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Meteorites, the only proved extra-terrestrial solid objects currently available on the Earth, are being extensively studied by many investigators. Data now available enable us to reconstruct some features of the period during which meteorites were exposed to cosmic rays. A brief discussion of meteoritic types is followed by presentation of the results of radiochemical and mass-spectrometric investigations on meteorites. From the amounts of cosmogenic, stable and radioactive species, conclusions can be drawn concerning the duration of cosmic-ray exposure, the spectrum and intensity of the incident cosmic-ray flux, the pre-atmospheric size and shape of the meteorites, and the terrestrial history of these objects. A brief discussion of some, as yet unanswered, questions concerning meteorites is presented.
Lipschutz, Michael E.
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.