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Rapid timescales for magma ocean crystallization on the Howardite-Eucrite-Diogenite parent body

Schiller, Martin, Baker, Joel, Creech, John, Paton, Chad, Millet, Marc-Alban, Irving, Anthony and Bizzarro, Martin 2011. Rapid timescales for magma ocean crystallization on the Howardite-Eucrite-Diogenite parent body. Astrophysical Journal Letters 740 (1) , L22. 10.1088/2041-8205/740/1/L22

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Asteroid 4 Vesta has long been postulated as the source for the howardite-eucrite-diogenite (HED) achondrite meteorites. Here we show that Al-free diogenite meteorites record variability in the mass-independent abundance of 26Mg (26Mg*) that is correlated with their mineral chemistry. This suggests that these meteorites captured the Mg-isotopic evolution of a large-scale differentiating magma body with increasing 27Al/24Mg during the lifespan of the short-lived 26Al nuclide (t 1/2 ~ 730,000 yr). Thus, diogenites and eucrites represent crystallization products of a large-scale magma ocean associated with the differentiation and magmatic evolution of the HED parent body. The 26Mg* composition of the most primitive diogenites requires onset of the magma ocean crystallization within 0.6–0.4 + 0.5 Myr of solar system formation. Moreover, 26Mg* variations among diogenites and eucrites imply that near complete solidification of the HED parent body occurred within the following 2-3 Myr. Thermal models predict that such rapid cooling and magma ocean crystallization could only occur on small asteroids (<100 km), implying that 4 Vesta is not the source of the HED meteorites.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Uncontrolled Keywords: astrochemistry; meteorites, meteors, meteoroids; minor planets, asteroids: general; protoplanetary disks
Publisher: Institute of Physics
ISSN: 2041-8205
Date of Acceptance: 2 September 2011
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 09:18

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