Overview of Macewan University's meteorite collection along with a detailed investigation of the Allende CV3 chondrite

  • Brianna Bell MacEwan University


Our understanding of the formation and evolution of meteorites has exponentially progressed since the beginning of the nineteenth century. To date, there are over 60,000 named meteorites, which are classified based on their chemical and physical properties (Meteoritical Bulletin, 2019). MacEwan University has a collection of meteorites, which has been catalogued as part of my undergraduate research project, including detailed analyses of the Allende CV3 chondrite from which a polished thin section is available for study.

The Allende meteorite thin section was analyzed using optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy to characterize micro-textures and mineralogy based on major element abundances. X-ray mapping of the distribution of 10 elements was performed using an electron microprobe. These analyses focused on refractory inclusions including calcium-aluminum inclusions (CAIs), amoeboid olivine aggregates (AOAs), Type A, Type B, or Type C. An additional part of this project investigated an organic compound in a meteorite mimic. The organic compound chosen is an aldehyde as this class of compound has been proposed as a possible synthon for the production of primordial amino acids.


Faculty Mentor: Erin Walton and Robert Hilts

Department: Earth and Planetary Sciences

Earth and Planetary Sciences