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Meteorite Research

(This research project was completed in 2008. For current information on meteorite research of the USGS, see the web pages of our Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, AZ: http://astrogeology.usgs.gov/. Please check the project list for currently active projects of the USGS Eastern Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center.)

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Publications list, Chemical Studies of Chondrites

Chondrites are stony meteorites containing chondrules (spheroidal granules of olivine and/or enstatite or bronzite) embedded in a fine-grained matrix of pyroxene, olivine, and nickel-iron with or without glass. They constitute more than 80% of meteorite falls. (AGI Dictionary of Geological Terms, 3rd ed., 1984) This USGS research characterized events that changed the composition of meteoritic chondrules after they solidified. Understanding the formation processes of chondrite meteorites and the chondrules within them has added to our knowledge of the environment in the solar nebula and on early asteroidal bodies. The results of this understanding will allow us to identify and study any material that may survive from the earliest epochs of the high-temperature processing (chondrule formation) in the solar system.*

A good summary of this topic is:

Alexander, C. M. O'D. , Grossman, J. N., Ebel, D. S., Ciesla, F. J. , 2008, The Formation Conditions of Chondrules and Chondrites, in Science, 20 June 2008, Vol. 320. no. 5883, pp. 1617 - 1619. <http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/320/5883/1617>.

Announcements of New Meteorites (These are non-USGS web sites):

Announcements of new meteorites are published by the Meteoritical Society, an international organization devoted to the study of extraterrestrial material. The Society oversees the naming of newly found or fallen meteorites and announces them in The Meteoritical Bulletin, which is published in the Society's journal, Meteoritics and Planetary Science.

For information about how to get new meteorites named and announced, and for access to archives of past announcements, see the home page of The Meteoritical Bulletin .

*This work was funded by NASA's Cosmochemistry Program. Go to http://www.psrd.hawaii.edu/ to learn about this program.

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