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Classifying meteorites A number of different ways have been devised of classifying meteorites. They are often divided into "ordinary chondrites" (which seem to be associated with Earth-crossing asteroids, replenished from the main belt) and "carbonaceous chondrites" which seem to be similar to bodies in the main asteroid belt, but could also be linked to cometary cores. The chondrites are often broken into classes using the Fe:FeS ratio v Fe:FeO and other ratios of material. Another classification is in terms of the FeO content of Pyroxene v FeO in the Olivine. These types of classifications are usually tied in with attempts to group the bodies according to origin. Some of the achondrites (igneous stony meteorites) are though to be lunar fragments - and we
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Unformatted text preview: have already see under "Mars" that there is a group (SNC) of meteorites thought to originate on Mars. The usual way of assigning such groupings is by measuringthe isotopic abundances, the proportion of volatiles and the radio-isotope content. (See also the description of identifo the description of identification of the SNC meteorites.) All these compositional analyses give clues to the origins of the material and enable theories to be developed concerning relationships between types, and to primordial material. This has proven complex and as yet far from conclusive, with too many unknowns (see pp 330-333 Lewis). Certainly there is some evidence of a connection often to the asteroid bodies, however....
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