Primordial porous structure of chondrite parent bodies due to self-gravityOPEN ACCESS 

Tomomi Omura, Akiko M. Nakamura

Accepted for publication in The Planetary Science Journal


“The porosity of an asteroid is important when studying the evolution of our solar system through small bodies and for planning mitigation strategies to avoid disasters due to asteroid impacts. Our knowledge of asteroid porosity largely relies on meteorites sampled on Earth. However, chondrites sampled on Earth are suggested to be sorted by strength. In this study, we obtained an estimate of the most porous structure of primordial “granular” chondrite parent bodies based on measurements of the compaction behavior of chondrite component analogs. We measured compaction curves of dust and dust-beads mixture samples. The dust sample consisted of various spherical and irregular particles with diameters in the order of 10^0-10^1 μm. The mixture sample consisted of dust and beads with different dust volume fractions (~0.2-1). We used 1.5 and 4.8 μm particles as dust as a first step although the typical size of materials in matrix may be much smaller. We approximated the compaction curve of each sample with a power-law form and calculated the porosity structure of the primordial chondrite parent bodies using the experimental results. Our results show that the primordial parent bodies are likely to have higher porosity than the chondrites. Moreover, the relatively higher volume fraction of the matrix may be one of the reasons why most meteorites with high porosity are carbonaceous chondrites. “