Micrometeorites and Their Implications for Meteors

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Abstract

Micrometeorites (MMs) are extraterrestrial dust particles, in the size range 25–400 μm, recovered from the Earth's surface. They have experienced a wide range of heating during atmospheric entry from completely molten spherules to particles heated to temperatures <300°C that have retained low temperature minerals. The majority of MMs have mineralogies, textures and compositions that strongly resemble components from chondritic meteorites suggesting these correspond to sporadic, low geocentric velocity meteors. Changes in MMs due to entry heating, however, have implications for meteoric processes in general that may allow the observed behaviour of meteors to be directly related to the material properties of their meteoroids.

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