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Petrogenesis of Two New Eucrites from Northwest Africa

Learn more about Geology and Physics at Middlebury College.

Eucrite meteorites formed within the first seven million years of the start of the solar system, and are widely believed to originate from the asteroid 4 Vesta. Thus eucrites hold important insights into the geologic processes that were active on small planetary bodies, and particularly into their chemical differentiation. Two meteorites recovered in 2009 from Northwest Africa appear to be unbrecciated basaltic eucrites, and have similar mineral assemblages. The characterization of these samples by petrography, mineral chemistry, and whole-rock chemistry will help to provide an understanding of their formation, and will indicate whether they are paired. Comparisons with other eucrites described in the literature may provide additional insights into the chemical evolution of 4 Vesta.

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Cameron Mercer
Researcher

Ray Coish
Sponsor and Professor of Geology

Hubble image of 4 Vesta (NASA)

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