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The Origin of Chondrites: Metal-Silicate Separation Experiments Under Microgravity Conditions, Experiment 2Chondrites are categorized into different groups by several properties, including the metal-to-silicate ratio. Various processes have been suggested to produce distinct metal/silicate ratios, some based on sorting in the early solar nebular and others occurring after accretion on the parent body. Huang et al. suggested that a weak gravitational field accompanied by degassing, could result in metal/silicate separation on parent bodies. We suggest that asteroids were volatile-rich, at least early in their histories. Spectroscopic evidence from asteroid surfaces indicates that one-third of all asteroids maybe rich in clays and hydrated minerals, similar to carbonaceous chondrites. Internal and/or external heating could have caused volatiles to evaporate and pass through a surface dust layer. Spacecraft images of asteroids show they have a thick regoliths. Housen, and Asphaug and Nolan proposed that even a 10 km diameter asteroid could potentially have a significant regolith. Grain size and grain density sorting could occur in the unconsolidated layer by the process known as fluidization. This process occurs when an upward stream of gas is passed through a bed of particles which are lifted against a gravitational force. Fluidization is commonly used commercially to sort particulates. This type of behavior is based upon the bed, as a whole, and differs from aerodynamic sorting. Two sets of reduced gravity experiments were conducted during parabolic flights aboard NASA's KC-135 aircraft. The first experiment employed 310 tubes of 2.5 cm diameter, containing mixtures of sand and metal grains. A gas source was used to fluidize the mixture at reduced gravity conditions and mixtures were analyzed after the flight. However, this experiment did not allow a description of the fluidization as a function of gravity. A second experiment was conducted on the KC-135 aircraft in the summer of 2001, consisting of two Plexiglas cylinders containing a metal/silicate mixture, and video cameras to record the experiment on tape. Here we summarize this experiment and discusses the implications for metalsilicate separation on asteroid bodies.
Document ID
20030111617
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Moore, S. R. (Arkansas-Oklahoma Center for Space and Planetary Sciences United States)
Franzen, M. (Arkansas-Oklahoma Center for Space and Planetary Sciences United States)
Benoit, P. H. (Arkansas-Oklahoma Center for Space and Planetary Sciences United States)
Sears, D. W. G. (Arkansas-Oklahoma Center for Space and Planetary Sciences United States)
Holley, A. (Arkansas-Oklahoma Center for Space and Planetary Sciences United States)
Myers, M. (Arkansas-Oklahoma Center for Space and Planetary Sciences United States)
Godsey, R. (Arkansas-Oklahoma Center for Space and Planetary Sciences United States)
Czlapinski, J. (Arkansas-Oklahoma Center for Space and Planetary Sciences United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Science XXXIV
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle20030110578Analytic PrimaryLunar and Planetary Science XXXIV
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