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Electromagnetic heating of minor planets in the early solar systemElectromagnetic processes occurring in the primordial solar system are likely to have significantly affected planetary evolution. In particular, electrical coupling of the kinetic energy of a dense T-Tauri-like solar wind into the interior of the smaller planets could have been a major driver of thermal metamorphism. Accordingly a grid of asteroid models of various sizes and solar distances was constructed using dc transverse magnetic induction theory. Plausible parameterizations with no requirement for a high environmental temperature led to complete melting for Vesta with no melting for Pallas and Ceres. High temperatures were reached in the Pallas model, perhaps implying nonmelting thermal metamorphosis as a cause of its anomalous spectrum. A reversal of this temperature sequence seems implausible, suggesting that the Ceres-Pallas-Vesta dichotomy is a natural outcome of the induction mechanism. Highly localized heating is expected to arise due to an instability in the temperature-controlled current distribution. Localized metamorphosis resulting from this effect may be relevant to the production and evolution of pallasites, the large presumed metal component of S object spectra, and the formation of the lunar magma ocean.
Document ID
19800032650
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Authors
Herbert, F. (Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Sonett, C. P. (Arizona, University Tucson, Ariz., United States)
Date Acquired
August 10, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 1979
Publication Information
Publication: Icarus
Volume: 40
Subject Category
LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NGR-03-002-370
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other