Nondestructive determination of the physical properties of Antarctic meteorites: Importance for the meteorite—parent body connectionOPEN ACCESS 

T. A. Harvey, J. L. MacArthur, K. H. Joy, D. Sykes, N. V. Almeida, R. H. Jones

Version of Record online: 14 November 2023


“Photogrammetry is a low-cost, nondestructive approach for producing 3-D models of meteorites for the purpose of determining sample bulk density. Coupled with the use of a nondestructive magnetic susceptibility/electrical conductivity field probe, we present measurements for the interrogation of several physical properties, on a set of Antarctic meteorites. Photogrammetry is an effective technique over a range of sample sizes, with meteorite bulk density results that are closely comparable with literature values, determined using Archimedean glass bead or laser scanning techniques. The technique is completely noncontaminating and suitable for the analysis of rare or fragile samples, although there are limitations for analyzing reflective samples. It is also flexible, and, with variations in equipment setup, may be appropriate for samples of a wide range of sizes. X-ray computed tomography analyses of the same meteorite samples yielded slightly different bulk density results, predominantly for samples below 10 g, although the reason for this is unclear. Such analyses are expensive and potentially damaging to certain features of the sample (e.g., organic compounds), but may be useful in expanding the measurements to accommodate an understanding of internal voids within the sample, lending itself to measurement of grain density. Measurements of bulk density are valuable for comparisons with estimates of the bulk densities of asteroids that are suggested as meteorite parent bodies.”