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  • LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION  (14,409)
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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-04-02
    Description: Exploration of the Moon and planets began with telescopic studies of their surfaces, continued with orbiting spacecraft and robotic landers, and will culminate with manned exploration and sample return. For the Moon and Mars we also have accidental samples provided by impacts on their surfaces, the lunar and martian meteorites. How much would we know about the lunar surface if we only had lunar meteorites, orbital spacecraft, and robotic exploration, and not the Apollo and Luna returned samples? What does this imply for Mars? With martian meteorites and data from Mariner, Viking, and the future Pathfinder missions, how much could we learn about Mars? The basis of most of our detailed knowledge about the Moon is the Apollo samples. They provide ground truth for the remote mapping, timescales for lunar processes, and samples from the lunar interior. The Moon is the foundation of planetary science and the basis for our interpretation of the other planets. Mars is similar to the Moon in that impact and volcanism are the dominant processes, but Mars' surface has also been affected by wind and water, and hence has much more complex surface geology. Future geochemical or mineralogical mapping of Mars' surface should be able to tell us whether the dominant rock types of the ancient southern highlands are basaltic, anorthositic, granitic, or something else, but will not be able to tell us the detailed mineralogy, geochemistry, or age. Without many more martian meteorites or returned samples we will not know the diversity of martian rocks, and therefore will be limited in our ability to model martian geological evolution.
    Keywords: LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
    Type: Meteoritics (ISSN 0026-1114); 29; 4; p. 491
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-04-02
    Description: Chondrule J2689, a large (8-mm) RP chondrule from Bachmut (L6) was previously found to be in disequilibrium with its host in a variety of features: (1) It has a fine-grained hornfelsic texture; (2) it contains low amounts of metal with a low-Ni taenite composition not found in the matrix; (3) the Ni/Co ratio of that metal is close to the solar ratio, which is equal to the bulk Ni/Co ratio (23) of the chondrule; (4) the bulk alkali content of the chondrule is high and the Na/K ratio is fractionated with respect to the average L chondrite ratio of 8; (5) Cr is depleted in spite of the high pyroxene content; (6) the siderophile elements are strongly depleted but are fractionated with their abundances increasing with volatility; and (7) the O isotopes of the chondrule and the host are out of equilibrium. However, the (Fe,Mg) silicates, feldspar, and chromite have chemical compositions indistinguishable from that of the host chondrite. We have studied a chip of the chondrite and of adjacent matrix by stepwise heating and by combustion in O for N and Xe isotopic abundances. (1) The chondrule preserved distinct bulk, metal, and O isotopic compositional features. It is therefore unlikely that the 'equilibration' of the major silicates Fe/Mg ratios could have taken place after accretion; (2) the chondrule was well equilibrated before break-up and exposure to cosmic rays; (3) two N signatures in the matrix also indicate that the matrix is not equilibrated; and (4) all data collected so far point toward the presence of unequilibrated Bachmut components. Very few reactions took place after accretion.
    Keywords: LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
    Type: Meteoritics (ISSN 0026-1114); 29; 4; p. 483
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-04-02
    Description: We wish to draw attention to a major controversy that has arisen in the area of CM-chondrite petrology. The problem is important because its resolution will have profound implications for ideas concerning nebular dynamics, gas-solid interactions in the nebula, and accretionary processes in the nebula, among other issues. On the one hand, cogent arguments have been presented that 'accretionary dust mantles,' were formed in the solar nebula prior to accretion of the CM parent asteroid(s). On the other hand, no-less-powerful arguments have been advanced that a significant fraction of the CM lithology is secondary, produced by aqueous alteration in the near-surface regions of an asteroid-sized object. Because most, if not all, CM chondrites are breccias, these two views could coexist harmoniously, were it not for the fact that some of the coarse-grained lithologies surrounded by 'accretion dust mantles' are themselves of apparently secondary origin. Such an observation must clearly force a reassessment of one or both of the present schools of thought. Our objective here is to stimulate such a reassessment. Four possible resolutions of this conflict may be postulated. First, perhaps nature found a way of permitting such secondary alteration to take place in the nebula. Second, maybe dust mantles could form in a regolith, rather than a nebular, environment. Third, it is possible that dust mantles around secondary lithologies are different from those around primary lithologies. Finally, perhaps formation of CM chondrites involved a more complex sequence of events than visualized so far, so that some apparently 'primary' processes postdated certain 'secondary' processes.
    Keywords: LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
    Type: Meteoritics (ISSN 0026-1114); 29; 4; p. 481
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-04-02
    Description: A fragment of a carbonaceous chondrite (#53.12, maximal dimension about 2 mm) containing a phyllosilicate-sulfide vein was found during an inspection of small pieces of the Kaidun meteorite. Phyllosilicate veins are apparently rare in carbonaceous chondrites and have so far only been reported from the Y82162 CI chondrite. In hand sample the vein was visible on two perpendicular faces. The polished section prepared from one side displays a complex structure. A single vein, 150 microns in width, bifurcates, and each branch narrows toward a large rounded object (RO). The section contains abundant ROs, most of them less than or equal to 100 microns in diameter. The vein has sharp contacts to the surrounding matrix, whereas the RO contacts are diffuse. The phyllosilicate in the main vein has a massive texture along the contact, which becomes platy toward the vein center where the crystals protrude into an open space. The texture of the largest RO resembles that of a barred olivine (BO) chondrule. Some of the smaller ROs also texturally resemble chondrules. The BO chondrule contains rounded sulfide-silicate objects and small metal grains covered by oxides. Phyllosilicates of the main vein consist mainly of serpentine. The phyllosilicate near the contact with the matrix has low contents of minor elements and a high Mg/Fe ratio. The composition changes in a regular manner toward the center: Al, Na, Ca, Ni, and S increase, indicating increasing amounts of sulfates admixed. The phyllosilicate vein could only have formed after a substantial rock was formed. Mechanical stress probably opened a crack that was subsequently filled by phyllosilicate, pyrrhotite, and finally by a (Fe,Mg)-sulfate. The source of the matter mobilized to form the vein could have been within the rock itself or outside. No compositional or mineralogical zoning is apparent at the vein-rock contacts. The nature of the transporting agent (liquid H2O or vapor) must also remain an enigma. M. Zolensky has recently observed similar phyllosilicate-filled veins in dark, wet clasts in the Al Rais CR chondrite.
    Keywords: LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
    Type: Meteoritics (ISSN 0026-1114); 29; 4; p. 477
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-04-02
    Description: Compound chondrules are considered to be the product of collisions between molten chondrules during chondrule formation Wasson, J. T. et al. (1994) have argued that some compound chondrules are formed when a chondrule with an accretional rim experienced a flash-melting event similar to a chondrule-forming event. We have designed experiments to investigate the formation of compound chondrules by both methods. Experiments were performed on a Deltech vertical muffle tube furnace to form synthetic chondrules to use as accretion rim material. For our experimental conditions, it is clear that compound chondrules can only be made by a collisional event. Our changes maintain their spherical shape and produce distinct boundaries between charges that are similar to natural compound chondrules. Furthermore, collision event(s) between chondrules will cause nucleation if they are molten and undercooled, thus producing chondrule textures. Flash melting chondrules with accretionary rims will not produce compound chondrules but will produce new chondrules with new textures.
    Keywords: LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
    Type: Meteoritics (ISSN 0026-1114); 29; 4; p. 458
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-04-02
    Description: The size, evolution and energetics of the earth's core and the probable central, metalic cores of Mercury, Venus, the moon and Mars are discussed. The cores of Mercury, Mars and the earth are considered likely to decrease in relative mass and volume with distance from the sun; the moon does not fit this sequence and data from Venus are insufficient. Core formation is concluded to have occurred early (prior to four billion years ago) on the earth and Mercury, while that on the moon would have occurred over a longer interval and the core of Mars would have formed much later. Of the possible energy sources in planetary cores able to maintain a molten state and drive magnetic dynamos, the energy of core formation was probably spent too early in planetary history to provide much present power, and the energy gained from freezing an inner core in the earth and Mercury are considered at best marginally able to match conductive heat loss. Future measurements proposed to improve the quantitative understanding of core properties include a better documentation of the magnetic fields of Venus and Mars and the seismometry of Mars.
    Keywords: LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-03-29
    Description: Ranging in size from mere grains and palm-size stones to boulders and many-mile- wide hunks of rock, meteorites hold many secrets of our solar system, and indeed of our universe. The 57th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society discussed many aspects of this fascinating 'chunk' of the evolution of the Solar System. Topics covered included: chemical composition, meteorite types, meteorite age determination, meteorite origins, and find locations, as well as a multitude of other important subjects.
    Keywords: LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
    Type: Meteoritics (ISSN 0026-1114); 29; 4
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-01-25
    Description: Analysis of the Mariner 9 IRIS and Viking Orbiter IRTM temperature data and of the time series of surface pressure from the Viking landers has indicated that atmospheric thermal tides are a significant component of the martian general circulation. Classical tidal theory, considering only the Sun synchronous components, has been shown to at least roughly account for the amplitudes of the observed diurnal and semidirunal surface pressure oscillations. In particular, Zurek and Leovy have demonstrated that classical tidal theory can reproduce the observed dependence of the strength of the semidiurnal tide on aerosol optical depth. The high-amplitude topograph of Mars, however, can cause longitudinal distortions in the thermotidal forcing, leading to additional tidal modes that are not Sun synchronous. In particular, observation and theory have suggested the likely presence of a diurnal, zonal wavenumber-1 K wave. Hamilton and Garcia noted that the wavenumber-1 K normal mode has a period of close to 24 hr and may be detectable in surface pressure observations. Zurek has discussed the possibility of this mode being resonantly excited for various atmospheric temperature studies. The semidiurnal wavenumber-2 K mode, with roughly a 12-hr period, could also be resonantly excited. A numerical model with finite amplitude topography and a self-consistent thermotidal forcing resulting from the daily heat flux at the surface and atmospheric absorption of solar radiation by aerosols is used here to explore the influence of topography on martian thermal tides and to examine the possibility of Kelvin wave resonance.
    Keywords: LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
    Type: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Workshop on Atmospheric Transport on Mars; p 37-39
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-01-25
    Description: This work is based on the study of the photochemical balance of molecular oxygen in the martian atmosphere by using a one-dimensional model of photochemical reactions involving species derived from CO2 and H2O. The model is basically similar to one used previously for the study of the regulation of CO on a global scale, but the chemical rates are taken from another source. In the present scheme, the regulation of molecular oxygen is studied over timescales of the order of its photochemical lifetime (approximately equals 30 yr), which is much shorter than typical escape timescales. Thus, the escape fluxes are fixed to the values given by 3 and 4. We examine the calculated equilibrium abundances of O2 for given thermal, eddy diffusion coefficients and H2O profiles. The thermal profile is taken from in the lower atmosphere. At higher levels, in order to include the diurnal and seasonal thermal profile variability, we have also used the IRTM data. In order to study the influence of both temperature and pressure profiles on the O2 mixing ratio, we have made several tests corresponding to different martian seasons. The results show that the influence of pressure and temperature is quantitatively weak compared to the one of K and of the water vapor density (H2O). Thus, in the following we have fixed the pressure at the surface to a value of 7 mbar and we have used unique standard thermal profile corresponding to a profile roughly averaged over the year, the season, and the day: T equal 205 K at 0 km altitude, 175 K at 25 km, and 145 K at 50 km.
    Keywords: LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
    Type: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Workshop on Atmospheric Transport on Mars; p 30-32
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019-01-25
    Description: In theory, a thermal emission spectrum of Mars (220-1600 cm(exp -1)) contains a wealth of information about the composition and thermal structure of the atmosphere and surface. However, in practice, the ability to retrieve quantitative information from the spectrum is limited by a number of factors including (1) the ill-posed nature of the spectral inversion problem and the resulting nonuniqueness of all solutions; (2) assumptions built into any spectral inversion program; (3) uncertainties in surface pressure, temperature, and emissivity; and (4) uncertainties in the optical properties of atmospheric aerosols. Below, factors (1) and (2) are discussed as fundamental limitations on temperature retrievals from Mariner 9 Infrared Interferometer Spectrometer (IRIS) spectra. In preparation for the Mars Observer mission and the return of tens of thousands of infrared spectra per day from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES), we have developed a fast inversion algorithm to retrieve temperature structure and aerosol opacity from the infrared spectra. The derived atmospheric models will be used to provide the atmospheric contribution to the TES spectra, so that the thermal emission spectra of the underlying surface can be determined for making mineralogical identifications. As a test of our algorithm, we are undertaking a systematic analysis of the entire Mariner 9 Infrared Interferometric Spectrometer (IRIS) dataset of 21,000 plus spectra. While portions of the IRIS dataset have been previously analyzed, the lack of a speedy and robust algorithm to invert the IRIS spectra to retrieve temperature profiles and aerosol opacities has been a major impediment to a truly comprehensive analysis.
    Keywords: LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
    Type: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Workshop on Atmospheric Transport on Mars; p 24-25
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