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Notes on Saratov

In the spirit of MetSoc98 and those who shoot Murchison bullets,
I submit the following for your approval:



A 24g fragment of Saratov (L4) was manually crumbled with a force
of approximately 10 pounds per square inch. It was noted that two
areas of different density were found. One crumbled very easily into
very fine powder and small chondrules. The other area appeared to be
better cemented and could not be crumbled at all by hand. There was
no obvious difference visually between the two areas. Even under
low magnification, it was not possible to decide which area would
be more easy to crumble.

This has relevance in the study of porosity of asteroid parent bodies.
Further research is warranted.



An assortment of chondrules from Saratov was obtained. These were
hand sorted by size. About 100 chondrules larger than 1 mm were
ultrasonically cleaned in distilled water and soaked overnight in 
anhydrous alcohol. The remaining smaller chondrules were also cleaned
and soaked in alcohol in the same way.

The next day the smaller chondrules exhibited a clear alcohol solution
while the vial with the larger chondrules exhibited a pronounced
yellow tint.

The presence of sulfur is suspected. Why this would be present in only
larger chondrules taken from a small area of a meteorite is unknown.
Further investigaton is warranted.


The author received no grant to support this research, nor was the sample
donated by a kind benefactor. However, those who wish to contribute to the
Jim Hurley ion microprobe fund are welcome. 


Pictures of the chondrules may be found at


These were scanned at the limit of my equipment: 2400 dpi.
Some of the chondrules are tubular and several show small impact events (probably).
The red color is due to rust. These were all magnetically attracted to a weak magnet.

Prior to it malaise, the specimen looked like this:

It's now about 2/3 that size. When I bought it, it had a rounded impression of about 7 mm
on one side which looked like a monster chondrule crater. I wish that chondrule were mine.

The two notes in this email are humorous, but true. Why so many tantalizing
MetSoc98 reports say - "It did this and that and saw this. Further analysis is warranted"
seems to imply that a free trip to Ireland was the goal. Or is that how Real Science (tm)
is performed?

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