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Formation History of the Brachinites: Partial Melts from an R Chondrite-Like Parent Body

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The primitive achondrite meteorites provide a unique window to the beginning of melting and differentiation on planetary bodies in the early solar system.  The brachinites are a group of FeO-rich primitive achondrites that represent melting of a relatively FeO-rich body.  In an effort to better understand the formation conditions and history of the brachinite parent body, I have completed petrographic analyses of several brachinites, as well as a thermodynamic study of their formation conditions.  I will present this data and discuss the implications of the results on the composition of the brachinite parent body.  I will conclude by discussing the results of a series of one-atmosphere, gas-mixing, partial melting experiments of the R4 chondrite LaPaz Ice Field (LAP) 03639, performed to test the hypothesis that the precursor material to the brachinites was FeO-rich compared to other chondritic meteorites.

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