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Implications of Mars Pathfinder Data for the Accretion History of the Terrestrial Planets

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Science  18 Sep 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5384, pp. 1838-1840
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5384.1838

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Abstract

Accretion models of the terrestrial planets often assume planetary bulk compositions with nonvolatile element abundance ratios equivalent to those of C1 carbonaceous chondrites. The moment of inertia factor of Mars reported by the Pathfinder team is inconsistent with a bulk planet C1 Fe/Si ratio or Fe content, which suggests that C1 chondrite accretion models are insufficient to explain the formation of Mars and the other terrestrial planets. Future planetary accretion models will have to account for variations in bulk Fe/Si ratios among the terrestrial planets.

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