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The Meteorite Apprentice — planetary differentiation

Differentiation: chondrites & achondrites

Posted by Dustin Dickens on

Differentiation: chondrites & achondrites

Keeping it simple, differentiation, also known as 'planetary differentiation' is the process of an asteroid getting so big that most of the metal distributed throughout its mass is pulled by gravity down to the center to form a 'core'. This leaves the lighter rocky material to float above the iron-nickel core and form a 'mantle'. This little bit of information is a keyhole that will allow those new to meteorites to glimpse just how intertwined planetary science and meteorites truly are.
  • Tags: achondrites, achondritic, chondrites, chondritic, differentiation, meteorites, planetary differentiation, planetary science

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