Reports

The Breakup of a Meteorite Parent Body and the Delivery of Meteorites to Earth

Science  27 Mar 1992:
Vol. 255, Issue 5052, pp. 1685-1687
DOI: 10.1126/science.255.5052.1685

Abstract

Whether many of the 10,000 meteorites collected in the Antarctic are unlike those failing elsewhere is contentious. The Antarctic H chondrites, one of the major classes of stony meteorites, include a number of individuals with higher induced thermoluminescence peak temperatures than observed among non-Antarctic H chondrites. The proportion of such individuals decreases with the mean terrestrial age of the meteorites at the various ice fields. These H chondrites have cosmic-ray exposure ages of about 8 million years, experienced little cosmic-ray shielding, and suffered rapid postmetamorphic cooling. Breakup of the H chondrite parent body, 8 million years ago, may have produced two types of material with different size distributions and thermal histories. The smaller objects reached Earth more rapidly through more rapid orbital evolution.

Related Content