Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

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

Cosmic Spherules

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_362-3

Definition

Spherule comes from the Greek word “sphaira” for sphere. Cosmic spherules are solid, rounded particles ranging from micrometer to millimeter in size with distinct chemical compositions indicating their extraterrestrial origin. Cosmic spherules are predominantly found in ocean floor deposits on Earth and are mainly produced by frictional heating, melting, and ablation of meteoroids upon atmospheric entry. Solidified impact-induced molten droplets of meteoroid and target materials are less abundant on Earth but would predominate on the exposed surfaces of atmosphere-less bodies like the Moon that were strongly gardened by impacting meteoroids in their early history.

See Also

Keywords

Bioorganic Chemistry Target Material Exposed Surface Early History Ocean Floor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DLRInstitute of Planetary ResearchBerlinGermany