Aubrite (Evolved)

Aubrite (Evolved)

Aubrites are named for the Aubres meteorite that fell in 1836 near Nyons, France. They are an evolved achondrite that is Ca-poor and composed mainly of enstatite (En100) and diopside (En50Wo50) with minor amounts of olivine (Fa0) and traces of plagioclase (An2-8).  They contain large white crystals of enstatite as well as small, varying amounts of olivine, Ni-Fe metal, troilite, and a variety of exotic accessory minerals, pointing to a magmatic origin under highly reducing (oxygen rich) conditions. Most aubrites are heavily brecciated, indicating a violent history for their parent body.
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Due to an aubrite’s typical light-colored fusion crusts, mostly cream white interiors, and fragile composition, they can be difficult to find in the hot deserts, but more easily found in the blue-ice fields of Antarctica. Many aubrites are witnessed falls with the largest of all being Norton County that fell in Kansas in 1948 and with a recovered mass of ~1.1 t.

Comparisons of the aubrite spectra to the spectra of asteroids have revealed striking similarities between the aubrites and the main belt asteroid 44 Nysa and other E-class objects. A small near-Earth asteroid, 3103 Eger, the only known E-class near-Earth asteroid (NEA), is suspected of being the actual parent body of the aubrites.

Content above used with permission from J. H. Wittke.

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