Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • Frank Sohl
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_287-3


Chondrites are undifferentiated stony meteorites and represent the majority among stony meteorites. The term literally means “with chondrules” and therefore underlines the main difference to achondrites. Chondrites consist of a fine-grained matrix of micrometer-sized dust particles, surrounding roughly millimeter-sized, round inclusions (chondrules), refractory CAIs (Ca-Al-rich inclusions), particles enriched in metallic Fe-Ni and sulfides, and other individual mineral grains. The matrix also contains presolar grains that formed elsewhere in the Galaxy before the Solar System came into being. The presence of chondrulesmay suggest that chondrites were formed by accretion of thermally processed dust particles, whereas their primitive parent bodies never experienced partial melting and recrystallization. The class of chondrites has been divided into enstatite (EH and EL types), Rumuruti (R type), ordinary (H, L, and LL types), and carbonaceous (C types); the latter is subject...


Bioorganic Chemistry Solar System Partial Melting Dust Particle High Iron 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DLRInstitute of Planetary ResearchBerlinGermany