Report

Oxygen Isotope Variation in Stony-Iron Meteorites

Science  22 Sep 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5794, pp. 1763-1765
DOI: 10.1126/science.1128865

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Abstract

Asteroidal material, delivered to Earth as meteorites, preserves a record of the earliest stages of planetary formation. High-precision oxygen isotope analyses for the two major groups of stony-iron meteorites (main-group pallasites and mesosiderites) demonstrate that each group is from a distinct asteroidal source. Mesosiderites are isotopically identical to the howardite-eucrite-diogenite clan and, like them, are probably derived from the asteroid 4 Vesta. Main-group pallasites represent intermixed core-mantle material from a single disrupted asteroid and have no known equivalents among the basaltic meteorites. The stony-iron meteorites demonstrate that intense asteroidal deformation accompanied planetary accretion in the early Solar System.

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