundant carbon dioxide contained in the Martian atmosphere (96 % CO2). In this process, CO2 is...

  5. Saltation under Martian gravity and its influence on the global dust distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musiolik, Grzegorz; Kruss, Maximilian; Demirci, Tunahan; Schrinski, Björn; Teiser, Jens; Daerden, Frank; Smith, Michael D.; Neary, Lori; Wurm, Gerhard

    2018-05-01

    Dust and sand motion are a common sight on Mars. Understanding the interaction of atmosphere and Martian soil is fundamental to describe the planet's weather, climate and surface morphology. We set up a wind tunnel to study the lift of a mixture between very fine sand and dust in a Mars simulant soil. The experiments were carried out under Martian gravity in a parabolic flight. The reduced gravity was provided by a centrifuge under external microgravity. The onset of saltation was measured for a fluid threshold shear velocity of 0.82 ± 0.04 m/s. This is considerably lower than found under Earth gravity. In addition to a reduction in weight, this low threshold can be attributed to gravity dependent cohesive forces within the sand bed, which drop b