Workshop on Planetesimal Formation and Differentiation

Workshop on Planetesimal Formation and Differentiation
Sunday, 27 October (evening reception with plenary speaker Tim McCoy)
Monday, 28 October and Tuesday, 29 October 29 (full-day sessions)

The workshop will be held at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution, 5241 Broad Branch Rd. N.W., Washington, D.C.

Abstract Deadline: Thursday, 29 August 2013, 5:00 p.m. (U.S. Central Daylight Time)

Due to limited seating, you must register in advance.

Evidence from meteorites and, increasingly, from asteroids indicates that some early-forming bodies had sufficient heat to melt and differentiate into a core and mantle. Partial or complete melting can allow core formation and silicate differentiation, and can also remove volatiles. Other small bodies are apparently primitive (i.e., undifferentiated). We are now at a point where targeted interdisciplinary work can create a leap in our understanding.

• What bulk compositions and time frames of accretion would have allowed differentiation?
• Where in the solar system did these bodies originate?
• What can we observe of differentiated bodies in the asteroid belt today?
• Can we link asteroid observations to meteorites from differentiated parent bodies?
• What was the history and large-scale structure of meteorite parent bodies?

These questions bear on the critical transition from a protoplanetary disk to a solar system with rocky planets, on the habitability of those planets, and on resources in our solar system today for future space exploration.

Progress in understanding these processes will depend upon communication among the fields of meteorite and asteroid/icy body observations including space missions, theory, and modeling. The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers on all these subjects as they pertain to differentiation, asteroid observations, and meteorite compositions.

Some support for students is available. Please contact Lindy Elkins-Tanton.

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