Chondrules: An enduring enigma


I am really looking forward to the chondrules workshop taking place tomorrow and Tuesday at the Natural History Museum, London. OK, so I have to get up at the crack of dawn to make it on time, but it’s worth it. The origin of chondrules is a central theme in meteorite science. Lots of work has been done, but are we any closer to understanding how these enigmatic objects formed?

Hopefully, I’m going to get some answers over the next couple of days.



Upper image: Ordinary chondrites contain a high abundance of chondrules (60% to 80%). These transmitted light images of the L3 chondrite CRA 03540 show well-developed examples of several distinctive chondrule textures. The large elongate chondrule in the upper left corner is a barred olivine type. The well-developed circular chondrule in the lower centre of the field of view is a radial pyroxene type and the small chondrule near the scale bar is a porphyritic type. (top view: plane-polarized light, bottom view: cross-polarized light, image: NASA)

Lower imageChondrules in the CO3 chondrite Dar al Gani 067. The textures developed in the two large circular chondrules, consisting of elongate crystals of the mineral olivine, suggest that both cooled rapidly. (plane-polarized light, field of view approx. 1mm, image: Richard Greenwood)


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