What Does Density Tell Us About Meteorites?

meteorite copyWhen comparing various meteorite types with potential parental asteroids, a key variable is density. For example, the average density of an iron meteorite is strongly affected by the Ni content and the inclusion of silicates or sulfides, to name a few factors. Traditional density measurements have often damaged the sample being studied, either by contact with an emersion liquid to determine the volume or by requiring the sample to be cut into a well-characterized reference shape. A new technique, developed by Fry et al., uses lasers to precisely and accurately measure the shape and density of meteorites without contact or cutting. READ MORE »