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Meteoroid atmospheric entry investigated with plasma flow experiments: Petrography and geochemistry of the recovered material

(2019) ICARUS. 331. p.170-178
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Abstract
Melting experiments attempting to reproduce some of the processes affecting asteroidal and cometary material during atmospheric entry have been performed in a high enthalpy facility. For the first time with the specific experimental setup, the resulting material has been recovered, studied, and compared with natural analogues, focusing on the thermal and redox reactions triggered by interaction between the melt and the atmospheric gases under high temperature and low pressure conditions. Experimental conditions were tested across a range of parameters, such as heat flux, experiment duration, and pressure, using two types of sample holders materials, namely cork and graphite. A basalt served as asteroidal analog and to calibrate the experiments, before melting a H5 ordinary chondrite meteorite. The quenched melt recovered after the experiments has been analyzed by mu-XRF, EDS-SEM, EMPA, LA-ICP-MS, and XANES spectroscopy. The glass formed from the basalt is fairly homogeneous, depleted in highly volatile elements (e.g., Na, K), relatively enriched in moderately siderophile elements (e.g., Co, Ni), and has reached an equilibrium redox state with a lower Fe3+/Fe-tot ratio than that in the starting material. Spherical objects, enriched in SiO2, Na2O and K2O, were observed, inferring condensation from the vaporized material. Despite instantaneous quenching, the melt formed from the ordinary chondrite shows extensive crystallization of mostly olivine and magnetite, the latter indicative of oxygen fugacity compatible with presence of both Fe2+ and Fe3+. Similar features have been observed in natural meteorite fusion crusts and in micrometeorites, implying that, at least in terms of maximum temperature reached and chemical reactions, the experiments have successfully reproduced the conditions likely encountered by extraterrestrial material following atmospheric entry.
Keywords
ABSORPTION FINE-STRUCTURE, COSMIC SPHERULES, ISOTOPIC COMPOSITIONS, ORDINARY CHONDRITES, OXIDATION-STATE, FUSION CRUSTS, OXYGEN, IRON, FE, MICROMETEORITES, Melting experiments, Atmospheric entry, Meteorites, Fusion crust, Redox

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Pittarello, Lidia et al. “Meteoroid Atmospheric Entry Investigated with Plasma Flow Experiments: Petrography and Geochemistry of the Recovered Material.” ICARUS 331 (2019): 170–178. Print.
APA
Pittarello, L., Goderis, S., Soens, B., McKibbin, S. J., Giuli, G., Bariselli, F., Dias, B., et al. (2019). Meteoroid atmospheric entry investigated with plasma flow experiments: Petrography and geochemistry of the recovered material. ICARUS, 331, 170–178.
Chicago author-date
Pittarello, Lidia, Steven Goderis, Bastien Soens, Seann J. McKibbin, Gabriele Giuli, Federico Bariselli, Bruno Dias, et al. 2019. “Meteoroid Atmospheric Entry Investigated with Plasma Flow Experiments: Petrography and Geochemistry of the Recovered Material.” Icarus 331: 170–178.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Pittarello, Lidia, Steven Goderis, Bastien Soens, Seann J. McKibbin, Gabriele Giuli, Federico Bariselli, Bruno Dias, Bernd Helber, Giovanni O. Lepore, Frank Vanhaecke, Christian Koeberl, Thierry E. Magin, and Philippe Claeys. 2019. “Meteoroid Atmospheric Entry Investigated with Plasma Flow Experiments: Petrography and Geochemistry of the Recovered Material.” Icarus 331: 170–178.
Vancouver
1.
Pittarello L, Goderis S, Soens B, McKibbin SJ, Giuli G, Bariselli F, et al. Meteoroid atmospheric entry investigated with plasma flow experiments: Petrography and geochemistry of the recovered material. ICARUS. San diego: Academic Press Inc Elsevier Science; 2019;331:170–8.
IEEE
[1]
L. Pittarello et al., “Meteoroid atmospheric entry investigated with plasma flow experiments: Petrography and geochemistry of the recovered material,” ICARUS, vol. 331, pp. 170–178, 2019.
@article{8626920,
  abstract     = {Melting experiments attempting to reproduce some of the processes affecting asteroidal and cometary material during atmospheric entry have been performed in a high enthalpy facility. For the first time with the specific experimental setup, the resulting material has been recovered, studied, and compared with natural analogues, focusing on the thermal and redox reactions triggered by interaction between the melt and the atmospheric gases under high temperature and low pressure conditions. Experimental conditions were tested across a range of parameters, such as heat flux, experiment duration, and pressure, using two types of sample holders materials, namely cork and graphite. A basalt served as asteroidal analog and to calibrate the experiments, before melting a H5 ordinary chondrite meteorite. The quenched melt recovered after the experiments has been analyzed by mu-XRF, EDS-SEM, EMPA, LA-ICP-MS, and XANES spectroscopy. The glass formed from the basalt is fairly homogeneous, depleted in highly volatile elements (e.g., Na, K), relatively enriched in moderately siderophile elements (e.g., Co, Ni), and has reached an equilibrium redox state with a lower Fe3+/Fe-tot ratio than that in the starting material. Spherical objects, enriched in SiO2, Na2O and K2O, were observed, inferring condensation from the vaporized material. Despite instantaneous quenching, the melt formed from the ordinary chondrite shows extensive crystallization of mostly olivine and magnetite, the latter indicative of oxygen fugacity compatible with presence of both Fe2+ and Fe3+. Similar features have been observed in natural meteorite fusion crusts and in micrometeorites, implying that, at least in terms of maximum temperature reached and chemical reactions, the experiments have successfully reproduced the conditions likely encountered by extraterrestrial material following atmospheric entry.},
  author       = {Pittarello, Lidia and Goderis, Steven and Soens, Bastien and McKibbin, Seann J. and Giuli, Gabriele and Bariselli, Federico and Dias, Bruno and Helber, Bernd and Lepore, Giovanni O. and Vanhaecke, Frank and Koeberl, Christian and Magin, Thierry E. and Claeys, Philippe},
  issn         = {0019-1035},
  journal      = {ICARUS},
  keywords     = {ABSORPTION FINE-STRUCTURE,COSMIC SPHERULES,ISOTOPIC COMPOSITIONS,ORDINARY CHONDRITES,OXIDATION-STATE,FUSION CRUSTS,OXYGEN,IRON,FE,MICROMETEORITES,Melting experiments,Atmospheric entry,Meteorites,Fusion crust,Redox},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {170--178},
  publisher    = {Academic Press Inc Elsevier Science},
  title        = {Meteoroid atmospheric entry investigated with plasma flow experiments: Petrography and geochemistry of the recovered material},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2019.04.033},
  volume       = {331},
  year         = {2019},
}

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