Thursday, October 23, 2008

carbonaceous chondrite

A carbonaceous chondrite or a C-type chondrite is a type of chondritic meteorite which contains high levels of water and organic compounds, representing only a small proportion (~5%) of known meteorites. Their bulk composition is mainly silicates, oxides and sulfides, while the minerals olivine and serpentine are characteristic. The presence of volatile organic chemicals and water indicates that they have not undergone significant heating (>200°C) since they formed, so their composition is considered to be representative of the solar nebula from which the solar system condensed.

Carbonaceous chondrites are grouped according to distinctive compositions thought to reflect the type of parent body from which they originated. These are named after a prominent meteorite - often the first to be discovered - in the group.

Some famous carbonaceous chondrites are: Orgueil, Ivuna, Murray, Murchison, Tagish Lake and Allende.

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