Allende Meteorite: A High-Voltage Electron Petrographic Study

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  28 May 1971:
Vol. 172, Issue 3986, pp. 936-939
DOI: 10.1126/science.172.3986.936


Electron-transparent sections of the Allende meteorite, a carbonaceous chondrite, have been prepared by ion-thinning and examined by high-voltage (800-kilovolt) transmission electron microscopy. The matrix crystals, mainly olivine, range in size from approximately 5 to approximately 0.01 micrometers; carbon is present as intergranular films of poorly crystalline graphite. The chondrules exhibit extensive radiation damage, a feature lacking in the matrix. In addition, both chondrules and matrix are undeformed and contain negative crystals; submicroscopic exsolution lamellae are present in pyroxenes. Comparison of the substructure in the Allende meteorite with that in the Parnallee meteorite and in lunar and selected terrestrial rocks leads to the conclusion that chondrule irradiation preceded cold accretion during formation of the solar system and that the meteorite has since been undisturbed.