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Primordial lightning: Evidence preserved in chondritesAn increasing body of evidence suggests that transient heating events were important in forming or modifying many constituents of chondritic meteorites. For example, chondrule compositions and textures imply high cooling rates (approximately 5 to greater than 2000 C/hr) with only limited exposure to elevated temperatures (greater than 1200 C). Similarly, experimental studies of CAI's exhibiting igneous textures suggest cooling rates from 0.5 to 1000 C/hr, and thermal pulses as short as milliseconds may be responsible for CAI rim formation. Additionally, the spectrum of organic compounds observed in chondrites suggests that transient heating may also have played an important role in their formation. The exact nature of these transient events is less clear. A variety of mechanisms have been proposed (e.g., shock melting, drag heating, volcanism, electric discharges, and magnetic reconnection). However, a consensus is lacking as to which or what combination of these mechanisms was responsible for the range of features we observe in chondrites today. Much of the difficulty lies in the inability to identify features unique to any given process. Here we discuss electric discharges ('lightning') as a transient heat source and describe its unique signature preserved in chondrites.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Eisenhour, D.
(Arizona State Univ. Tempe, AZ, United States)
Buseck, P. R.
(Arizona State Univ. Tempe, AZ, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 1: A-F
Subject Category
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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