Meteorites and Cosmochemistry
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The study of meteorites is important for a number of reasons but three aspects are of particular significance. On the one hand they represent, along with lunar samples, the only extraterrestrial material available for detailed laboratory study. As such they provide an important window on the chemistry of the solar system, beyond what is directly available on the Earth, and they give an indication of the variablity of that chemistry between individual components of the solar system. Secondly they represent material which for the most part has been relatively unaffected by geological processes since the formation of the Solar System and hence provide the most direct evidence for events and processes which occurred during and immediately following the birth of the solar system. Finally, as a result of periods of exposure to cosmic rays, solar flare particles, solar wind and micrometeorites prior to arriving on Earth, they, and the lunar samples provide the only long term record of the interplanetary flux of these particles and of their effects.
KeywordsSolar Wind Solar System Parent Body Solar Nebula Lunar Sample
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