Electromagnetic Heating in the Early Solar Nebula and the Formation of Chondrules

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Science  19 Aug 1994:
Vol. 265, Issue 5175, pp. 1067-1070
DOI: 10.1126/science.265.5175.1067


Certain opaque inclusions within primitive meteorites exhibit textures that suggest chondrules formed during intense, short-duration radiative heating episodes in the early solar system. Experimental support for this interpretation is provided by the textures produced when chondrule-like assemblages are heated with visible laser light. Computer simulations of radiative heating provide additional evidence for the role of electromagnetic energy in heating nebular solids by offering an explanation for the size distributions of chondrules and the presence of dusty chondrule rims. Nebular lightning and magnetic reconnection flares are possible sources of electromagnetic energy for these transient heating events.