Computed Tomographic Analysis of Meteorite Inclusions

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Science  28 Jan 1983:
Vol. 219, Issue 4583, pp. 383-384
DOI: 10.1126/science.219.4583.383


The discovery of isotopic anomalies in the calcium- and aluminum-rich inclusions of the Allende meteorite has improved our knowledge of the origin of the solar system. Inability to find more inclusions without destroying the meteorite has hampered further study. By using a fourth-generation computed tomographic scanner with modifications to the software only, the interior of heterogeneous materials such as Allende can be nondestructively probed. The regions of material with high and low atomic numbers are displayed quickly. The object can then be cut to obtain for analysis just the areas of interest.