Carbonaceous Chondrite

Carbonaceous Chondrite

Carbonaceous chondrites are the rarest of all the meteorite specimens. Like most meteorites, there are composed of a matrix and chondrules. The matrix is basically the body of the meteorite.  In the case of the carbonaceous chondrite, it’s composed of soft minerals very similar to serpentine or montmorillonite (John A. Wood, The Solar System, 1979). Due to it’s composition, very few of these meteorites survive the entry into the earth’s atmosphere. Those that do face further weathering damage at the surface of the earth.

The chondrules are the rounded minerals that are studded into the matrix. They are mostly composed of olivine and orthopyroxene and are generally rounded in shape (like the picture shows). However, not all CC’s have chondrules. Some have these irregular inclusions that are composed of uncommon minerals such as spinel and grossular. These minerals have been enriched in “calcium, magnesium, aluminium and titanium relative to silicon” (Wood, 1979).

Sources:

John A. Wood, The Solar System, 1979

Carbonaceous Chondrite Meteorites http://www.astro.washington.edu/courses/labs/clearinghouse/labs/Meteors/meteors.html

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