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The Sołtmany hammer meteorite is classified as an ordinary chondrite type L6, W0, S2. At present it is the most thoroughly and comprehensively examined Polish meteorite. A comprehensive petrological, mineralogical and geochemical analysis alongside the investigation of its physical and particularly thermophysical properties, and, most of all, analyses of cosmogenic radionuclides and noble gases isotopes content, as well as the use of a troilite thermometer has made it possible to draw interesting conclusions concerning the genesis and evolution of the parent body and the history of the parent meteoroid and, finally, the Sołtmany meteorite. The present report attempts at summing up the results of studies conducted at several European research centres in the last four years. The age of the the Sołtmany chondrite parent rock has been defined at 4.137 billion years. It was formed at a temperature of up to 440–450 K (about 170°C), probably at a depth of up to 3 to 7 km under the surface of the parent body, i.e. at a pressure of the order of 1–2.4 kbar. Such a low temperature during the accretion, diagenesis and metamorphism of the parent body may point to its complicated development, which may be in part due to collisions of partially melted planetesimals. Like with other type L ordinary chondrites, one can infer that the parent body could have been destroyed about 467 million years ago, at the time of a catastrophic collision which led to the formation of Gefion family of planetoids. Perhaps one of the bodies in this family was involved in another collision about 29.2 million years ago, which resulted in ejecting the parent meteoroid of the Sołtmany chondrite onto the Earth collision trajectory. Before entering the Earth’s atmosphere, this meteoroid had the mass of about 36 kg and the diameter of ca 13.5 cm. During its flight through the atmosphere, it rotated and somersaulted, which resulted in the formation of an uniform thin (0.5–0.7 mm) fusion crust, whose temperature reached 1000°C. In the last phase, the Sołtmany meteorite fell almost vertically and its mass was a mere 3% of the mass of the parent meteoroid – 1.066 kg. It hit the roof and then the concrete stairs of a farm building, which caused it to break into two bigger and many small pieces. It was found a few minutes after the fall, which occurred at 6:03 a.m. (CEST, UTC+2:00) on 30 April 2011, by Wydmińskie Lake in northern Poland (54°00,53’N, 22°00,30’E). The Sołtmany chondrite is one of just 14 meteorites in which the activity concentration of the cosmogenic 52Mn has been determined, and one of the few ordinary chondrites where the concentration of organic matter has been defined. As a result, it was found out that unlike in carbonaceous CI chondrites, the composition of organic particles is dominated by less complex compounds (CHO and CHOS) than CHNO and CHNOS compounds. This may indicate the decomposition of more complex organic compounds into particles with simple structures during magmatic and metamorphic processes related to formation of type L ordinary chondrites.
Gefion family L6 asteroid atomic weight bulk chemistry cosmic-ray exposure age cosmogenic radionuclides density fusion crust magnetic susceptibility meteorite meteorite age meteorite fall mössbauer spectroscopy noble gas ordinary chondrite organic matter parent body porosity primordial radionuclides thermophysical properties troilite thermometer
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