Variations of cosmogenic radionuclide production rates along the meteorite orbits

Alexeev, V. A.; Laubenstein, M.; Povinec, P. P.; Ustinova, G. K.

Advances in Space Research, Volume 56, Issue 4, p. 766-771


Cosmogenic radionuclides produced by galactic cosmic rays (GCR) in meteorites during their motion in space are natural detectors of the GCR intensity and variations along the meteorite orbits. On the basis of measured and calculated contents of cosmogenic radionuclides in the freshly fallen Chelyabinsk and Košice chondrites some peculiarities of generation of cosmogenic radionuclides of different half-lives in the chondrites of different orbits and dates of fall onto the Earth are demonstrated. Dependence of production rates of the radionuclides on the GCR variations in the heliosphere is analyzed. Using radionuclides with different half-lives it is possible to compare the average GCR intensity over various time periods. The measurement and theoretical analysis of cosmogenic radionuclides in consecutively fallen chondrites provide a unique information on the space–time continuum of the cosmogenic radionuclide production rates and their variations over a long time scale, which could be useful in correlative analyses of processes in the heliosphere. Some applications of cosmogenic radionuclide depth distribution in chondrites for estimation of their pre-atmospheric sizes are illustrated.