EucriteMost common type of achondrite meteorite and a member of the HED group. Eucrites are basalts composed primarily of pigeonite and anorthite (An60-98). Eucrites have been placed into three subgroups based on mineralogical and chemical differences. • Non-cumulate eucrites represent the upper crust that solidified on a magma ocean after Polymict
Found April 2000 26° 41′ N., 11° 44′ W.
A single 12.87 kg stone was recovered from the Western Sahara. Smara is a fragmental brecciaWork in Progress ... A rock that is a mechanical mixture of different minerals and/or rock fragments (clasts). A breccia may also be distinguished by the origin of its clasts: (monomict breccia: monogenetic or monolithologic, and polymict breccia: polygenetic or polylithologic). The proportions of these fragments within the unbrecciated material containing a variety of clastA mineral or rock fragment embedded in another rock. types including basalts, gabbros, microgabbros, and impact-melts, the latter measuring up to 1 cm in diameter. Continued research on this new findMeteorite not seen to fall, but recovered at some later date. For example, many finds from Antarctica fell 10,000 to 700,000 years ago. should reveal many more details about its formation history.
The probable source asteroid, 4 VestaThird largest and fourth brightest asteroid; it was discovered in 1807 by Heinrich Olbers and named for the ancient Roman goddess of the hearth. 4 Vesta has a basaltic surface composition and an average density not much less than that of Mars. Evidently lava once flowed here indicating that the, has a diameter of ~525 km. It has an outer basaltic crustOutermost layer of a differentiated planet, asteroid or moon, usually consisting of silicate rock and extending no more than 10s of km from the surface. The term is also applied to icy bodies, in which case it is composed of ices, frozen gases, and accumulated meteoritic material. On Earth, the thin enough (~10–25 km) to have been completely excavated down to diogenitic material by the huge impact which left the 460-km-wide, ~13-km-deep craterBowl-like depression ("crater" means "cup" in Latin) on the surface of a planet, moon, or asteroid. Craters range in size from a few centimeters to over 1,000 km across, and are mostly caused by impact or by volcanic activity, though some are due to cryovolcanism. near the south pole. Exposure ageTime interval that a meteoroid was an independent body in space. In other words, the time between when a meteoroid was broken off its parent body and its arrival on Earth as a meteorite - also known simply as the "exposure age." It can be estimated from the observed effects distributions of a statistical sampling of HED meteorites show that at least two major impact events occurred during its history—one at 22 m.y. ago and another at 39 m.y. ago. Many shallower impacts into eucritic strataOriginally horizontal layers of rock. also occurred. Some of the eucriteMost common type of achondrite meteorite and a member of the HED group. Eucrites are basalts composed primarily of pigeonite and anorthite (An60-98). Eucrites have been placed into three subgroups based on mineralogical and chemical differences. • Non-cumulate eucrites represent the upper crust that solidified on a magma ocean after, diogeniteDiogenites belong to the evolved achondrite HED group that also includes howardites and eucrites. They are named after the Greek philosopher Diogenes of Apollonia, of the 5th century BCE, who was the first to suggest that meteorites come from outer space (a realization forgotten for over 2,000 years). They are, and howarditeOne type of meteorite in the HED (Howardite, Eucrite, Diogenite) achondrite group. Howardites are named after the English chemist Edward Howard (1774-1816), one of the pioneers of meteoritics. Consisting mostly of eucritic and diogenitic clasts and fragments, howardites are polymict breccias. However, they can also contain dark clasts of carbonaceous material was spalled into space by these impacts and entrained into the 3:1 and ν6 resonances. A recent search has identified twenty small Vesta-like asteroids, eight of which bridge the gap between Vesta and the 3:1 resonance, which are composed of both eucritic and diogenitic fragments. Consequently, HED fragments were perturbed from these dynamical escape hatches into Earth-crossing orbits on time scales of tens-to-hundreds of m.y., where they were eventually swept up by Earth’s gravityAttractive force between all matter - one of the four fundamental forces. to land in our collections.
The general composition of eucritesMost common type of achondrite meteorite and a member of the HED group. Eucrites are basalts composed primarily of pigeonite and anorthite (An60-98). Eucrites have been placed into three subgroups based on mineralogical and chemical differences. • Non-cumulate eucrites represent the upper crust that solidified on a magma ocean after consists of roughly equal amounts of anorthiteRare compositional variety of plagioclase and the calcium end-member of the plagioclase feldspar mineral series with the formula CaAl2Si2O8. Anorthite is found in mafic igneous rocks such as anorthosite. Anorthite is abundant on the Moon and in lunar meteorites. However, anorthite is very rare on Earth since it weathers rapidly, a plagioclaseAlso referred to as the plagioclase feldspar series. Plagioclase is a common rock-forming series of feldspar minerals containing a continuous solid solution of calcium and sodium: (Na1-x,Cax)(Alx+1,Si1-x)Si2O8 where x = 0 to 1. The Ca-rich end-member is called anorthite (pure anorthite has formula: CaAl2Si2O8) and the Na-rich end-member is albitefeldsparAn alumino-silicate mineral containing a solid solution of calcium, sodium and potassium. Over half the Earth’s crust is composed of feldspars and due to their abundance, feldspars are used in the classification of igneous rocks. A more complete explanation can be found on the feldspar group page., and the clinopyroxene pigeoniteLow-Ca clinopyroxene, (Ca,Mg,Fe)SiO3, found as a major mineral in eucrites and shergottites. In order to be considered pigeonite, the clinopyroxene must contain 5 to 20 mol % of calcium (Wo5 - 20). Chondrites of petrologic types 4 and below contain significant low-Ca clinopyroxene. During metamorphism to higher temperatures, all existing. The parental magmaMolten silicate (rock) beneath the surface of a planetary body or moon. When it reaches the surface, magma is called lava. was probably derived from the maficOne of the two broad categories of silicate minerals, the other being felsic, based on its magnesium (Mg) and/or iron (Fe) content. Mafic indicates silicate minerals that are predominantly comprised of Mg and/or Fe.The term is derived from those major constituents: Magnesium + Ferrum (Latin for iron) + ic (havingmineralInorganic substance that is (1) naturally occurring (but does not have a biologic or man-made origin) and formed by physical (not biological) forces with a (2) defined chemical composition of limited variation, has a (3) distinctive set of of physical properties including being a solid, and has a (4) homogeneous peridotite, a mixture of olivineGroup of silicate minerals, (Mg,Fe)2SiO4, with the compositional endpoints of forsterite (Mg2SiO4) and fayalite (Fe2SiO4). Olivine is commonly found in all chondrites within both the matrix and chondrules, achondrites including most primitive achondrites and some evolved achondrites, in pallasites as large yellow-green crystals (brown when terrestrialized), in the silicate portion, pigeonite, and plagioclase, which is the same mineral that forms the bulk of the Earth’s upper mantleMain silicate-rich zone within a planet between the crust and metallic core. The mantle accounts for 82% of Earth's volume and is composed of silicate minerals rich in Mg. The temperature of the mantle can be as high as 3,700 °C. Heat generated in the core causes convection currents in. Eucrite differentiationA process by which a generally homogeneous chondritic body containing mostly metal, silicates and sulfides will melt and form distinct (differentiated) layers of different densities. When the melting process continues for a long enough period of time, the once chondritic body will re-partition into layers of different composition including and crystallizationPhysical or chemical process or action that results in the formation of regularly-shaped, -sized, and -patterned solid forms known as crystals. occurred very early in Solar SystemThe Sun and set of objects orbiting around it including planets and their moons and rings, asteroids, comets, and meteoroids. history, ~4.565 b.y. ago, while cooling and metamorphism within individual ejectaFractured and/or molten rocky debris thrown out of a crater during a meteorite impact event, or, alternatively, material, including ash, lapilli, and bombs, erupted from a volcano. blankets lasted an additional ~600 m.y. The photo above shows a 1.9 g partial slice of Smara exhibiting its brecciated texture.