UE13 : Meteorites

This course aims to present the latest advances in the field of cosmochemistry, i.e. the study of meteorites. Meteorites are rocks that have fallen from the sky, coming from small bodies (asteroids and comets) but also from the Moon and Mars. Their study in the laboratory allows us to understand the formation and evolution of our solar system.

Immense progress has been made recently, in particular due to the comparison of astronomical observations of star-forming regions (Orion, Taurus…) and laboratory data obtained on meteorites. We will deal more particularly with the following topics :

– Generalities on meteorites

– Elements of extraterrestrial mineralogy

– Chondrites and protoplanetary disks

– Planetary differentiation

– Radioactive clocks and chronology

 The course will take place at the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle, where the French meteorite collection is kept. A 3-hour session will be devoted to meteorite observations under the microscope. A visit to the mass spectrometry laboratory will be organized.

Speakers: M. Gounelle, E. Jacquet, M. Roskosz, S. Pont

Figures: False color image of the chondrite GRO 03116. Scanning electron microscopy. (Credit A. Kearsley, NHM London). Images of protoplanetary disks around young stars. (Credit NASA). Ordinary chondrite found in the Atacama desert (Credit M. Gounelle).

Contact : Prof. Matthieu Gounelle, Muséum national d’histoire naturelle, 57 rue Cuvier. 75005 Paris – France. Tel : (33) 01 40 79 35 21- E-mail : gounelle[@robas]mnhn.fr