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DELIVERY OF PLANETARY EJECTA TO EARTH

A Dissertation
Presented to the Fa ulty of the Graduate S hool
of Cornell University
in Partial Ful llment of the Requirements for the Degree of
Do tor of Philosophy

by
Brett James Gladman
August 1996

Brett James Gladman 1996

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

DELIVERY OF PLANETARY EJECTA TO EARTH


Brett James Gladman, Ph.D.
Cornell University 1996
Orbital histories of eje ta from the terrestrial planets are numeri ally integrated to study their transfer to Earth. The regularized mixed-variable symple ti integration ode in ludes the e e ts of the planets from Mer ury through
Neptune. Parti les are followed until they impa t a planet, strike the Sun, or
ross the orbit of Jupiter. The distribution of transit times for Earth-impa ting
obje ts is ompared with the osmi -ray exposure data for the lunar and martian
meteorites. This omparison is onsistent with a re urrent eje tion of small meteoroids due to impa ts on their parent bodies. Long-range gravitational e e ts,
espe ially se ular resonan es, strongly in uen e the orbits of many meteoroids
and an in rease meteoroid ollision rates with other planets and even the Sun.
These e e ts, and ollisional destru tion in the asteroid belt, result in shortened
time s ales and higher uxes than previously believed, espe ially for martian meteorites. A small ux of mer urian meteorites appears possible; re overy of eje ta
from the Earth and Venus is less likely.
A model is presented whi h al ulates the expe ted transfer-age spe trum in
terms of the impa tor ux onto the Moon and Mars. The non-zero, but nite, age
of the Antar ti i e sheet is ru ial in understanding the di erent distributions of
transfer ages in the lunar and martian ases. To mat h the data, most re entlyarrived lunar meteorites must have been laun hed by impa tors of diameter D <
100 m whi h stru k the Moon in the last few hundred thousand years. In ontrast,
martian meteorites were laun hed by impa tors several kilometers in diameter
that stru k Mars several million years ago. The number of meteoroids laun hed
by ea h impa t must s ale as D in the lunar ase, but  D for Mars. Di erent
surfa e properties for the Moon and Mars may a ount for these di eren es.
2

Biographi al Sket h
Most thesis biographies seem to begin with birth, whi h has an ines apable logi
that one must onform to. Brett James Gladman was born on April 19th, 1966
as his poor parents were attempting to drive from northern Alberta to Calgary
(he being in a rush, as usual). Be ause his father was in the Royal Canadian
Air For e, Brett spent mu h of his youth moving around Canada from military
base to military base, whi h gave him a trait of so ial independen e whi h has
been both a strength and a weakness. Travel was a onstant thing in his life, for
even when not hanging towns or o upations, his parents were onstantly going
o amping, with Brett, his brother Brad (14 months junior), and a trailer, in
tow. During the long drives, Brett read vora iously although this produ ed many
beratings from his father, who didn't want him to miss the \beautiful s enery"
(whi h onsisted of perfe tly level entral Canadian plains pun tuated by the
o asional heroi grain elevator). His father en ouraged an interest in arithmeti
during these trips by naming long strings of operations to be performed on an
initial number (\Take 3, multiply by 10, subtra t 2, divide by 4, ..."); an a tivity
whi h Brett would be willing to do until it drove everyone nutty.
At the start of his teenage years Brett had no real idea of what he wanted
to do with his life, but knew it would probably be in a eld ending in -ology or
-onomy (paleontology, geology, and astronomy were high on the list, re exology
never appeared, and gastronomy was a later addition). As is the ase for many
hildren, he was fas inated by spa e and dinosaurs. He had an addi tion to
omputers in high s hool, but de ided that he wanted the ma hine to be a tool
instead of being the enter of a areer.
Near the end of high s hool, Brett happened to see a magazine arti le biographing a relativist, Dr. Werner Israel, at the University of Alberta. Sin e
Brett had always thought that bla k holes were ` ool', he wrote Dr. Israel a letter
expressing an interest in the subje t and asking for some further re ommended
readings. The reply in luded an invitation to visit the university. This visit, and
the kind advi e of Dr. Israel, onvin ed Brett to enroll in a physi s program,
whi h he ompleted in 1988, re eiving a B.S . (Honours) degree. While at the
U. of A., he was most heavily in uen ed by the astronomer Dr. Douglas Hube,
under whose guidan e Brett performed a term-proje t to ompute the orbit of
the asteroid Vesta, whi h was photographed from the observatory on the roof of
iii

the physi s building. Although the su ess of this proje t left something to be
desired, it whetted Brett's appetite for me hani s and dynami s. For a hange,
Brett worked during his undergraduate summers at a nu lear medi ine department at the Foothills hospital in Calgary, Alberta. While there Brett obtained
an appre iation for the di ulties of applied s ien e (the human body is poorly
approximated by a sphere).
After a brief foray for a summer into general relativity (whi h Brett found
somewhat dry) Brett fortuitously hose to attend Queen's University in Kingston,
Ontario. There he worked with Dr. Martin Dun an, who was also eeing general
relativity and had begun working on solar system dynami s. Brett's M.S . thesis
`Symple ti integrations of test parti le orbits in the outer solar system' applied
new numeri al algorithms to show that there were no stable orbits between the
outer planets where small bodies ould survive for the lifetime of the solar system.
The degree was ompleted in August 1990.
Brett drew a huge breath in the summer of 1990 and ele ted to take a year
away from university before ontinuing his studies. For several months Brett
worked as a `swamper' ba k home in Calgary, unloading several tonnes of margarine ea h day from argo tru ks. This experien e rmly reinfor ed in Brett's
mind the value of an edu ation, although the manual labour was a refreshing
hange from sitting in front of omputer terminals. However, the highlight and
main purpose of the year's `sabbati ' was a three-month va ation in Europe.
Brett spent two months in northern Italy soaking up its art treasures and eating
like a king. He then visited Salzburg, Bavaria (where he nally developed a taste
for beer), and entral Fran e.
Brett arrived at Cornell in September 1991 and began working with Dr. Joseph
A. Burns. A term proje t turned into a paper on theoreti al dynami s (B. Gladman 1993. Dynami s of systems of two lose planets. I arus 106, 247-263).
Brett was also fortunate to be able to ondu t a series of observations to sear h
for, and re over, Kuiper-Belt omets at the Mount Palomar 5-meter teles ope.
Another term proje t evolved into an extended ollaboration, whi h eventually
produ ed a paper on satellite spin dynami s (B. Gladman, D. Quinn, P. Ni holson, and R. Rand 1996. Syn hronous lo king of tidally evolving satellites. I arus,
in press). Although these were interesting and rewarding studies, Brett still did
not have a thesis topi , nor did he yet feel like a Cornellian. The pur hase of a
pair of Birkensto ks qui kly solved the latter problem, and put Brett in line with
a distinguished string of Burns' graduate students (in fa t, the resemblan e to his
advisor began to rea h frightening proportions in the late stages of this thesis).
Brett's do toral thesis is the end produ t of a gradual evolution of topi s.
Rabinowitz et al. (1993) dis overed of belt of small Earth-approa hing asteroids
(SEAs) and postulated a lunar sour e for these obje ts. While studying this
problem, it was determined that although some fa ets of the orbital distribution
of the SEAs ould be explained using the lunar sour e, the required number of
iv

large ( 10 m) meteoroids ould not be laun hed without having the number of
lunar meteorites be far larger than observed. It was then natural to study the
delivery dynami s of these lunar meteorites, and then extend this to in lude the
martian ones as well.
Brett a epted the o er of a Henri Poin are fellowship to work at l'Observatoire
de la C^ote d'Azur in Ni e, Fran e, to begin Sept. 1, 1996. He will then begin a
post-do toral fellowship at the Canadian Institute of Theoreti al Astrophysi s in
Toronto, Canada on Sept. 1 1997.

To my family, for their support,


to Sue Chamberlain, for making writing this less painful,
to George Wetherill, for whom I have the greatest respe t,
and
to Joe Burns, for his guidan e.

vi

A knowledgments
Joe Burns re eives my utmost appre iation for the support he has given me
throughout my time at Cornell. Joe allowed me free reign to pursue topi s that
attra ted my interest, and was a sour e of sage advi e in every ase. His abilities
as an editor are se ond to none, and I believe that my ability to on isely express
s ienti ideas has in reased greatly under his tutelage. The opportunities he
provided for travel to onferen es allowed me to meet and ollaborate with many
s ientists; I believe that this has helped my areer immensely. I regret that we
were never able to make the mythi journey to Palomar together.
I learned mu h from Phil Ni holson in the ourse of one lass and many dis ussions. Phil en ouraged me to be a better s ientist by stressing the importan e
of having fa ts at one's ngertips so that ideas an be qui kly he ked for sanity.
His thorough reading of this thesis has resulted in several improvements.
Martha Haynes, Terry Herter, Tyler Nordgren, Phil Ni holson, and Mar o
S odeggio, were of great help in preparing for trips to Palomar. Greg Bla k,
Tyler Nordgren, Mar o S odeggio, and Peter Wilson were re eptive to hearing
me attempt to explain some idea or another that I'd gotten into my head, and
ru ial in helping to get through those rst-year ele trodynami s and statisti al me hani s problem sets during our weekend homework- run hing meetings.
Dane Quinn and Ri hard Rand were a pleasure to work with on the satellite-spin
problem, and I learned a great deal of non-linear dynami s from Ri hard and
Philip Holmes (how mu h I remember o the top of my head is another story of
ourse...).
Martin Dun an and Hal Levison were very kind in providing me with their
numeri al integration ode (RMVS), without whi h this thesis would not have
been possible. Joe Burns must be ommended for allowing me talk him into
pur hasing a fast Hewlett Pa kard workstation, whi h made this study feasible.
George Wetherill and Paul Warren provided a wealth of reative ideas and
thoughtful riti isms at various stages of this work. Many of the ideas behind
this thesis follow dire tly from Paul's work. I have the utmost respe t for George
Wetherill, whom I view as the father of this whole eld; I shall not soon forget
his wisdom and his insight.
Sue Pakkala, Danielle O'Conner, Sandy Ma k, and Elizabeth Bilson all helped
me by taking are of the nitty-gritty details of everyday existen e, and photovii

opying all those papers. I espe ially must express my gratitude to Cheryl Hall
for her unwavering, smiling assistan e in all manner of deeds relating to paper
submissions, faxes, 4:59 PM Fed Exs, and mailing out preprint after preprint
(but man, how I loved that `printed matter' stamp!).
On the so ial front, I thank Matt Ashby for his pri eless support as a friend
through good times and bad; never have I felt that someone understood me
so well. Amy Miran brightened many an hour with her good humor and her
menagerie. I will remember fondly all the trips with Tyler Nordgren and Julie
Rathbun to various watering holes. Mar o S odeggio and Anna Giuliani provided
many an enjoyable get-together; unforgettable dinners were provided by Anna's
skilled hands (one word: gno hi!). I was fortunate enough to be gra iously
entertained in the sumptuous kit hen-by-the-lake of Joseph and Judy Burns on
several o asions. Martha Haynes and Ri ardo Giovanelli hosted memorable
evenings at their house. Many a ne steak (rare, of ourse) was devoured at the
se retive bi-annual meetings of the MEA (Meat-Eaters Anonymous, founded by
myself, Tyler, and Ri ardo). To this day I wonder: does Martha know?
Treasured memories of Itha a in lude: Bound for Glory (a live Sunday night
folk musi broad ast), sailing on Cayuga Lake, a tasty beer or two at the Chapter house, those wonderful wine-tasting expeditions, gorge hiking, plays at the
Hangar Theater, dan ing with Donna the Bu alo, Sunday morning o ee on the
Itha a Commons with Matt and Tyler, pi ni -table lun hes at the Big Red Barn
with the Spa e S ien es gang, night skiing at Greek Peak, yummy bagels at CTB,
pi ni s in Stewart Park, the Itha a Festival, the wine lub, and of ourse those
in redible autumn olors.
My parents have always stood behind me, and their ontinuous assistan e was
invaluable. Lastly, I am grateful to Susan Chamberlain for her help and support
while this thesis was being written. Sue made every one of my last days here at
Cornell enjoyable, even during the worst stress. My heartfelt thanks Sue.

viii

Table of Contents
1

Introdu tion

1.1 Meteorite Terminology and Types . . . . . . .


1.2 Antar ti meteorites . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.3 The martian meteorites . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.3.1 The original SNCs . . . . . . . . . . .
1.3.2 History of the SNC debate . . . . . . .
1.3.3 The urrent martian meteorite sample
1.4 Lunar meteorites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.5 Goals of this work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Cosmogeni ages of meteorites

2.1 Introdu tion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


2.2 Crystallization ages . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.3 Cosmi ray exposure ages . . . . . . . . .
2.3.1 General onsiderations . . . . . . .
2.3.2 4 exposure ages . . . . . . . . . .
2.3.3 Earth residen e and blast-o times
2.3.4 2 exposure and surfa e depths . .
Dynami s of lunar meteoroids

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3.1 Introdu tion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


3.2 Numeri al Simulations of lunar eje ta . . . . . . . .
3.2.1 Geo entri Phase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.2.2 Helio entri Phase . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.3 Comparison with Monte Carlo Methods . . . . . . .
3.4 Comparison with Lunar Meteorite Data . . . . . . .
3.4.1 The lunar velo ity spe trum . . . . . . . . .
3.4.2 Entry statisti s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.5 Relevan e for the Small Earth Approa hers (SEAs)
3.6 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
ix

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Dynami s of martian meteoroids

Delivery from Other Terrestrial Bodies

5.1
5.2
5.3
5.4
5.5

Modelling the Complete Problem

4.1
4.2
4.3
4.4

Introdu tion . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Simulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.2.1 Se ular resonan es near Mars
Comparison with meteorite data . . .
Impli ations for the laun h pro ess .

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57

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74

6.1 Constraints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.1.1 Meteorite data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.1.2 Sour e- rater pairing (SCP) . . . . . . . . . . .
6.1.3 Sour e regions on Mars . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.1.4 The simulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.1.4.1 Age of the i e sheet . . . . . . . . . .
6.1.5 Cratering me hani s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.1.5.1 The spallation model . . . . . . . . . .
6.1.6 Size distributions of surfa e material . . . . . .
6.2 Modelling lunar laun h . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2.1 Laun h rate, lower limit . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2.2 Impa tor ux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2.3 Laun h s aling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2.4 The ratering algorithm . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2.5 Constraining the lunar parameters . . . . . . .
6.2.5.1 The smallest impa tor D
.....
6.2.5.2 The age of the i e sheet A . . . . . .
6.2.5.3 The laun h exponent . . . . . . . .
6.2.5.4 Steepening the size distribution N (D)
6.2.5.5 Lunar sour e- rater pairings . . . . . .
6.2.6 Lunar summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.3 Modelling martian laun h . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.3.1 The baseline martian ase . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.3.2 The velo ity power law and impa tor ux ratio
6.3.3 The martian laun h exponent . . . . . . . . . .
6.3.3.1 Impli ations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.3.3.2 The fra tion of young terrain . . . . .
6.3.3.3 Sto hasti variability . . . . . . . . . .

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82

Mer ury . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Venus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Earth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Phobos and Deimos . . . . . . . . . . . .
Meteorites from the outer solar system? .

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6.3.4 Musings on martian sour e- rater pairings . . . . . . . . . 120


6.4 The big pi ture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130
A Lunar Gravity Assists

A.1
A.2
A.3
A.4
A.5

Motivation . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Energy arguments . . . . . . . . . .
Gravity assists . . . . . . . . . . . .
The three- and four-body problems
Impli ations . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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132

132
132
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136
143

B The Numeri al Method

145

Referen es

148

B.1 Mixed-variable symple ti (MVS) integrators . . . . . . . . . . . . 145


B.2 The regularized MVS (RMVS) integrator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146

xi

List of Tables
1.1
1.2
2.1
3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4
3.5
3.6
4.1
4.2
5.1
6.1
6.2
A.1

Meteorite fall and nd statisti s . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Masses of martian and lunar meteorites . . . . . . . .
CRE data for the lunar and martian meteorites . . . .
Geo entri initial onditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Results of geo entri simulations . . . . . . . . . . . .
Laun h angle dependen e for lunar simulations . . . .
Initial onditions for helio entri stage simulations . .
Collision statisti s for lunar helio entri simulations . .
Earth impa t statisti s for the lunar simulations . . .
Results of 100-Myr martian simulation . . . . . . . . .
Collision statisti s for Martian 15-Myr simulations . .
Collision statisti s for Mer ury and Venus simulations
Parameter values for lunar ollision history . . . . . .
Impa tor bin properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Results of additional geo entri simulations . . . . . .

xii

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3
6
16
20
24
31
32
40
45
60
60
76
97
99
135

List of Figures
2.1
2.2
2.3
3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4
3.5
3.6
3.7
3.8
3.9
3.10
3.11
3.12
3.13
3.14
3.15
3.16
3.17
4.1
4.2
4.3
4.4
4.5
4.6
4.7
4.8
4.9
4.10
4.11

The rystallization age for Nakhla from its iso hron . . . . . . . .


Determination of osmogeni produ tion rates . . . . . . . . . . .
A s hemati osmi ray exposure history . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Velo ity-ve tor one of an impa t eje ta . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Geo entri orbit of an es aping lunar parti le . . . . . . . . . . .
Geometry for es aping lunar parti les . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Laun h angles for geo entri -stage Earth impa tors . . . . . . . .
Opening angle of the geo entri loss one . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Intial helio entri elements for lunar eje ta . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Orbital element di usion of lunar eje ta . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Removal rates for lunar eje ta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Helio entri orbital elements after 10 Myr . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Orbital history of a lunar meteoroid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Orbital history of a Sun-grazer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
In lination distribution after 10 years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Age spe trum for all the lunar simulations . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A omparison of a lunar age spe trum with the data . . . . . . .
A se ond omparison, with a modi ed time-spe trum . . . . . . .
Meteorite entry data on the Earth impa tors . . . . . . . . . . .
Entry angles for geo entri -stage Earth impa tors . . . . . . . . .
Number of surviving test parti les vs. t for several simulations . .
Orbital element snapshots, 100-Myr martian simulation . . . . .
Libration of se ular resonan e arguments at a ' 1:6 AU . . . . .
Se ular argument history for an Earth-impa tor . . . . . . . . . .
Se ular argument history for a Sun-grazer . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Orbital element history for a Sun-grazer . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Time spe trum of martian meteorite delivery, 15 Myr simulations
Simulated martian time spe trum ompared with the data . . . .
Main belt residen e time for martian meteoroids . . . . . . . . .
Orbital elements for Earth-impa ting martian meteoroids . . . .
Earth atmospheri -entry velo ities for martian meteoroids . . . .
4

xiii

10
13
14
22
26
27
28
29
34
36
37
39
41
43
44
46
49
50
52
54
59
61
63
64
65
66
68
70
71
71
72

5.1
5.2
6.1
6.2
6.3
6.4
6.5
6.6
6.7
6.8
6.9
6.10
6.11
6.12
6.13
6.14
6.15
6.16
6.17
6.18
6.19
6.20
6.21
6.22
6.23
A.1
A.2
A.3
A.4
A.5
A.6
A.7

Orbital element snapshots, 100-Myr mer urian simulation . . . .


Orbital element history, mer urian Earth-impa tor . . . . . . . .
Martian and lunar delivery spe tra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
E e t of nite age of the i e sheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The baseline lunar ase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Dependen e on the smallest impa tor diameter . . . . . . . . . .
Dependen e on the retention age of the i e sheet . . . . . . . . .
Results for an i e sheet age of 1 Myr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Lunar results when volume s aling assumed for number laun hed
E e t of steepening the impa tor size distribution . . . . . . . . .
The o urren e of a large re ent lunar impa t . . . . . . . . . . .
The o urren e of a large an ient lunar impa t . . . . . . . . . .
The baseline martian age laun her spe tra . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Martian results under volume s aling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Martian results under surfa e area s aling . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Preferentially laun hing from young terrain . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sample lunar and martian delivery history 1 . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sample lunar and martian delivery history 2 . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sample lunar and martian delivery history 3 . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sample lunar and martian delivery history 4 . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sample lunar and martian delivery history 5 . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sample lunar and martian delivery history 6 . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sample lunar and martian delivery history 7 . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sample lunar and martian delivery history 8 . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sample lunar and martian delivery history 9 . . . . . . . . . . . .
A qui k es ape via gravity-assists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Traje tories in the luno entri frame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Gravity-assist ve tor addition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Geo entri snapshots, 0.5 months . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Geo entri snapshots, 0.75{3 months . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Luno entri traje tory of a fast es aper . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Energy history of a fast es aper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

xiv

75
77
86
87
98
101
103
104
105
107
109
110
113
115
116
119
121
122
123
124
125
126
127
128
129
134
136
137
138
139
140
142

Chapter 1
Introdu tion
Ro ks fell from the sky long before Chi ken Little made her famed remark. In
an ient times the fall of a meteorite was seen as the wrath of the gods, as a
punishment for the evils of humanity. There even exist some Chinese a ounts
(Yau et al. 1994) of meteorites falling during the ourse of battles and a e ting
their out ome (the army on the re eiving side of the barrage seldom emerging
triumphant). Other meteorite falls ould be bene ial sin e the purity of the
metal ontained in iron meteorites was vastly superior to unre ned Earth ro ks;
thus these meteorites were valuable for produ ing obje ts requiring high grade
metal. To this day ea h new sultan of Java re eives a dagger, alled a kris, newly
manufa tured from a pie e of a huge iron meteorite that fell in an ient times
(Burke 1986). However, only re ently have we really understood the origin, and
per eived the importan e of meteorites for our knowledge of the solar system.
1.1

Meteorite Terminology and Types

A meteorite is a re overed ro k of extraterrestrial origin; that is, the ro k has


arrived here after a journey through outer spa e unassisted by humans (ro ks
returned via spa e raft are generally alled `samples'). On the other hand, a
meteoroid is the name given to an obje t while in spa e. Asteroids are large
meteoroids, and there is no rm distin tion between these two, although the
term meteoroid is usually meant to indi ate obje ts that are of the size range
to be the immediate pre-atmospheri pre ursors of the meteorites ( entimeter to
meter-sized). A meteor is the visible light display that a ompanies the entry of
a meteoroid into the Earth's atmosphere.
Depending on their hemi al omposition, meteorites are lassi ed into one of
three general types. Irons are almost pure hunks of ni kel iron. Stones are basi ally pure sili ate, and stony-irons are midway between these two lassi ations.
Stones are subdivided into hondrites and a hondrites, the former so named be ause they ontain tiny (mm to m) spherules of sili ate named hondrules. An
1

2
a hondrite is simply any stone that is not a hondrite.
A meteorite is lassi ed as either a fall (if the meteorite's instant of fall was
dire tly experien ed by a human) or a nd (if the meteorite was just found on the
ground by han e). As one an imagine, sele tion biases are of great importan e in
determining the mix of meteorite types that we have in our olle tions. Irons make
up a huge per entage of nds sin e they are mu h more resistant to weathering
than other meteorite types. However, hondrites a ount for more than 80%
of falls. These sele tion e e ts an be seen in Table 1.1. Observe among the
a hondrites the shergottites, nakhlites, and hassignites. These are some of the
martian meteorites, dis ussed in Se . 1.3.1 (although they now number 12). The
lunar bre ia is ALH84001, the only one known in 1986, found in Antar ti a.
Two important on epts also need to be de ned. Upon entering the atmosphere many meteoroids fragment to varying degrees, and those whi h survive
to rea h the ground are distributed a ross the ground in a strewn eld whi h
may be many square kilometers in size. Be ause of this, it is possible to nd
paired meteorites, whi h are fragments of the same meteoroid that was in ident
on the top of the Earth's atmosphere. Su h pairings an usually be established
by isotopi and age similarities of the various fragments. Erosional e e ts an
also split meteorites on the ground, produ ing more fragments and the potential
for further pairings. For the lunar and martian meteorites the on ept of sour e rater pairing is also important, in whi h two meteoroids are laun hed by the
same impa t ratering event, but follow separate paths to the Earth.
1.2

Antar ti meteorites

Until 1969, the olle tion of meteorites was mostly a matter of lu k, requiring
us to wait for the rain of ro ks, or to be lu ky enough to happen a ross (and
re ognize) a nd. For even though a freshly fallen meteorite will have a fusion
rust produ ed by its passage through the atmosphere, this thin skin is qui kly
(perhaps in as little as a few years) worn away by the e e ts of weathering.
Following this, the han es are small that a non-spe ialist would re ognize the
ro k as anything out of the ordinary; iron meteorites, whose very high density
distinguishes them, are an ex eption to this rule (as anyone who stubs a toe on
one will attest). The haoti mix of ro ks on the Earth's surfa e amou ages
the meteorites very e e tively, and the fall rate of 1 kg or larger meteorites is
estimated to be only of order 10 per km per Myr in any ase (Halliday et al.
1984). Lu kily, there is now a mu h more e ient meteorite olle tion me hanism.
A Japanese team was measuring i e ow movement in the Yamato mountains
of Antar ti a in 1969 when they happened upon the rst group of Antar ti meteorites (though isolated meteorites had been found in Antar ti a before). In
Antar ti a meteorites an be found strewn over the i e in great abundan e (Cassidi and Ran itelli 1982), where their ontrast with the i e makes spotting them
2

3
Table 1.1 Statisti s of meteorite nds and falls, summarized from Sears and
Dodd (1988). The olumn for Antar ti nds (a urate as of 1986) is now very
dated, but the proportions remain roughly orre t. The hondrites and irons
are sub- lassi ed a ording to mineral ontent (e.g., H hondrites have high iron
ontents); see Wasson (1985) for more details.
Class
Falls Fall Frequen y
Finds
(%)
Non-Antar ti Antar ti
Chondrites
C
35
4.2
11
45
H
276
33.2
347
671
L
319
38.3
286
224
LL
66
7.9
21
42
E
13
1.6
7
7
other
3
0.4
3
3
A hondrites
Eu rites
25
3.0
8
13
Howardites
18
2.2
3
4
Diogenites
9
1.1
0
9
Ureilites
4
0.5
6
9
Aubrites
9
1.1
1
17
Shergottites
2
0.2
0
2
Nakhlites
1
0.1
2
0
Chassignites
1
0.1
0
0
Lunar bre ias
0
0.0
0
1
Stony-Irons
Mesosiderites
6
0.7
22
2
Pallasites
3
0.4
34
1
Irons
I
6
0.8
108
4
II
10
0.7
96
6
III
10
1.6
227
0
IV
3
0.4
64
1
other
13
1.3
175
0

4
an easier task. The dryness of the limate means that the i e stores the meteorites, prote ts them from erosion, and may (through the pro ess of owing
gla ial i e) on entrate them on what are known as `meteorite stranding elds'
(Cassidy and Whillans 1990). Antar ti meteorites are named after their olle tion site (e.g., ALH for Allan Hills, and Y for the Yamato Mountains), followed
by two digits indi ating the eld season of their olle tion, and then three or
four digits giving the meteorite its unique number. So, for example MAC88104
was the 104th meteorite from the Ma Alpine Hills numbered from the 1988-89
(Antar ti summer) re overy season. A dis ussion of the major olle tions sites
is given by Cassidy et al. (1992). Roughly 20,000 meteorites have now been olle ted in Antar ti a, to be ompared with roughly 2,000 non-Antar ti meteorites
olle ted in the world's museums (throughout all history, mind you). Antar ti
and non-Antar ti meteorites di er in some important ways: Antar ti meteorites
have smaller average masses, have proportionally di erent representation in the
various meteorite lasses, and (on average) have mu h longer Earth residen e
times (Koeberl and Cassidy 1990; Huss 1990).
This last di eren e is espe ially important for our purposes. Be ause of weathering e e ts, the amount of time a stony meteorite an spend on the Earth's surfa e before being destroyed is relatively short (<3 10 yr); in ontrast, Antar ti
meteorites an often survive for an order of magnitude longer than this, and in
some ases even up to 1 Myr (Nishiizumi et al. 1989). Therefore, the i e sheet
`integrates' for mu h longer than human history, whi h explains the great su ess
of meteorite re overy there. The various i e elds of Antar ti a have di erent
mean residen e times, whi h produ e di erent average re overed masses due to
weathering e e ts (Huss 1990).
The desirable Antar ti features of low weathering and relative absen e of
terrestrial surfa e ro ks are also present in desert terrains. Sear hes in su h areas
of Australia have yielded many nds, in luding one lunar meteorite: Cal along
Creek (Hill et al. 1991).
4

1.3

The martian meteorites

It is perhaps somewhat ironi that sample return missions to Mars might not
be ne essary if all we wanted was to have some ro ks from Mars. In fa t, it
seems that the Earth has been subje t to a ontinuous hail of martian material
throughout its history (H.G. Wells was right!).
1.3.1 The original SNCs
The meteorite Chassigny fell in Fran e on O tober 3, 1815. (Ex ept in Antar ti a
and the desert areas des ribed above, meteorites are named after the nearest
post o e to whi h they fall.) Shergotty fell in 1865 in India, and Nakhla in

5
Alexandria, Egypt in 1911. These three large falls (Table 1.2) gave their names
to three new lasses of meteorites, olle tively known by their a ronym as the SNC
meteorites. Chassigny was the lone member of its lass. Outside of Antar ti a,
Shergotty was joined by Zagami (whi h fell in 1962 in Nigeria), and Nakla by
Lafayette (found in Indiana, 1931) and Governador Valadares (found in Brazil,
1958). These meteorites were all linked by a distin tive oxygen isotopi signature,
whi h proves their non-terrestrial origin, but have many petrologi signatures
that distinguish them from other a hondrites (Laul 1986). Most stunning of
these is that rystallization ages (how long ago the ro k ooled to a solid form,
see Se . 2.2) for all of these obje ts are less than 1.3 billion years. This fa t alone
suggested that these obje ts might be from Mars.
1.3.2 History of the SNC debate
I will not attempt to dis uss all of the many arguments that establish, to a high
degree of ertainty, that the SNC meteorites are from Mars (see M Sween 1995
for a omprehensive dis ussion). Instead I review some of the history of this
debate and point out only the most ompelling arguments.
Radioa tive dating establishes most meteorites as being the same age as the
solar system (4.5 Gyr). The <1.3 Gyr ages of the SNCs demonstrate that they
ame from a body that was geologi ally a tive re ently (Chpt. 2). The most
plausible sour e was Mars, as was suggested by several authors (M Sween et al.
1979, Nyquist 1979, Walker et al. 1979, Wasson and Wetherill 1979). However,
this suggestion was treated with skepti ism be ause of one simple fa t: there were
no lunar meteorites. The Moon is vastly loser and has a lower es ape velo ity,
and so one would perhaps expe t a mu h greater ux of lunar material. The la k
of su h meteorites presented a major obsta le to an a eptan e of the Mars-SNC
link. Se ondly, the NC meteorites (although not the shergottites) show at most
weak sho k levels (Treiman 1995), whi h was taken as eviden e that they ould
not have been blasted o a large body at the es ape velo ity.
The re ognition of the rst lunar meteorite, ALH81005, in 1982 removed this
obsta le. The meteorite was similar enough to returned Apollo samples that the
ommunity immediately a epted this identi ation. In fa t, lunar meteorites
had been olle ted in Antar ti a before 1981 (Y791197 and Y793274), but these
had been mis lassi ed. The existen e of these meteorites, and the fa t that they
also re orded low sho k pressures, for ed serious re onsideration of the hypothesis
that the SNCs ould be from Mars (Eugster 1989).
Perhaps the most ompelling eviden e linking the SNCs to Mars is due to
trapped gas omponents in some of the shergottites. The isotopi omposition of
this trapped gas is almost identi al to that of the martian atmosphere, as measured by the Viking landers (M Sween 1995). Additional isotopi and petrologi
eviden e is onsistent with what is known about Mars from other sour es. To

6
Table 1.2 Masses of the martian and lunar meteorites. Martian obje ts also
have their SNC lassi ation listed; a * indi ates the obje t is the sour e of the
lass name. The shergottites are sub lassi ed as basalti (b) or lherzoliti (l)
petrologies.
Lunar
mass Martian
mass Class
Meteorite
(kg) Meteorite
(kg)
ALH81005
0.031 ALH77005
0.48 S(l)
Asuka-881757
0.442 ALH84001
1.93 {
Cal along Creek
0.019 Chassigny
4 C*
EET87521
0.031 EET79001
7.94 S(b)
MAC88104/5
0.724 Governador Valadares 0.16 N
0.80 N
QUE93069
0.021 Lafayette
QUE94269
0.0032 LEW88516
0.013 S(l)
QUE94281
0.0234 Nakhla
40 N*
Y-791197
0.052 Shergotty
4 S(b)*
Y-793169
0.0061 QUE94201
0.012 S(b)
Y-793274
0.0087 Y-793605
0.018 S(?)
Y-82192,3/86032
0.712 Zagami
18 S(b)
quote M Sween: \If the SNC meteorites are not from Mars, but rather from an
asteroid, then our understanding of small bodies is fundamentally awed."
1.3.3 The urrent martian meteorite sample
At the time of writing, there are 12 martian meteorites. More than half are
shergottites, whi h are sub lassi ed, on the basis of their petrology, into basalti
and lherzoliti types (M Sween 1995). The three original falls are still the only
Nakhlites, and Chassigny remains the only member of its lass. ALH84001 does
not t into the SNC lassi ation and sin e other future meteorites from Mars
may not t either, I will abandon the usage of the term SNC as a synonym
for `martian meteorite', as has been suggested (Mittlefehldt 1994). ALH84001
is parti ularly spe ial in that its rystallization age (see Se . 2.2) is 4.5 Gyr
(Jagoutz et al. 1994). This is in redibly old for a ro k that has ome from the
martian rust (there are no Earth or Moon ro ks this old), and yet the martian
identi ation is felt to be fairly rm (Ash et al. 1996).
The martian meteorites all re ord overall sho k pressures less than that originally thought ne essary to have laun hed them (100 Gpa = 1 Mbar). I defer the
dis ussion of the impli ations of this fa t to Se . 6.1.3, pausing here only to note
that the NCs have overall peak sho k pressures of approximately 15 Gpa, the
shergottites re ord 30-54 Gpa (Treiman 1995a), and ALH84001 shows eviden e

7
of several sho k events (Treiman 1995b).
1.4

Lunar meteorites

The lunar meteorites, taking pairing into a ount, also number 12 at the time of
writing, although the newly found QUE94269 is probably paired with QUE93069
(Nishiizumi and Ca ee 1996a). Ex ept for the nds of the 1994-95 season, these
meteorites are omprehensively reviewed by Warren (1994). Most are regolith
bre ias, but two (Asuka 881757 and Y-793169) are pure mare basalts. Interestingly, the average mass of a lunar meteorite is 38 times less than the martian
meteorites. The median mass is 27 times times less, re e ting the e e t of the
two very massive martian meteorites Nakhla and Zagami.
1.5

Goals of this work

The lunar and martian meteorites present several puzzles:


(1) the equal numbers of ea h group,
(2) the mu h larger average mass of the martian meteorites,
(3) the inferred shallow pre-laun h depths of the lunar meteorites vs. the deep
ones of the martian meteorites (Se . 2.3.4),
(4) the prevalen e of geologi ally young ro ks amongst the SNCs (even though
su h terrain is relatively rare on Mars), and
(5) the 4 age spe trum (Se . 2.3.2) of the martian obje ts terminates at
15 Myr (i.e., we have no martian meteorites that took longer than this to
arrive).
A omplete model should explain these fa ts.
Chpt. 2 presents a summary of the te hniques and the results of radioa tive
analyses that determine several important properties of the lunar and martian
meteorites, most espe ially the amount of time that they spent in spa e as small
bodies before rea hing the Earth. These data, in onjun tion with the dynami al
simulations des ribed in Chpts. 3{5, will onstrain the modelling performed in
Chpt. 6 whi h attempts to onstru t a self- onsistent model of the laun h and
delivery of these obje ts.
Chpts. 3 and 4 examine the dynami s of the delivery of the lunar and meteorites, respe tively. Chpt. 5 dis usses the possibility of the Earth re eiving
meteorites from Mer ury, Venus, and even the Earth. Chapter 6 then dis usses
a model whi h self- onsistently resolves the above puzzles.

Chapter 2
Cosmogeni ages of meteorites
2.1

Introdu tion

It is probably fair to say that the study of meteorites has ontributed more to
our understanding of the formation of the solar system than any other pursuit
(ex ept the basi s of elestial me hani s, of ourse). The amount of information
that an be gleaned by the study of noble gases, radioa tive isotopes, and their
de ay produ ts is so great that it would be impossible to attempt to review the
entire topi here. I shall on entrate on those studies whi h provide information
that is relevant to the problem of the delivery of the lunar and martian meteorites,
but even with this restri tion, the body of literature is very large.
Radiometri studies of meteorites (Reedy et al. 1983, Vogt et al. 1990) allow
several quantities to be determined: (1) the rystallization age, i.e., the time at
whi h the various isotopes were lo ked into a losed system (e.g., the parent ro k
ools below its molten phase); (2) the 2 depth, whi h measures how far below
the surfa e of the parent body the meteorite resided before laun h; (3) the 2 age
t  , whi h is the duration of this surfa e exposure; (4) the 4 age t  measures the
amount of time whi h the meteorite spent in spa e exposed to an isotropi ux
of osmi rays; and (5) the terrestrial age t, whi h is the duration of residen e
on the Earth's surfa e before the meteorite was dis overed. The terms 2 and 4
refer to the solid angle subtended by the ux of in oming parti les that produ e
the isotopes of interest; obje ts sitting on the surfa e of a large body are only
exposed to ux oming from 2 steradians. Knowledge of these quantities will
allow us to onstrain theories about the origin and transfer of the meteorites of
interest. The last four of these quantities are dependent on the fa t that obje ts
in interplanetary spa e are exposed to a ontinuous ux of energeti osmi rays,
whereas the rst is in some ways more straightforward. Therefore we will dis uss
iso hron ages rst, and osmi ray exposure methods later.
2

9
2.2

Crystallization ages

At the instant that a ro k ools and be omes isolated hemi ally from its surroundings, the radioa tive system be omes losed. This results in isotopi ratios
involving radionu lides to hange with time. If this age an be determined, it is
alled the rystallization age of the obje t.
To be spe i , suppose that a daughter nu lide D is produ ed in the radioa tive de ay of a parent nu leus P . Then the rate of hange of the on entration
(number of atoms per unit volume) of the parent nu leus is given by
dP
dt

=)

P

P (t) = Po e

(2.1)

t ;

where Po is the parent's initial on entration and  = ln2= with  being the
usual half-life. Sin e the daughter isotope may be present in some initial on entration Do, we write
D(t) = Do + [Po P (t)
= Do + P (t) [ PP(ot) 1
= Do + P (t) [et 1:
(2.2)
This is the fundamental equation of radioa tive age determination for a losed
system. Sin e the on entration of an element is di ult to measure, in pra ti e
the ratio of on entrations with a stable isotope (usually of the daughter nu leus)
is observed, these ratios being determined by mass spe trometry (Wasson 1985).
If Dr denotes the referen e isotope, then we have
D
Dr

D
P t
+
(e
Dr o Dr

1):

(2.3)

If di erent minerals of the same ro k having di erent on entrations of the radioa tive parent are sampled, then this equation predi ts that the parent and
daughter ratios should des ribe a straight line, alled an iso hron. The ordinate
inter ept (D=Dr )o gives the initial on entration of the daughter isotope, and
the slope of this iso hron an be used to al ulate the time sin e the system was
losed.
An example of this is shown in Fig. 2.1, for the ase of the Nakhla meteorite.
Here the isotopes used are the very important rubidium-strontium Rb ! Sr
pair, with a 49 Gyr half-life, and Sr is used as the stable referen e isotope. This
is the same method used to date the formation age of almost all of the hondrites
at 4:57  0:03 Gyr, whi h is generally a epted as the time of formation of the
solar system. The inter ept of this plot shows that (sin e this orresponds to no
initial radioa tive Rb present) the initial Sr / Sr ratio was about 0.7. The
87

86

87

86

87

10

Figure 2.1 An internal iso hron for the Nakhla meteorite, using Rb-Sr te hnique.
The large spread in the Rb / Sr values available at various sites in the
meteorite allows an iso hron age of 1.24 Gyr to be determined. Figure from
Kirsten (1978).
87

86

iso hron age of Nakhla is 1.24 Gyr, whi h is surprisingly low, sin e it implies
relatively re ent geologi a tivity.
The rystallization ages of the most lunar meteorites are all very old, varying
from 3.9 to 4.3 Gyr (Eugster and Niedermann 1988, Warren and Kallemeyn
1993). This is basi ally the same as the lunar rust, whi h remained a tive for
approximately 1 Gyr. Mare basalts an be as young as 3.1 Gyr (Taylor et al.
1991); the two mare meteorities Asuka-881757 and Y-793169 have rystallization
ages of 3.1 and 4.2 respe tively, whi h is within the normal range although the
latter is somewhat high (Eugster et al. 1996).
The martian meteorites have 3 groups of rystallization ages, determined
from both Rb-Sr and Sm-Nd (Samarium-Neodymium) methods (Nyquist et al.
1995). The shergottites (Shergotty, Zagami, EET79001, ALH77005) are dated
at  180 Myr, Chassigny and the Nakhlites (Nakhla, Lafayette, and Governador
Valadares) at  1:3 Gyr, and ALH84001 at the surprisingly high age of  4:5 Gyr
(Jagoutz et al. 1994). This last meteorite has aused onsiderable ex itement
sin e it would seem to represent a very an ient pie e of the martian rust, in
whi h eviden e of a wet early phase for Mars is being sought. The very young
rystallization ages of the shergottites may not be rystallization ages at all if a
sho k event is apable of resetting the Rb-Sr lo k; it is possible that they also
rystallized  1:3 Gyr ago, but this is in onsiderable debate (M Sween 1995;

11
Treiman 1995).
The rystallization ages of the martian meteorites are young even for Mars; in
fa t, terrain younger than 1.3 Gyr probably omprises only 10-15% of the martian
surfa e (Nyquist 1995). Why are 11 of the 12 martian meteorites apparently from
this terrain that o upies su h a small fra tion of the surfa e? Warren (1994)
suggests that the older highland terrain has been pervasively weathered so that
almost no inta t ro ks remain in the upper region of the oldest martian rust.
Thus impa ts into highland terrain are unable to laun h oherent meteoroids.
Clearly the existen e of ALH84001 must be allowed for if this model is orre t.
2.3

Cosmi ray exposure ages

2.3.1 General onsiderations


The interplanetary ux of osmi rays auses the produ tion of osmogeni nu lides (Reedy et al. 1983, Vogt et al. 1990) in obje ts that are not shielded by the
equivalent of several meters of ro k (we say `equivalent' be ause, for example, the
Earth's atmosphere is also su ient to shield the surfa e, de reasing the produ tion rates of radioisotopes by 2{3 orders of magnitude). The isotopes produ ed
an be then studied to determine the duration of the exposure. The osmi rays
of interest for our purposes onsist of two types: solar and gala ti osmi rays
(SCRs and GCRs), the numbers of whi h drop o as approximately a power law
in the energy E a ording to dN=dE / E (Ca ee 1988). Both types onsist
primarily of protons and some alpha parti les, with ' 1% heavier nu lei. SCRs
of energies about a few MeV an indu e nu lear rea tions, but only in the upper few mm of matter; the rarer 100 Mev SCRs an penetrate slightly deeper.
The GCRs have typi al energies of 0.1{10 Gev and an penetrate to a depth of
several meters (the ux of primaries de reasing exponentially with depth in the
target), ausing nu lear rea tions not only dire tly but also through a shower of
se ondary neutrons that is produ ed during their passage. Interestingly, nu lide
produ tion routes that depend on these se ondary neutrons be ome more e ient
with depth due to the la k of se ondaries near the surfa e, at least until one gets
deep enough in the target that the primaries are s reened out (see Englert and
Herr 1980 for an example).
The ux of osmi parti les produ es the following e e ts: (1) the implantation of low energy SCRs in the upper 0.1 m of the target, (2) damage to
mineral latti es (mostly in the upper 100 m) whi h an be dete ted under a mi ros ope, and (3) nu lear rea tions whi h transform atoms in the target into new
ones (whi h are then known as osmogeni nu lides). The most interesting of the
reated isotopes are noble gases and radioisotopes, both of whi h are dete table
in the sample. Generally the longer the target was subje ted to the osmi ray
ux, the greater the on entration of the isotope. Noble gas on entrations (de-

12
termined as ratios) an be measured by heating samples of the meteorite and
observing the es ape of the gas (Pal et al. 1986, Ott 1988). A tivities of radioisotopes an be measured dire tly (usually in units of disintegrations per minute
per kilogram of the sample, denoted dpm/kg) in a nondestru tive fashion. All
these te hniques were re ned after the Apollo and Luna missions brought ba k
immense numbers of lunar samples for study.
Clearly the utility of this method depends on knowing the osmi ray ux over
the period of interest, in parti ular whether or not the ux has been onstant. The
numbers of both SCRs and GCRs vary with solar a tivity due to hanging SCR
produ tion and the fa t that the solar magneti eld an shield the inner solar
system from GCRs. Over the very short term, the 11-year solar y le modulates
CR a tivity by hanging the rate of solar ares; higher solar magneti a tivity
prevents the less energeti GCR primaries from rea hing the inner solar system.
We are more interested in the ux averaged over longer time s ales, and in general
the data points to the ux being onstant in time, although there is some eviden e
for higher SCR a tivity in the last hundred thousand years when ompared to the
last million years. (Reedy et al. 1983). This variation is not of great on ern sin e
the shallow SCR re ord is usually removed during the ablation of the meteorite
during its atmospheri passage, leaving only the osmogeni nu lides produ ed
by GCRs available for study. Most osmogeni nu lides are reated by the more
energeti GCRs in any ase, the ux of whi h seems to have varied by less than
25{50% in the last few Myr (Reedy et al. 1983). A onstant ux is assumed by
almost all workers in the eld.
Cosmogeni radionu lides (as opposed to noble gases) do not ontinuously
a umulate sin e they are simultaneously de aying. The equation governing the
hange in their number N (per kg) is dN=dt = P N , where the rst term P is
the produ tion rate (events/min/kg) and the se ond gives the number of de ays.
Sin e
P
N (t) =
1 e t

the a tivity A(t) (in dpm/kg) that would be measured is
A(t) = N (t) = P (1 e t ):
(2.4)
This produ es the expe ted behavior that, after several half-lives of the isotope,
the rate of disintegrations will rea h equilibrium with the produ tion rate P ,
whi h is thus alled the saturation a tivity.
The produ tion rates of the various atomi spe ies depend on the osmi ray
ux, and the omposition of the target. In general, the formation rate of a given
nu lide x at depth d inside a meteoroid of nominal radius R is given by (Vogt
et al. 1990)
1
Px (d; R) = Nj
xjk (E ) k (E; d; R) dE ;
(2.5)


13

Figure 2.2 Be a tivities (dpm/kg) versus Ne ontent (volume per gram,


measured in 10 m STP g ) for stony meteorites. From Vogt et al. (1990).
10

21

where Nj represents the on entration of target element j , xjk is the ross se tion
for the produ tion of x from element j by parti le type k at energy E , and  is
the ux of these parti les. As an be imagined, determining these ross-se tions
experimentally is a time onsuming task. The produ tion rate's dependen e on
the target's omposition produ es formulae su h as
P10

= 0 30O + 0 26(Mg + 0 8Al + 0 65Si) + 0 12S + 0 10Ca + 0 07(Fe + Ni) (2.6)


:

for the saturation a tivity of Be in stones, where the elemental names refer
to the fra tional abundan e (by weight) of that element in the sample (Pal et al.
1986).
If one wishes to on ne one's attention to a parti ular meteorite type (so that
the ompositions are similar), then the produ tion rate an be measured in a
mu h simpler way. Consider that stable isotopes (su h as noble gases) are also
being produ ed at a rate Ps, but that the on entration S of these nu lides will
in rease linearly sin e they do not de ay; that is:
S = Ps t :
(2.7)
If the a tivity of radionu lide is plotted against the on entration of the stable
isotope for a variety of meteorites of similar omposition, then a plot like Fig. 2.2
results, where the Be a tivity is plotted against the Ne ontent (whi h
thus serves as a lo k) and shows the Be a tivity rea hing saturation. Sin e
Eq. (2.7) an be used to eliminate the time in Eq. (2.4) to yield Be = P [1
exp(  Ne=P ), a two parameter t to the data yields both produ tion rates.
The produ tion rates obtained by a variety of methods agree within 10 or 20%.
The rates used in analyses of the lunar and martian meteorites are typi ally those
produ ed in stony meteorites (spe i ally hondrites), with minor modi ation
10

10

21

10

10

21

21

10

14
activity

t 4

t 2

t Earth

time
launch

recovery

arrival

Figure 2.3 S hemati representation of the time evolution of the a tivity of a


radionu lide. In this example the meteoroid is lose enough to the surfa e for
many half-lives so that the 2 saturation a tivity is rea hed. During the short
transfer (t  ) the new saturation level is not obtained, and then during Earth
residen e time (t = t) the a tivity de ays away ontinuously.
4

Earth

(Pal et al. 1986). A nal orre tion needs to be done to allow for the e e ts of
shielding within the meteorite itself. Measurement of the noble gas on entration
ratio He / Ne (whi h is diagnosti of the shielding depth) ombined with
estimates of the pre-atmospheri size yield a orre ted produ tion rate whi h is
then used in the age al ulation.
The overall errors in the CRE ages, as judged by the results determined using
di erent isotopes, appear to be roughly 10{30%. This a ura y should be su ient for our purposes. The overall problem now be omes one of disentangling
where, and for how long, the various irradiations and shieldings o urred. For
the lunar and martian meteorites, this onsists of three possible phases: (1) irradiation on the surfa e of the parent body for t  , where the depth of burial
is important, (2) irradiation in spa e (t  ), and (3) the Earth residen e time t,
during whi h the meteorite is e e tively shielded. A urrent measured a tivity A
ould unfortunately result from several di erent exposure histories, whi h satisfy
(2.8)
A = [ Ppb (1 e t  )e t  + P  (1 e t  ) e t :
Here the produ tion rate on the parent body Ppb a umulates for t  , and then this
ontribution will de ay away while the meteoroid is in spa e for t  . However,
the 4 produ tion rate P  is always greater and so the a tivity will in rease
until the obje t rea hes the Earth, whereupon the nal exponential fa tor in
Eq. (2.8) indi ates both ontributions ontinue to de ay on the Earth. This is
3

21

15
illustrated s hemati ally in Fig. 2.3, whi h is a reasonable representation of the
history of a lunar meteorite. In ontrast, martian meteorites have no surfa e
exposure (Se . 2.3.4), and so their a tivities would be zero at the moment of
laun h. Sin e there are ve unknowns (if we in lude the produ tion rates), many
di erent histories ould lead the same nal a tivity. For example, in the gure
the same nal a tivity ould result by having an instantaneous transfer (t  = 0)
followed by a shorter Earth residen e time. Fortunately, by measuring more than
one isotope (ideally ve), this ambiguity an be removed. It an be di ult
to nd enough radioisotopes with half-lives in the appropriate regimes; four is
usually su ient sin e P  an be estimated (Nishiizumi et al. 1991). We now
dis uss results for these various portions of the exposure histories, best estimates
of whi h are shown in Table 2.1.
4

2.3.2 4 exposure ages


The 4 ages will be our hief onstraint sin e we are primarily interested in how
mu h time elapsed between laun h and Earth impa t. It is apparent from an
examination of Table 2.1 is that the average lunar meteorite was delivered to the
Earth in a far shorter time than the average (or indeed, almost any) martian
meteorite. Over half of the lunar meteorites have transfer durations of less than
100 kyr, a fa t that will serve as an important onstraint later. Also observe that
the martian meteorites appear to fall into three CRE age groups: 0.7 Myr (1
obje t), 3 Myr (5 obje ts), and about 10  1 Myr (4 obje ts), with ALH84001 is
almost ertainly independent of this last group based on CRE and ompositional
data (Bogard 1995). We will explore what these transfer data imply for our
dynami al model in the following hapters.
2.3.3 Earth residen e and blast-o times
Ex ept for the lunar meteorite Cal along Creek and the martian falls and nds,
all of the meteorites with measured values of t were found in Antar ti a and have
residen e times onsistent with what we know are typi al ages for the olle tion
areas (Nishiizumi et al. 1989, Vogt 1990); the oldest Antar ti meteorites are
about 1 Myr old, but in some olle tion areas the average is onsiderably younger
(for example, < 0:1 Myr for the Yamato Mountains). When performing this
analysis one wants to use a radioisotope with a half-life on the same order as the
Earth residen e time, and so Cl ( = = 0:3 Myr) and C (5740 yr) are good
hoi es (Nishiizumi 1986).
Even though t is rather short for most meteorites, sin e many lunar meteorites have su h small 4 ages it is important to know t sin e the laun h time
(or blast-o time) was tbo = t  + t years ago. Two meteorites that do not share
similar blast-o times annot be sour e- rater paired.
36

1 2

14

16
Table 2.1 Properties of the lunar and martian meteorites, summarized from Warren (1994); a typo in the mass of EET79001 is orre ted here. The abbreviation
Y = Yamato is used. The martian meteorites that are labeled falls have Earth
residen e times of e e tively zero, and those labelled nds likely have very young
t (negligible ompared to t  ). The martian meteorites all have t  = 0 due
to their deep burial (> several meters). The parenthesized 4 ages for some of
the lunar meteorites are thermolumines en e transit ages (see ref. 3). REFERENCES: 1. Warren 1994, 2. Nishiizumi et al. 1991, 3. Benoit et al. 1996, 4.
Nishiizumi 1996a, 5. Swindle et al. 1995, 6. Eugster et al. 1996, 7. Nishiizumi
1996b, 8. Thalmann et al. 1996.
Lunar
mass
t
t
t
depth ref.
Meteorite
(kg)
(Myr)
(Myr) (Myr) (g/ m )
Y-793274
0.009
< 0:02
<.02{.06 >300 140{180 1
MAC88104/5
0.724
 0:04
0.23.02 630 360{400 1
ALH81005
0.031 <0.05(0.01) 0.01{.02 580 150{180 2,3
QUE94281
0.023 0.05(.001) 0.1{0.2 >100 270{320 4
EET87521
0.031 <0.07(<.001) <0.06 <0.2 560{590 1,3
Y-791197
0.052 0.1(<.019) 0.06.03 910
4{8 1
QUE93069/94069 0.024 0.15.02 <0.015 1000 10{50 4,8
Cal along Creek 0.019
0.2
<0.07
>200
 40 5
Asuka-881757
0.442 0.90.1
<0.05
0.8 >1000 4,8
Y-793169
0.006 1.10.2
<0.05 5010 >500 4,8
Y-82192,3/86032 0.712
92
0.09 none >1000 1
4

Martian
Meteorite
EET79001
QUE94201
Zagami
Shergotty
ALH77005
LEW88516
Chassigny
Nakhla
Lafayette
ALH84001
Y-793605

Governador Valadares

mass
(kg)
7.94
0.012
18
4
0.48
0.013
4
0.16
40
0.80
1.93
0.018

4 CRE
(Myr)
0.6
2.6
2.6
2.8
3.4
3.6
9.9
10.5
10.5
10.5
15
?

t

(Myr)
0.012
0.3
fall
fall
0.2
0.025
fall
nd
fall
nd
0.011
?

depth ref.
(Myr) (m)
{
>2
6,7
{
>2
7
{
>2
6
{
>2
6
{
>2
6
{
>2
6
{
>2
6
{
>2
6
{
>2
6
{
>2
6
{
>2
6
?
?
{
t2

17
The fa t that roughly half of the martian meteorites were found outside of
Antar ti a (many as large falls) probably requires explanation. Is the la k of large
lunar meteoroids in histori al times just a statisti al uke, or does it indi ate
something about the laun h pro ess?
2.3.4 2 exposure and surfa e depths
The 2 exposure ages are also obtained from an analysis of the a tivities of multiple nu lides. Looking for this kind of ` rst stage' a tivity is often not done for
meteorites, whi h are often assumed to have simple `1{stage' exposure histories
(that is, the meteorite is liberated from a ompletely shielded lo ation and then
transferred to the Earth with t   t). This is be ause the liberation event is
often assumed to be the atastrophi disruption of a large parent asteroid, whi h
suddenly exposes massive numbers of meteoroids to osmi rays. This assumption has been questioned by Wetherill (1980) who believes that omplex histories
should be more the norm. But in the ase of the lunar and martian meteorites,
near-surfa e laun h from an impa t event immediately suggests that the obje ts
may have resided on or near the surfa e of the parent body.
The results for the lunar meteorites show in almost all ases that the obje ts
spent several hundred Myr to 1 Gyr within the a tive layer of the upper few
meters of the surfa e (Nishiizumi et al. 1991, Warren 1994). This lunar depth
information is obtained by using pro les for the saturation a tivity taken from
Apollo drill ore samples within whi h the a tivities are known as a fun tion of
depth (Carrier et al. 1991). On e it is known that the 2 age is long, the drill
ore a tivities an be used to determine the depth at whi h the meteoroid resided
before laun h. The depth is quoted as an integrated mass depth dm (in g/ m )
de ned by
X
dm =
(z ) dz ;
(2.9)
where X is the depth of burial ( m) of the meteorite. Thus, in a uniform surfa e
layer the real depth of burial is therefore just the mass depth divided by the mean
density.
A ompli ation is presented in that there exists the possibility that the meteoroid ould have been exposed for some time and then buried (by a nearby impa t
turning over the regolith for example). In su h a ase the a tivity produ ed by the
previous exposure would begin to de ay away. This onfusion an be eliminated
by examining stable isotopes (mostly noble gases) that do not disappear with
time and whi h thus measure the integrated surfa e residen e age. In any ase,
sin e the interval between a burial and re-exposure is likely to be long ompared
to the half-life, the 2 age and depth measures the time and depth sin e the last
empla ement in the near-surfa e layer.
4

18
On the basis of this and noble gas on entrations, the on lusion is that the
martian meteoroids were all laun hed from ompletly shielded lo ations, i.e., at
least several meters below the surfa e, implying t  = 0 (M Sween 1995). The
deep pre-laun h residen e of the martian meteorites likely provides lues as to
the eje tion me hanism, and this di eren e has prompted spe ulation that the
laun h pro ess may di er in some manner from that for the lunar meteorites (Ott
1988, Warren 1994).
2

Chapter 3
Dynami s of lunar meteoroids
3.1

Introdu tion

Three de ades ago Arnold (1965) and Wetherill (1968) used Monte Carlo simulations to investigate the expe ted 4 osmi ray exposure ages (CREs) of lunar
meteorites. These authors ea h found that a steep spe trum of exposure ages
should be expe ted, with the bulk of the obje ts having 4 CREs < 1 Myr.
While lunar meteorites were not a tually present in the olle tion at that time,
the age spe trum of the available meteorites ombined with the asymmetry in the
time of fall (Wood 1961, Wetherill 1968) was largely able to rule out the Moon
as a sour e of mu h meteoriti material. More re ently, Gault (1983) performed
some short-term simulations of the geo entri evolution of eje ted lunar material
showing that most material es aping the Moon is eje ted to helio entri orbit.
Information is also available on mi rometeoroid streams (e.g., Svedhem et
al. 1994) observed in the near-Earth environs. These mi rometeoroids have
sometimes been hypothesized to be parti les of lunar eje ta (see, for example,
Dohnanyi 1977). Sin e the interpretation of these data is quite omplex and few
rm on lusions an be drawn, I will not onsider this topi further.
3.2

Numeri al Simulations of lunar eje ta

The Moon is bombarded by a variety of proje tiles. The nature of the impa tors is
not important for our purposes, whether they be `normal' Earth- rossing asteroids
or omets (see dis ussion in Chpt. 6). I take as in ontrovertible that, following
impa t, some impa tors produ e a (likely very small) fra tion of eje ta fragments
that rea h speeds above the lunar es ape velo ity. The relevant a eleration
 This hapter is based on the paper: Gladman, B., J.A. Burns, M. Dun an, and H. Levison
(1995), The Dynami al Evolution of Lunar Impa t Eje ta, I arus
by A ademi Press, In .

19

118, 302{321 [ opyright 1995

20
Table 3.1 Initial onditions for the Sun, Earth, and Moon used in the geo entri
stage simulations. Masses are in solar masses, lengths in AU, and the unit of time
is the mean solar year divided by 2. The origin is at the 3-body bary enter.
Geo entri Initial Conditions

M
x
y
z

vx
vy
vz

Sun
1.00000000
-0.00000051445068
0.00000298358568
-0.00000000034939
-0.00000308328240
-0.00000053203717
0.00000000005244

Earth
3:040438  10
0.16716510695187
-0.96935160427807
0.00011399064171
1.00194735428418
0.17321044856299
0.00002041304056
6

Moon
3:7536  10
0.16505548128342
-0.96792780748663
0.00007492647059
0.98368251410153
0.14390276658609
-0.00305048683857
8

me hanism is un ertain, and not important to this work; both a sho k-wave
interferen e model (Melosh 1984) and a vapor-plume a eleration model (O'Keefe
and Ahrens 1986) have been proposed. In either ase one expe ts a spe trum
of sizes and velo ities produ ed for the eje ta, with the number of laun hed
obje ts de reasing rapidly with in reasing velo ity (Gault 1963, Vi kery 1987,
Fris h 1992). Thus it is likely that most es aping eje ta will leave the Moon's
surfa e barely above the lunar es ape velo ity of 2.38 km/s (= 2GMm=Rm ,
with G being the gravitational onstant, Mm and Rm the lunar mass and radius,
respe tively), negle ting three-body e e ts. The question that will be addressed
here is: what is the fate of these obje ts on e they are eje ted from the lunar
surfa e and have es aped into geo entri orbit?
A rst approa h might be to model the parti le, Earth, and Moon within the
ontext of a ir ular restri ted three-body problem. This level of approximation
is surely too extreme sin e the Moon's orbital radius of 60 R is an appre iable
fra tion of the radius of the Earth's Hill sphere with respe t to the Sun (whi h
is about 230 R). Thus, even mild in reases in the eje ta's apogee, aused by
the parti les s attering o the Moon's gravitational eld, allow their orbits to be
strongly perturbed by the Sun even before the parti les be ome unbound from
geo entri orbit.
To improve on the three-body model, I undertook a full four-body treatment,
with a massless test parti le moving under the e e t of the Sun, Earth, and
Moon; the JPL ephemerides were used to onstru t initial onditions for the
three massive obje ts, all having their orre t relative orbits (Table 3.1). Some
details on the method used in the geo entri integrations are presented in the next
se tion. This model should be su iently valid during the brief interval that the
meteoroid remains in geo entri orbit ( alled the `geo entri stage'). Sin e the
parti les es ape to helio entri orbit rather qui kly (taking typi ally mu h less
q

21
than a few de ades), the e e ts of the other planets on the fragment's evolution in
this stage are negligible. However, in this geo entri phase the Moon's presen e
is riti al to the orbital evolution. On e the parti le rea hes helio entri spa e
(i.e., the helio entri stage) a di erent model is ne essary (see se tion 3.2.2).
3.2.1 Geo entri Phase
I have ondu ted a large number of simulations of impa t eje tions o the lunar
surfa e. For ea h simulation 20 (sometimes 40 or 60) random impa t sites were
distributed over the lunar surfa e, weighted so that ea h unit area was equally
likely. For our purposes, a uniform impa t distribution is a good approximation;
the Earth has little in uen e as a shield or a fo us (see Bandermann and Singer
1973). From ea h site 18 parti les were laun hed at 45 relative to the surfa e
(Melosh 1989) and spa ed evenly in lo al azimuth (Fig. 3.1).
In ea h simulation all parti les have a ommon laun h speed, with values
ranging from 2.3 to 3.5 km/s. While the large number of events should provide
a statisti al view of the probable fates of most lunar fragments, laun h speed is
the single most un ertain parameter for this study. This is espe ially important
be ause, as shown below, the fra tion of parti les that impa t the Earth during
the geo entri phase depends strongly on the laun h velo ity. I believe that the
2.4 km/s ase is the most relevant to study sin e it is quite likely that the number
of obje ts de reases quite rapidly as a fun tion of laun h speed; thus the largest
number of es aping parti les will do so at just above the es ape speed (see Burns
et al. 1984 and Wetherill 1984 for dis ussions and relevant referen es).
While a 45 eje tion angle may hara terize rater ex avation ows (Melosh
1989), a spallation pro ess may produ e typi al eje tion angles that are somewhat
di erent (Fris h 1992); similarly the distribution of eje ta masses and velo ities
may di er. A hange in eje tion angle will simply alter the dire tion of the
residual velo ity ve tor (de ned below), and should have no e e t on the results
sin e a large number of impa ts have been studied.
After eje tion, the parti les' orbits are evolved using a sixth-order expli it
symple ti integration algorithm (see Gladman et al. 1991) using the full 4-body
equations of motion. The parti les are followed until they impa t the Earth or
Moon, or they es ape to helio entri orbit. After rea hing 10 Hill sphere radii
from the Earth (whose Hill radius is ' 0:01 AU) the parti les have their helio entri orbital elements omputed in order to transfer them to the helio entri
stage simulation (Se . 3.2.2).
The integrator is a brute-for e method whi h simply evaluates the interparti le
for es and integrates Newton's equations. Therefore, ea h of the four parti les
are given a mass and radius (the test parti le has negligible mass and size) as
well as initial position and velo ity ve tors. The algorithm advan es the parti les
forward one time step, dete ting ollisions by monitoring the relative distan e of

22

Lunar Impact Ejecta

ZAxis

0
1

YA

xis

2
Z

2
0

XAxis

Figure 3.1 The initial velo ity ve tors of parti les laun hed from a single lunar
impa t. Impa t sites are hosen randomly on the surfa e of the Moon (equally
probable per unit area). From ea h site 18 parti les are eje ted, spa ed equally in
azimuth on a one of 45o opening angle (only 15 ve tors are shown, for larity).
In this gure the positive X axis points in the dire tion of the Moon's motion,
the positive Y axis points towards the Earth, and the s ales are in lunar radii.
All parti les are laun hed with a ommon speed.

23
the small parti le from the Earth and Moon. Sin e the CPU time required for
the geo entri integrations is relatively small, I have used a time step (of 0.04
hours) small enough that the trun ation error is below the ma hine pre ision (of
 10 ) for the integration of the Moon's orbit. I have handled lose approa hes
to the Earth and Moon by simply lowering the time step, and insured that the
(statisti al) results have no dependen e on the time step.
Due to the large number of papers in the literature that attempt to establish
links between ertain meteorites and their laun h lo ations I will spend onsiderable time dis ussing the details of the geo entri dynami s. The asual reader
may wish to skip to the nal paragraph of se tion 3.2.1 (p. 30) at this point.
Table 3.2 shows the out omes of the geo entri simulations as a fun tion of
the laun h speed from the lunar surfa e. For several laun h speeds, more than
one simulation was performed; this gives us some estimate of the sampling error
due to a nite number of impa t sites and laun h azimuths. The gross histories of
these parti les are relatively easy to understand. At vl = 2:4 km/s, parti les are
barely above the lunar es ape speed and by the time they have rea hed several
tens of lunar radii, almost all of their laun h velo ity (relative to the Moon) is
gone; thus they share the nearly ir ular lunar orbit with its 1 km/s geo entri
velo ity. Su h parti les will su er many strong repeated s atterings by the Moon.
(Note that my qualitative dis ussions, but not the simulations, of the dynami s
ignore the omplexities of the Moon's e entri and in lined orbit; these 5% e e ts
are unimportant to a general understanding of the dynami s.)
Interestingly, the Moon is unsurpassed by other planetary satellites (ex ept
for Charon) in its ability to s atter parti les that share similar orbits. The power
of the Moon in this regard an be easily understood. The mean lunar orbital
velo ity is ' 1 km/s, while the Moon is apable of providing
p a maximum gravity
assist (in a surfa e-skimming lose en ounter) of ves = 2 ' 1:7 km/s. Thus the
Moon an ause major hanges in the geo entri orbital elements of parti les
in orbits similar to its own; indeed a single lose en ounter an be su ient to
eje t parti les from geo entri orbit. In fa t, approximately 15% of the initially
laun hed parti les re eive their `gravity assist' out of geo entri orbit during their
initial es ape from the Moon; these parti les make up the apparent lump near
a ' 1:05 AU; e ' 0:045 to be seen later in Fig. 3.6; this interesting phenomenon is
further explored in Appendix A. Compared to the number of parti les that es ape
to helio entri spa e, relatively few will su er the fortuitous hain of events that
walk their perigees down to the Earth's radius. The roughly 3% that do impa t
the Earth via this me hanism all require many months (to a few years) and
several strong lunar perturbations to do so. It is mu h more likely that they
will re eive a perturbation that eje ts them, although 5 10% re ollide with the
Moon during this pro ess. (Sin e the initial orbits are similar to the Moon's, the
en ounters o ur at low relative velo ity, whi h enhan es the Moon's gravitational
ross se tion.) For higher laun h velo ities, lunar re-impa ts be ome very rare.
16

24

Table 3.2 For ea h geo entri -stage simulation (in whi h all parti les are laun hed
from the Moon at a single laun h speed vl ), the table lists the total number N of
parti les laun hed (18 parti les per impa t site), the per entage Es of parti les
that es ape to helio entri spa e, and the per entages that impa t the Earth ()
and Moon (M). The ve simulations marked * were used as initial onditions for
the helio entri simulations.
vl

Geo entri Stage Results

(km/s)
2.3
2.4
2.4
2.4
2.4
2.4*
2.5
2.6
2.6
2.6*
2.8
2.8
2.8*
3.0
3.0*
3.2
3.2
3.2*
3.5

N
360
360
360
360
720
360
360
360
720
360
360
360
360
360
360
360
1080
360
360

Es (%)

0.0
88.1
91.7
90.0
91.1
90.5
92.8
80.0
83.7
81.7
81.4
77.2
80.2
95.3
94.7
100.0
99.3
99.1
100.0

% %M
0.0 100.0
3.3 8.6
3.9 4.4
3.3 6.7
2.2 6.7
3.1 6.4
5.5 1.7
18.9 1.1
16.0 0.3
18.0 0.3
18.1 0.5
22.5 0.3
19.2 0.6
3.9 0.8
5.0 0.3
0.0 0.0
0.7 0.0
0.6 0.3
0.0 0.0

25
Fig. 3.2 shows the evolution for a typi al parti le es aping at 2.4 km/s; note the
almost- ir ular initial orbit and the many lunar lose en ounters.
In ea h simulation all parti les have a ommon laun h speed, with values
ranging from 2.3 to 3.5 km/s. To help interpret the results in Table 3.2, let us
for the moment ignore the presen e of the Earth and Sun, and study parti les
as they es ape the lunar gravitational eld (Fig. 3.3). Far from the Moon the
parti les will retain some `residual velo ity' ~v whi h is measured with respe t
to the (moving) Moon. The magnitude and dire tion of ~v will di er depending
on laun h speed, site, and dire tion; furthermore, the nal orientation of ~v will
be in uen ed by the bending of the traje tory that o urs as the parti le es apes
from the lunar eld. By onsidering the geometry of the outgoing hyperboli
orbits one an show, for a 45o eje tion, the angle (in radians) that the path is
de e ted from its initial laun h dire tion (see Fig. 3.3a) to be:
1
(3.1)
(vl ) = ar os
+ ar tan x x 1 34 ;
x + (x 1)
where the square root of x is the dimensionless ratio of the laun h speed to the
lunar es ape speed (x  vl Rm =2GMm ); relation (3.1) is plotted in Fig. 3.3b.
In agreement with one's intuition, parti les laun hed at high speeds are s ar ely
turned by the Moon's gravity while the traje tories of those thrown at near the
es ape speed are pulled signi antly away from the lo al verti al.
On e free of the lunar gravitational eld, the residual velo ity ve tor will have
a magnitude of roughly
vr ' vl (2:38 km=s)
(3.2)
from onservation of energy, again ignoring the omplexities of three-body e e ts.
As will now be dis ussed, the parti le's fate is largely determined by the `es ape
angle'  between ~v and the Moon's velo ity ve tor ~v at the time of es ape
from the lunar gravity eld.
To estimate the initial geo entri velo ity ~v that appears in the four-body
integration, onsider the following idealization: the residual omponent is added
ve torially to the lunar orbital velo ity ~v of magnitude ' 1:0 km/se to obtain
~v , as shown in Fig. 3.3a. The angle  between ~v and ~v will be alled the
`es ape angle' and is very important in determining the potential fate of the
es aping parti les. For a given vr the fastest (i.e., largest vi ) es aping eje ta will
learly have  = 0; su h parti les do not originate from the leading point of the
Moon (be ause the eje ta there are laun hed at 45o from the lunar motion), nor
from an annulus 45o away from the leading point (be ause su h parti les still su er
de e tion unless x  1). Instead, the fastest eje ta originate on an annulus (45+
)o away from the leading point and, even then, only on the small portion of the
eje tion one that points parallel to the lunar motion. Similarly, the slowest initial
r

q

26

Figure 3.2 The path of a parti le es aping from geo entri orbit is shown in a
non-rotating geo entri frame, proje ted onto the e lipti plane. The parti le was
laun hed from the lunar surfa e at 2.4 km/s. Points are plotted every 3.3 hours
unless the parti le was within 1 Hill sphere of the Moon (about 9 R ), in whi h
ase points are plotted every 0.3 hours (and appear as a solid urve). The dashed
ir le is at the mean lunar orbital radius (60 R). The parti le is laun hed from
the region just to the right of the word `laun h', outbound on the thi k line (due
to the Moon's proximity). The multiple lose en ounters with the Moon before
a gravity assist produ es es ape are typi al for parti les laun hed at 2.4 km/s.
The parti le es apes to helio entri orbit to the left of the gure after a lose
en ounter with the Moon that provides it with geo entri es ape speed. (The
Earth's size is not to s ale.)

27

Vl

(a)

Vr

Path turned by lunar gravity


local vertical

Vl

Vi

Vr

o
45

impact point

Vm = 1.0 km/s

Moon

Figure 3.3 (a) A s hemati diagram de ning various angles for a parti le laun hed
from the Moon's surfa e. Eje ta are thrown at speed vl and an angle of 45o to
the lo al verti al o the lunar surfa e. Due to lunar gravity, the parti les are
slowed, and their nal residual velo ity ~v (measured relative to the Moon) is
turned through an angle . The initial geo entri velo ity ~v is the ve tor sum
of ~v and ~v , the Moon's orbital velo ity. The angle  between ~v and ~v is
alled the es ape angle. Note that i) the velo ity ve tors are not drawn to s ale,
ii) ~v and ~v are shown twi e on the diagram, iii) the gure is for a degenerate
planar ase, and iv) the gure geometry is similar to the laun h of the parti le of
Fig. 3.2. (b) The angle , given by (3.1), through whi h parti les departing the
Moon are de e ted from their laun h dire tion, as a fun tion of laun h speed vl .
r

28

150

100

50

0
0

50

100

150

Figure 3.4 The angle between the eje tion ve tor and ~v for parti les that
eventually impa t the Earth in a vl = 2:6 km/s geo entri stage simulation. The
time until Earth impa t is plotted on the abs issa. Parti les with angles < 90o
do not impa t the Earth sin e they ex eed geo entri es ape velo ity on e free of
the lunar gravitational eld, and thus es ape immediately to helio entri orbit.
m

geo entri speeds (whi h lead to the highest geo entri e entri ities) originate
from points (45 + )o away from the lunar trailing point.
With this as ba kground, let us return to Table 3.2. A ording to Eq. (3.2),
parti les with vl = 2:6 km/s es ape the lunar eld with vr = 1.0 km/s and thus
their residual speed equals the lunar orbital speed. If this residual omponent is
ve torially opposite to the lunar orbital velo ity ( = 180o), the parti le will nd
itself at rest with respe t to the Earth after learing the Moon's gravitational
eld; thus it will fall dire tly into the Earth. Parti les of this laun h speed whose
residual omponents are only roughly anti-parallel to the Moon's velo ity will
a quire small geo entri velo ities; thus they will have prograde geo entri orbits
of high e entri ity and, sin e vi < 1 km/s, will have semimajor axes less than
the lunar orbital radius. Subsequent lunar perturbations will push many su h
parti les towards e ' 1 ausing them to impa t the Earth. Sin e their semimajor
axes are smaller than the lunar orbit, the Moon's perturbations will have to add

29

Figure 3.5 The opening angle l of the geo entri loss one to immediate helio entri orbit is shown as a fun tion of the laun h speed. Parti les that have
es ape angles (after de e tion)  < l immediately es ape geo entri orbit unless
they impa t the Earth before rea hing their rst perigee. The loss one axis is
along the dire tion of ~v , pointing forward from the Moon's leading point.
m

onstru tively to boost these parti les nally free from Earth orbit. These two
fa ts explain the in rease in Earth impa ts at this speed seen in Table 3.2. At
the other extreme, vl = 2:6 km/s parti les with es ape pangles less than 90o have
j~v j greater than the lo al geo entri es ape speed (of 2v ' 1:4 km/s at the
distan e of the lunar orbit), and thus exit immediately from geo entri orbit.
Figure 3.4 shows lear eviden e for this: the Earth is impa ted by no parti les
with an eje tion ve tor within about 90o of the lunar velo ity ve tor (at laun h).
We generalize the above dis ussion to introdu e the on ept of a `loss one',
whi h is the totality of all es ape dire tions (indi ated by ~v ) that provide immediate a ess to helio entri spa e. As seen in Fig. 3.3a, these es ape dire tions
all lie within some angle l of the lunar motion (i.e.,  < l within the loss one).
Fig. 3.5 shows how the opening angle of the loss one (symmetri about ~v )
depends on the eje tion velo ity; we note that at vl ' 2:6 km/s, l is 90o, so
that for this ase all (post-de e tion) parti les moving `forward' after es aping
the lunar eld are lost.
At eje tion velo ities above about 2.6 km/s (where dire t transfers to the
Earth in a single orbit be ome permitted sin e vr  vm ), three lasses of behavior
are possible.
1. Immediate es ape (if  < l );
2. Immediate ollision with Earth (geo entri e entri ity  1); and
3. Geo entri orbit with subsequent lunar perturbations.
i

orb

30
Parti les in lass 1 an still ollide with the Earth if, on their outbound path,
their traje tories inter ept our planet's surfa e. That this fate o urs often at
these velo ities an be stressed by onsidering that at vl = 2:8 km/s a parti le
laun hed with ~v pointed dire tly at the Earth has vi ' 1:7 km/s and sees
a gravitationally enhan ed ross-se tional area ( orre ted to v1) of roughly 150
times the Earth's geometri area! Above 2.8 km/s signi ant numbers of parti les
in lass 3 turn out to have very large e entri ities due to the fa t that the most
likely es ape angle is just outside of the loss one when the loss one angle is
greater than 90o (due to the sin  dependen e of available area on a unit sphere).
This explains why the ollision per entage at this velo ity remains high. Another
point of interest is that above 2.6 km/s all of the parti les that do not fall inside
the loss one will be on retrograde geo entri orbits.
At even higher laun h speeds the `loss one' for immediate es ape widens
until at just above 3.4 km/s a parti le laun hed from anywhere on the lunar
surfa e, regardless of the dire tion of its residual velo ity, will leave the lunar
eld retaining at least the geo entri es ape speed. An Earth impa t an now
only o ur if the outgoing path of the parti le inter epts the Earth; there will be
no subsequent han es. In fa t, the simulation for vej = 3:5 km/s re orded no
impa ts with the Earth or Moon; all parti les es aped to helio entri orbit. For
a parti le eje ted at 3.2 km/s on a traje tory pointing roughly at the Earth, the
gravitationally enhan ed apture-area is about 20 times the Earth's geometri
ross-se tional area. This overs 0.13% of a unit sphere entered on the Moon, so
from the 1800 parti les laun hed at this velo ity one statisti ally expe ts about
2 dire t (before rst perigee) impa ts. In fa t 4 were observed.
The laim was made above that there should be no statisti al dependen e on
the 45 angle assumed for the initial laun h one. This was on rmed in a set of
experiments presented in Table 3.3, in whi h the laun h velo ity was held xed
at 2.4 km/s but the one angle of the eje ted parti les was varied. There is no
apparent dependen e on the angle of the laun h one for the fra tions of parti les
that su er ea h fate.
These results on the short-term fate of lunar eje ta, as given in Table 3.2,
ompare well with those of Gault (1983). My initial onditions di er from Gault's
in that I have used a fully three-dimensional model with the Moon in its proper
orbit, and I have broken down the statisti s by laun h speed. Gault's per entages
e e tively assume a at spe trum for the numbers of eje ted obje ts as a fun tion
of laun h speed; when weighted in a similar way, the results agree. In addition,
all my geo entri simulations had maximum time limits of 300 years (rather than
Gault's 30 years). Gault found that 2 of his 768 parti les remained in geo entri
orbit after 30 years, while I have no obje ts (out of more than 8000) that survived
as long as 300 years. Es ape from the Earth's Hill sphere typi ally o urs within
two months for high-velo ity parti les inside the loss one, and within a few years
for low-velo ity eje ta that require many lunar s atterings to es ape. Parti les
r

31
Table 3.3 For ea h geo entri -stage simulation (in whi h all parti les are laun hed
from the Moon at 2.4 km/s), the table lists the per entage Es of parti les that
es ape to helio entri spa e and the per entages that impa t the Earth () and
Moon (M). The one angle is the angle with respe t to the lo al verti al of the
initial velo ity ve tors. The 45 simulations are reprodu ed from Table 3.2
Dependen e on one angle

Angle
10
25
45
45
45
45
45
60
75
89

Es (%)

90.5
93.0
88.1
91.7
90.0
91.1
90.5
91.7
91.6
90.7

% %M
3.1 6.4
2.8 4.2
3.3 8.6
3.9 4.4
3.3 6.7
2.2 6.7
3.1 6.4
2.2 6.1
1.7 6.7
3.3 5.8

impa ting the Earth or Moon usually take several years before doing so, with reimpa ts into the lunar surfa e o urring somewhat sooner. The time distribution
of geo entri impa ts onto the Earth is shown for one simulation in Fig. 3.4. Note
that the lunar meteorites with only upper bounds on their 4 CREs (Table 2.1)
ould be obje ts that were delivered to the Earth during their geo entri phase.
3.2.2 Helio entri Phase
On e the parti les move onto a helio entri orbit, the previous numeri al model
will be insu ient to des ribe a urately the ontinuing orbital evolution of
the parti les. Experiments show that modelling the system as an Earth{Sun{
fragment restri ted three-body problem totally fails to apture important fa ets
of the problem. As the Earth's orbit itself illustrates, on a time s ale of 10 years
the in uen e of the other planets annot be negle ted. To the lowest approximation, the Sun, Earth, and Venus form a three-body subsystem; the planets
ex hange angular momentum on a time s ale of 10 years. Jupiter then modulates this inter hange on the slightly longer time s ale of a few hundred thousand
years. I have thus used a regularized, mixed-variable symple ti (RMVS) ode
in order to perform a full N-body integration of the motion of the test parti les.
The algorithm is dis ussed in Appendix B.
The long-term model for the helio entri simulations in ludes all planets from
Mer ury out to Saturn, with the Earth-Moon system in this stage onsidered as
5

32
Table 3.4 Planetary helio entri e lipti initial onditions used in the helio entri
stage simulations (note that the Earth-Moon bary enter is integrated). Masses
are in 4 solar masses and lengths in AU, so that the unit of time is the mean
solar year and G = 1. The solar radius given is the inner boundary used by the
simulations.
2

Helio entri Initial Conditions

Obje t

Mass

Radius

Sun
0
0
Mer ury
0.27017937502239237
5.8318090354768924
Venus
-0.49162157533769937
5.3678514269101589
Earth-Moon
-0.82923885617600000
3.5614549941450000
Mars
-1.5085575023881349
-1.9717133809842210
Jupiter
-5.3402409482531853
0.52021430151605930
Saturn
7.8893232093398913
1.1066909037177797

39.478417604357354
0
0
6.553957368410477310
-0.32228686492574826
7.0975268449586078
9.663671560142695510
-0.53077934414038334
-5.0550501344200581
1.200316740783136310
-0.54695064895900000
-5.2271971541900000
1.274027501907482710
0.70508397896622987
-4.1945337139270886
3.769344453824859410
-1.0991402891868280
-2.5741732287263259
1.128438405155276510
-5.8757155350551813
1.6285514822320565

(0.01)
0
0
1.563524927898589710
-0.051128121581458611
0.044360942040638282
4.045512126396863110
0.021133635065132573
-0.37886320104278040
4.263429666582814610
0.0000610063730000
0.0006199730700000
2.270754245434591110
0.051870243545010893
-0.039379874024183254
4.772126746587444710
0.12414342224252320
-0.00099790164736608
4.010752273361067210
-0.21133975684872742
-0.072412495822685855

x
vx

y
vy

z
vz

33
a single parti le at the Earth-Moon bary enter (Table 3.4). The orbital motion
of the Moon may be ignored in the helio entri phase sin e the (gravitationally
fo ussed) ollision ross-se tion of the Earth is roughly two orders of magnitude
larger; this approximation is supported by Whipple and Shelus (1994), who found
that the Moon was unimportant in the dynami al evolution of the near-Earth
asteroid Toutatis. Parti les are removed from the integration on e they (i) ollide
with a planet, (ii) ross the orbit of Jupiter, or (iii) have their perihelia redu ed
below a lower limit qmin = 0.01 AU (about 2 solar radii; these parti les have
be ome Sun-grazers, a ommon fate whi h will be dis ussed below). The time step
used for the lunar simulations (0.015 years) was su ient to allow for a urate
integrations on 10-Myr time s ales provided that the parti le semimajor axes
remained above 0.3 AU; no parti les were observed to violate this ondition.
Within this model, the dynami al evolution of the parti les was followed for ten
million years (the largest CRE age of a known lunar meteorite).
I have adopted a purely gravitational model for our simulations of 10 years
duration. If the lunar meteorites existed as de imeter-sized or larger ro ks while
in spa e (Warren 1994), radiation pressure for es are negligible over lifetimes of
< 10 Myr (see Burns et al., 1979, Eq. 50); these e e ts are even less relevant
for the short CRE age (< 50 kyr) obje ts. The lifetimes of  10 g meteoroids
at 1 AU against disruptive ollisions are estimated by Grun et al. (1985) to be
only 10 years. However, this would seem to ontradi t the existen e of Asuka881757/Y793169 with its ' 1 Myr CRE age, and Yamato 81912/86032 with its
' 10 Myr CRE age (sin e both of these meteoroids were likely only a few thousand
grams while in spa e) unless the ollisional lifetime rises pre ipitously for masses
greater than 10 grams. Sin e the ollisional lifetimes derived by Grun et al. are
intended to model the destru tion of dust and are highly model dependent, I
will assume below that ollisional e e ts are negligible for lunar meteoroids over
10 10 year time s ales. It turns out that more than 90% of the meteoroids that
will eventually return to the Earth do so well within 1 Myr, so if the ollisional
lifetimes are in fa t  10 years it will have a negligible e e t on the age spe trum
of the returning obje ts (see Se s. 3.4 and 4.3).
The usual proviso of numeri al elestial me hani s applies to the long-term
helio entri integrations. The Lyapunov times of these parti les are so short
(several hundred years, Whipple and Shelus 1994) that one annot laim that
the omputed traje tories are a urate for spe i parti les. The al ulations
must be viewed as statisti al studies of the fates of large numbers of parti les.
Milani et al. (1989) and Levison and Dun an (1994) dis uss this point further.
After es ape from the Earth's in uen e in the geo entri simulation, parti les
were inserted into the RMVS simulation with the same position and velo ity
relative to the Earth-Moon bary enter as they had at the end of the geo entri
simulation. The orbital elements for the vl = 2:4 km/s simulation at the time of
es ape from the Earth-Moon system are shown in Fig. 3.6. The semimajor axes
7

34

Figure 3.6 The initial orbital elements after es ape from the Earth/Moon system for 326 parti les originally eje ted at 2.4 km/s from the lunar surfa e. The
in linations (in degrees) are with respe t to the e lipti plane. The two lines
in the (a; e) plot show the lo i of q = a(1 e) = 1 AU (upper line) and
Q = a(1+ e) = 1 AU (lower line) for referen e; parti les to the right of these lines
ross the Earth's mean orbit. Note that many of the parti les are on geometri ally
non-Earth- rossing orbits (see text).

35
and e entri ities are those that one would expe t for parti les that have barely
es aped from the Earth-Moon system through the ollinear Lagrange points of
the Earth-Sun restri ted three-body problem. Note the very low in linations
and e entri ities whi h indi ate that many parti les es ape the Earth/Moon
system with only several hundred m/s ex ess velo ity. At these very low relative
velo ities parti les are de e ted enough on their outbound paths that they appear
to be on geometri ally non- rossing orbits in Fig. 3.6, having re eded to several
Hill sphere radii. However, if time were run ba kwards, the fo ussed gravitational
ross-se tion of the Earth is su ient to bring them to rossing (see, for example,
the dis ussion of Greenberg et al. 1991).
The distribution of the parti les in Fig. 3.6 is e e tively ontrolled by the
requirement that they have almost no velo ity relative to the Earth and that they
onserve their Ja obi onstants on this short time interval. Note the absen e of
a = 1 parti les. These are forbidden sin e an a ' 1 parti le with low e entri ity
would be on a horseshoe orbit (Dermott and Murray 1981) and never approa h
the Earth; learly a parti le laun hed from the Earth annot be on su h an orbit
(by invarian e under time reversal). I have studied the vl = 2:4 km/s ase in
the greatest detail, believing it to be the speed near whi h most es aping lunar
eje ta is laun hed (as dis ussed earlier). Given the re- ollision rates dis ussed
below, this ase is even more important to study sin e it ontributes the largest
fra tion of the returned meteorites that es ape to helio entri spa e. The initial
onditions for the higher laun h speed simulations look similar to Fig. 3.6, but
the parti les extend to higher e entri ities and in linations, as well as having a
few a = 1 parti les (whi h all have high e entri ity).
The parti les now pro eed to be s attered by the Earth's gravitational eld
at ea h onjun tion. Some ollisions o ur, but most obje ts re eive a relative
velo ity hange due to a gravity assist. The a; e evolution of the parti le swarm
for the 2.4 km/s simulation is shown in snapshots at 10 ; 10 ; 10 ; and 10 years
in Fig. 3.7. The general trend is for obje ts to in rease their e entri ities and
to walk along the web of lines whi h maintain either the parti le's aphelion or
perihelion at one of the terrestrial planets, be ause on short time s ales the lo al
Tisserand invariant T :
1
T = 0 + 2 a0 (1 e ) os i;
(3.3)
a
is onserved (Danby 1988); here a0 is the ratio of the parti le's semimajor axis
to that of the s attering planet, and i is their mutual in lination. Note that the
lines of T = 3 orresponding to small Earth-en ounter velo ity are not quite the
same as q = 1 or Q = 1 ( f. Greenberg and Nolan 1993). The mean in lination
also rises until the parti les are roughly uniformly distributed up to 30 degrees
(the in linations at 10 years are shown later in Fig. 3.12). After 10 years three
parti les have had lose en ounters with Venus (they an be easily identi ed in
Fig. 3.7), and after 10 years a few have had lose approa hes with Mars. The
3

36

Figure 3.7 Semimajor axes and e entri ities for the surviving parti les (from
the vl = 2:4 km/s simulation) after 10 , 10 , 10 , and 10 years. The lines show
perihelia/aphelia at Mer ury, Venus, Earth, and Mars; for example, the upper
bran h of parti les in the upper left plot all have perihelia at 1 AU. Parti les tend
to di use along this web of lines due to onservation of the Tisserand parameter
with the dominant perturber. This is disrupted by se ular perturbations and
lose en ounters with multiple planets.
3

37

Figure 3.8 The number of parti les remaining in a simulation is plotted as a


fun tion of time, on a linear plot for the 2.4 km/s simulation (upper panel) and
on a log-log plot for all the simulations (lower panel). Loss me hanisms are
summarized in Table 3.5. and are not on ned to re- ollision with the Earth.
Note the extremely large loss rate (all from Earth ollisions) in the initial stages.
The labels in the bottom panel indi ate the initial laun h speed of the parti les.
Note that the log-log plot shows that all the simulations eventually follow a
ommon logarithmi fall-o , indi ating a similar loss me hanism.

38
rst ollision with a planet besides the Earth is, as one would expe t, with Venus
at 73,700 years after laun h. The number of parti les remaining as a fun tion of
time for the simulations is shown in Fig. 3.8. Note the extremely high ollision
rate initially; more than a third of all the parti les that started the 2.4 km/s
simulation re-impa t the Earth within 50 kyr. The relative loss rate for all the
other eje tion velo ities is also highest in the rst 50 kyr. I show below that this
is in agreement with the available ages of the lunar meteorites. After the initial
burst of ollisions, Fig. 3.8 shows that all of the simulations level o to a similar
loss rate, whi h de reases roughly as 1=t, and seems to be a ommon result in
simulations of swarms of test parti les a e ted by nearby planets (Holman and
Wisdom 1993).
The extremely steep initial a retion rate is due to the fa t that the relative
en ounter velo ities v1 (that is, un orre ted for the a eleration aused by the
Earth as the parti les fall into its gravity well) are small sin e they just barely
leaked out of geo entri orbit due to a lose lunar en ounter. The Earth's gravitational ross-se tion for a retion, the area at 1 through whi h passing parti les
will impa t the body, is:
b = R [1 + (v =v1)
(3.4)
where the planet has radius R and es ape speed v , and b an be interpreted
as the impa t parameter below whi h a retion will o ur. The Earth's es ape
velo ity of 11.2 km/s dwarfs the typi al initial relative velo ity of 0.1{1 km/s,
resulting in an a retional ross-se tion several orders of magnitude larger than
the Earth's geometri ross-se tion. If v1 were to stay onstant, then the number N of surviving parti les should follow dN=dt / N and we would expe t
an exponential drop in numbers. The leveling o of the loss rate apparent in
Fig. 3.8 is due to the fa t that the relative velo ities of the surviving parti les are
in reasing, as eviden ed by the spreading of the orbits in 3.7.
Figure 3.9 shows a set of orbital elements for those parti les that survived
for 10 Myr. The test parti les are distributed somewhat uniformly in semimajor
axis between Mer ury and Mars, and also fairly uniformly in e entri ity from 0
to 0.5. Many parti les now have their aphelia inside the asteroid belt and will
be prone to ollisional erosion (Bottke et al. 1994). In any ase the fra tion
of lunar parti les that ome ba k to the Earth after having spent more than 1
Myr in the main belt is small, so this e e t is not of great importan e. It seems
that the inner planets are unable to drive parti les to e > 0:5 or i=25, and
that se ular resonan es are required (see below). This is not surprising. Even an
atmosphere-skimming lose en ounter dire tly over a pole of the pEarth annot
provide a verti al omponent of relative velo ity larger than v = 2 ' 8 km/s,
whi h produ es an in lination of no more than 15.
Table 3.5 lists the reasons for terminating the 224 parti les (out of an original
326) that were removed from the 2.4 km/s simulation, as well as similar statisti s
2

es

es

es

39

Figure 3.9 Orbital elements for the surviving parti les at 10 Myr in the vl = 2:4
km/s simulation. See the text and the aptions to Figs. 3.6 and 3.7

40
Table 3.5 The number of parti les removed in ea h 10-Myr simulation is given
for ea h listed me hanism: ollision with a terrestrial planet, or passage into
regions of helio entri spa e where the simulation would not be a urate. Note
the di erent numbers of starting parti les; the remaining parti les (out of the 360
laun hed from the Moon) impa ted the Earth or Moon in the geo entri phase.
Helio entri Stage Removal Statisti s

(km/s):
Initial number N :
TERMINATION REASON
Mer ury ollision
Venus ollision
Earth ollision
Mars ollision
q < 0.01 AU
Q > 6.0 AU
vl

2.4 2.6 2.8 3.0 3.2


326 294 289 341 357
2 0 0 0 1
23 30 35 41 67
182 142 98 109 96
0 0 1 0 1
14 10 18 18 16
3 3 3 4 4

for all the other simulations. At the instant of removal we re ord a parti le's
position and velo ity, as well as those of all the planets, for later pro essing
(to al ulate impa t velo ities and geometries for example). Generi ally one
nds that a large number of ollisions o ur with the Earth initially and that,
after about 500 kyr, impa ts with the Earth and Venus o ur at roughly equal
rates. Two ollisions with Mer ury were observed in the 2.4 km/s simulation,
at t=3.5 Myr and 7.8 Myr after lunar eje tion, with impa t speeds of 22 and
24 km/s respe tively. Only a few ollisions with Mars were re orded in all our
simulations. The pau ity of martian impa ts is not surprising sin e we expe t
the ollision time s ale with Mars to be at least several tens of millions of years
(from a simple O pik al ulation, see Se . 3.3). After several Myr the algorithm
begins re ording the loss of parti les inside the qmin boundary (they be ome Sungrazers). The me hanisms behind this behavior are dis ussed below.
A typi al orbital history is shown in Fig. 3.10. Note the o asional periods
of resonan e lo k, where the semimajor axis is roughly onstant and the rate
of evolution of the other elements slows down. The lo k at t ' 4 Myr is espe ially interesting sin e here the parti le has its perihelion well inside the orbit of
Venus, yet it is prote ted by jumping between a series of rst-order mean motion resonan es with Venus (the 11:12, 12:13, 14:15, and 18:19). The parti le's
approximately 15 in lination and the Kozai resonan e (Mi hel et al. 1995) keep
its perihelion at its des ending node for several hundred thousand years and thus
prote ts it from lose approa hes during some of this period. The obje t shown
in the gure entered the Hill spheres of Venus, Earth, and Mars 917, 2454, and
362 times, respe tively, during its 10-Myr existen e. Most parti les that survive

41

Figure 3.10 Orbital element evolution for the rst 5 Myr of a parti le laun hed
with vl = 2:4 km/s. See the text for details.

42
the initial Earth- rossing phase explore mu h of the inner solar system, being
dominated at various times by di erent terrestrial planets.
An in redibly fas inating array of dynami al behaviors are exhibited by the
thousands of parti les studied. Most of the parti les would belong to the Geographos lass for mu h of their lifetimes, a ording to the Milani et al. (1989)
SPACEGUARD lassi ation of Earth- rossing obje ts. But, for example, the
parti le shown in Fig. 3.10 is an Eros obje t from t ' 2 3 Myr. The variety of
evolutions is bewildering. Although these dynami al behaviors are not the main
point of this study, we shall pause to dis uss a few of them.
It was observed that 3-6% of the parti les in the lunar simulations be ame
Sun-grazers in the last 8 Myr of the simulations. This fate has been observed in
numeri al integrations of the orbits of short-period omets (Bailey et al. 1992)
and near-Earth asteroids (Farinella et al. 1994). Almost all of the obje ts observed to undergo this behavior did so upon having their semimajor axes rst
modi ed to a > 2 AU, where se ular resonan es due to the outer planets are lo ated, and subsequently having their e entri ities raised to almost unity. I note,
as Farinella et al. (1994) do, that this end state is more ommon than having
a parti le's aphelion raised to Jupiter- rossing (see Table 3.5). During the nal
stages of the simulations, Sun-grazing in fa t be omes the most ommon endstate for those parti les that are removed. I also note that the parti les that end
their lives in this way often seem to be ome in uen ed by the se ular resonan es
while still deep inside the terrestrial region. Fig. 3.11 displays the orbital history
of one of the Sun-grazers. The bottom two panels of this gure show that in the
period between 3 and 4 Myr after laun h the parti le be omes lo ked in the 
resonan e (see Se . 4.2.1 or Froes hle and Morbidelli 1994), although this seems
to have little e e t on its evolution. But near 6 Myr after laun h the parti le
be omes strongly a e ted by the  resonan e, whi h pro eeds to drive its e entri ity up to nearly unity. However, only a small fra tion of the Sun-grazers end
their lives while learly lo ked in one of these lassi al resonan es. This topi
ould easily be the subje t of onsiderable further resear h.
Interesting behavior an also be dis overed by mistake. In some of the preliminary simulations (not in luded here) an error in the transformation to the helio entri initial onditions aused the es aping parti les to be uniformly spread in
orbital longitude relative to the Earth at the start of the helio entri phase. Although easily re ti ed, this error revealed the existen e of Trojan-type horseshoe
orbits (although these would NOT ome from parti les that were laun hed from
the Moon). These orbits exhibited stability for the entire 5-Myr integration, providing independent on rmation of previous hypotheses (Mikkola and Innanen
1992). Whether or not one would expe t these stable orbits to be populated in
the urrent solar system is an open question.
Another uriosity is shown in Fig. 3.12 where we exhibit the values of the
in lination and longitude of the as ending node for the parti les after 10 years.
5

43

Figure 3.11 The orbital element history of a Sun-grazer. Shown is the a; e; i


history for the 6.4 Myr lifetime of a parti le from the 2.4 km/s simulation. Also
shown are the di eren es in the longitudes of peri enter of the parti le with
Jupiter and Saturn. Libration of one of these riti al arguments indi ates that
the parti le is lo ked in the resonan e. Observe that the e entri ity is driven to
1 when the  resonan e is entered near t = 6 Myr.
6

44

Figure 3.12 The in lination of the test parti les in the 2.4 km/s simulation after
10 years of evolution. The parti les are preferentially on ned to have their
orbital planes oin ident with the Earth.
4

The initially uniform distribution has now been strongly on entrated towards

' 150o; i ' 1:2o, whi h are the Earth's values at this epo h. Compare this
with Fig. 3.6, in whi h the initial nodes are randomly distributed. This apparent on entration is a oordinate-system artifa t aused by referen ing all the
in linations and nodes to the initial e lipti plane. The test parti les have all
been pre essing around their Lapla e planes (see Ward 1981); the latter planes
have been following the Earth's slowly moving orbital plane, whi h is rotating
mostly due to the Earth's intera tion with Venus. Sin e the parti les all have
almost zero free in lination initially, the dominant se ular e e t will be to maintain this state. This will be disrupted by lose en ounters whi h gradually raise
the mutual in linations of the parti les with the Earth. On e the mean mutual in lination rea hes the Earth's instantaneous in lination (with respe t to
the referen e plane), this orrelation disappears. This requires several hundred
thousand years, and it an be seen that su h a on entration is absent in Fig. 3.9.
When the nodes are measured with respe t to the Earth's instantaneous orbital
plane, the distribution is indeed random. This ommon pre ession of the nodes
with respe t to another xed plane (whether it be the e lipti plane at t=0 or the
invariable plane) is a very important e e t sin e it keeps the mutual in linations
with the Earth low and thus the ollision probabilities (as dis ussed in the next
se tion) high. It would be erroneous to ompute ollision rates (using an O pik

45
Table 3.6 For ea h laun h speed vl (km/s) No parti les es aping to helio entri
orbit were followed for 10 Myr (all times are in Myr). The number of parti les
Ntp still in the simulation (allowing for all removal me hanisms) at t = 0:05, 1,
and 10 Myr is then given. The number removed by Earth ollisions during the
geo entri simulation, and the helio entri simulation in the time intervals 0-50
kyr, 50 kyr{1 Myr, and 1{10 Myr, is shown. The per entages for these ases are
given in the last 3 olumns, with the geo entri ollisions absorbed into the <50
kyr olumn.
Helio entri Stage Results
vl
2.4
2.6
2.8
3.0
3.2

tp

326
294
289
341
357

0.05
197
226
249
307
329

1.0
155
166
199
244
254

10.0
100
109
155
174
171

Number of  ollisions
%  ollisions
Geo 0.05 0.05-1 1-10 0.05 .05-1 1-10
13 129 33 20 73 17 10
65 68
51 23 64 25 12
69 49
26 23 71 16 14
18 33
49 13 45 43 12
2 27
53 16 30 54 16

theory for example) assuming that the relative node on the referen e plane of the
test parti les and the Earth was distributed uniformly.
Table 3.6 summarizes all the helio entri stage simulations, as well as information on the impa t distribution (in time) of the obje ts that strike the Earth.
Ea h simulation started with N  300 test parti les (all of whi h had originally
been eje ted from the Moon at a ommon speed) and lasted for 10 Myr. The
number of test parti les surviving at 50 kyr, 1 Myr, and 10 Myr is shown to give
some idea of the loss rate, and in ludes all the loss me hanisms summarized in
Table 3.5. I then present the information on only the Earth ollisions, whi h are
relevant for omparisons with the lunar meteorite data. These same data are
presented in a more detailed graphi al format in Fig. 3.13, and will be dis ussed
further below.
3.3

Comparison with Monte Carlo Methods

An alternate approa h to the helio entri stage of this problem would be to ondu t a Monte Carlo simulation of the orbits of the parti les. In this method,
ollision probabilities (O pik 1976) are used to al ulate the frequen y of lose approa hes, at whi h time ollisions or orbital modi ations o ur after randomly
determining the lose en ounter distan e; when implemented numeri ally this is
alled an O pik-Arnold approa h. In this way Arnold (1965) and Wetherill (1968)
found a steep spe trum of expe ted ollision ages with the Earth, with the vast
majority of the ollisions o urring in the rst Myr (see Arnold's Fig. 2 or Wether-

46

Figure 3.13 This plot presents, as a fun tion of time, the umulative fra tion
of simulated meteorites that have arrived on the Earth, to all those that will
within 10 Myr. One urve is shown for ea h lunar laun h speed. For example, by
0.1 Myr 40% of the meteorites that will arrive have returned to the Earth for the
vl = 3:2 km/s simulation, whereas about 80% of the meteorites delivered in the
2.4 km/s simulation have already arrived by that same time. For the purposes of
this gure all geo entri deliveries were deemed have arrived in <10 years; these
deliveries are responsible for the non-zero values at t=10 Myr.
5

47
ill's Fig. 7). Until re ently, it has not been feasible to arry out dire t integrations
of parti les that are in lose- rossing orbits in order to on rm the Monte Carlo
results (although Milani et al. 1990 ondu ted a  10 year omparison for the
deep Earth- rossing asteroids). The RMVS ode now allows us to do this.
The subje t of study here is espe ially di ult for an O pik approa h sin e
the initial orbits are very Earthlike and thus have tiny relative velo ities. This
auses degenera ies in the O pik equations, owing to the many ases of small
mutual in linations, tangent orbits, and partial rossings. A omparison of my
results with Monte Carlo simulations (G. Wetherill, private ommuni ation, 1994)
shows that over a variety of time s ales the O pik approa h underestimates the
re- ollision fra tion with the Earth by fa tors of 3 to 12. The error lessens as the
length of the simulation is extended: the more than order of magnitude error in
the fra tion of returned obje ts during the rst 10 years is redu ed to a fa tor
of three if one onsiders 10-Myr time s ales. Despite this problem, the overall
relative distribution of re- ollision ages (e.g., the fra tion of obje ts returning
within 10 years ompared to those that return within 10 Myr) given by the
Monte Carlo approa h is roughly orre t (to within a fa tor of a few). This
on lusion is also rea hed by Dones et al. (1996a).
The omparatively short re ollision times found early in both the Monte Carlo
simulations and the dire t integration prin ipally result from the low relative velo ities of parti les with respe t to the Earth. As the parti les s atter repeatedly
o of the Earth's gravitational eld, the relative velo ities in rease and ollisions
be ome less likely. Thus, all methods should nd a steep drop-o in the ollision
rate as the Earth's gravitationally enhan ed ross se tion shrinks and the number of impa tors falls be ause ollisions are o urring. The resulting `faster than
exponential' drop in the impa t rate is apparent in Fig. 3.8.
The initially Earth-like orbits of the parti les introdu e ompli ations for the
O pik-Arnold approa h. Furthermore, as noted above, mu h of the evolution in
the simulations is in uen ed by the presen e of resonan es. Resonan e e e ts are
learly important, but the manner in whi h they a e t the results is ompli ated.
In fa t, the ommon o urren e of short-term resonan e lo ks is likely one reason
why the O pik ollision rates are in error. The Monte-Carlo methods also su er
from an inability to dis over interesting dynami al pro esses like those dis ussed
in the previous se tion. These issues are further explored by Dones et al. (1996b).
The O pik approa h provides a good qualitative understanding of the problem
nevertheless. In fa t, the Monte Carlo al ulations were well suited to address
the questions posed originally by Arnold and Wetherill (namely, a possible lunar
origin for hondrites and the time of fall asymmetry). In summary, I nd that
the steep ollision spe trum found by the method used by Arnold and Wetherill
is orre t, but a large fra tion of the material returns in only 50 kyr, and that
the absolute yields are too low by a fa tor of a few.
5

48
3.4

Comparison with Lunar Meteorite Data

I now return to the CRE data on the lunar meteorites (Table 2.1). How do the
CREs of the meteorites ompare with the simulated ollision results, and what
an be said about the transfer pro ess from the available samples? Of the eleven
obje ts with reliable ages, seven have CREs of less than 50 kyr, although all but
one of these are upper limits. Fig. 3.14 ompares the umulative distributions of
the expe ted CREs from the vl = 2:4 and 3.2 km/s simulations with the available
data. The plot in ludes those parti les that impa ted the Earth while still in the
geo entri stage. Sin e the ollisions o ur so qui kly in the initial part of the
simulation, it is best to examine the distribution binned logarithmi ally in time.
The steep time spe trum is in qualitative agreement with the CRE age data, with
a large amount of material returned in less than 0.1 Myr; in fa t, for the 2.4 km/s
simulation more than half of the returning material arrives in less than 10 kyr.
The prevalen e of upper limits on the 4 CRE ages is due to the di ulty of
measuring the presen e of isotopes having su h short half-lives and small abundan es in the meteorite. Thus, Fig. 3.14 does not very well dis riminate amongst
laun h velo ities, nor is it probably a very good representation of the a tual
spe trum, sin e the meteorites ould very well have 4 ages orders of magnitude
smaller than their upper limits. To obtain a fairer omparison I have re-plotted
the data using the thermolumines en e ages from Table 2.1 for the lunar meteorites that have only upper bounds on their CRE ages (Fig. 3.15; f. Se . 6.2.5).
For obje ts that have only upper bounds on their CRE and thermolumines en e
ages, I have assumed a 100-year transit time (whi h ould be in either the geo entri or helio entri stages). Fig. 3.15 shows that, given the small sample of a tual
lunar meteorites, the 2.4 km/s model provides a reasonable mat h to the data.
The 3.2 km/s simulation delivers almost all its meteorites in the period after 50
kyr from laun h, in disagreement with the data. Unfortunately, the 11-obje t
sample size means that the umulative distribution may be signi antly altered
by the addition of another data point. Although the spe trum derived from the
data in Fig. 3.15 is somewhat ad ho , it is almost ertainly a more a urate
representation of what the real delivery spe trum looks like than Fig. 3.14.
3.4.1 The lunar velo ity spe trum
Be ause the delivery spe trum (in time) hanges as the laun h speed varies, we
are able to rule out a large preponderan e of higher laun h speeds sin e they have
a mu h smaller fra tion of qui k deliveries (due to having mu h higher relative
velo ities to the Earth after the initial es ape to helio entri orbit). Referring
ba k to Fig. 3.13, we see that if vl  2:8 km/s then approximately half of the
meteorites should have transit times of less than a few thousand years (with the
interesting di eren e that for vl  2:6 2:8 km/s most of these rapid returns

49

Figure 3.14 The time spe trum of the CRE age data for the lunar meteorites is
ompared with two of the simulations. See the aption to Fig. 3.13 and the text.
The arrows indi ate that the data point is only an upper limit of the 4 age of
the meteorite.

50

Figure 3.15 Cumulative spe trum, modi ed TL data and assumed geo entri
impa ts, as explained in the text.

51
a tually take pla e in the geo entri stage). Be ause of the prevalen e of upper
limits in the transit time data, we annot say for ertain if this is true of the
meteorites. However, above vl = 3 km/s, one must wait 0.1 Myr for half of the
meteorites to arrive. Therefore we an on lude that most of lunar meteorites
must be laun hed with vl < 3 km/s, for if this were not the ase very few would
have CRE ages < 0:1 Myr. Sin e the eje ta velo ity distribution is likely some
form of a power law, the strongest statement that an be made is that not all
of the lunar meteorites were laun hed with speeds > 2:6 km/s. This an be
quanti ed in the following way. If the number of meteoroids eje ted at velo ity
v (v > v ) obeys
N (v )dv / v pdv ;
(3.5)
then the fra tion of parti les (of those that es ape) that leave with velo ity v > v
is
v p
N (v > v )
=
:
(3.6)
f=
N (v > v )
v
The experimental results of Gault et al. (1963) imply p  4:5 (Wetherill 1984),
in whi h ase Eq. 3.6 implies that  half of the eje ta should leave at faster than 3
km/s. This is onsistent with the data sin e then, weighting the ontributions of
the various laun h speeds given in Fig. 3.13, about 30% of the meteorites should
arrive in 6,000 years and 65% in 0.1 Myr, in good agreement with Fig. 3.15.
Further dis ussion of this topi will be postponed until Chpt. 6.
It is again worth nothing that, at laun h speeds of vl = 2:6 and 2.8 km/s, a
large fra tion of transfers with CREs < 50 kyr happen in the geo entri phase
(see Table 3.2). Thus, in these ases (see Table 3.6), the de it of fast helio entri
returns is more than ompensated for by the large number of geo entri stage impa ts. This makes the velo ity spe trum (given roughly by the last three olumns
of Table 3.6) di ult to distinguish from the 2.4 km/s ase if one annot separate
out those lunar meteorites that never left geo entri orbit. If the geo entri stage
meteorites ould be distinguished from those that es aped to helio entri spa e
on the basis of their CRE ages, one might be able to rule out vl = 2:6 2:8 km/s
as a ommon laun h speed, sin e for these velo ities lunar meteorites with CRE
ages <300 years should omprise a fair fra tion of the obje ts (about a third).
Measuring su h short osmi ray exposure ages is unfortunately very di ult, if
not impossible; thus the urrent upper bounds on many of the 4 CRE ages in
Table 2.1 are insu ient to determine whether or not these parti ular obje ts
es aped to helio entri spa e. Measurement of short CRE ages would require a
lunar fall to be observed (so that the residen e time on the Earth is known to be
negligible); it is likely that we must wait awhile for a statisti al sample.
es

es

es

52

Figure 3.16 Collisional data as a fun tion of time for the helio entri stage impa tors in the 2.4 km/s simulation. (a) Entry speed at the top of the atmosphere.
(b) Entry angle (with respe t to lo al verti al). ( ) E lipti latitude of the impa ts on the Earth.

53
3.4.2 Entry statisti s
Fig. 3.16 displays additional information on the ollision ir umstan es of the
Earth-impa ting parti les from the helio entri stage of the simulation. Figs. 3.16a
and b, respe tively, give the entry speed and angle (with respe t to the lo al verti al) at the top of the atmosphere at the time of ollision. As one would expe t,
be ause the orbits of the parti les are very Earthlike early in the simulation, the
entry velo ities then are just barely above the Earth's es ape velo ity of 11.2
km/s. (Of ourse, the entry velo ities of all the impa ting parti les during the
geo entri phase are also just above the es ape speed sin e su h parti les start
at the lunar orbit with geo entri velo ities small ompared to 11.2 km/s). The
mean entry velo ity for helio entri stage impa ts rises with time as the average
e entri ity and in lination (and hen e en ounter speed) of the parti le swarm
rise. This will presumably produ e a slight bias against lunar meteorites with
CREs > 1 Myr sin e they will su er heavier ablation; perhaps a fa tor of 2 more
mass loss if the entry velo ity rises from 12 to 18 km/s (ReVelle 1979). Furthermore these same obje ts will have been more prone to ollisional disruption near
their aphelia (Bottke et al. 1994). This bias will presumably on entrate the distribution of re overed meteorites somewhat more strongly towards younger ages.
The entry angles (Fig. 3.16b) for the returning helio entri parti les follow a
sin2 distribution as expe ted (see Shoemaker 1962). In ontrast (see Fig. 3.17),
the entry angles for the geo entri stage impa tors have a small bias to be on entrated towards larger entry angles (i.e., shallower entries). The me hanism
that auses this e e t is simply that the parti les are in geo entri orbits that
are perturbed into ollision by having their perigees lowered to (most likely) just
below the Earth's radius, resulting in an entry loser to tangen y. This does not
violate the standard sin2 result sin e the geo entri stage impa tor- ux does
not satisfy the assumption of being isotropi nor is it omprised of hyperboli
orbits oming from in nity. This ould result in a slightly higher survival rate,
due to less severe ablation, for parti les that impa t the Earth without having
ever rea hed helio entri orbit.
To examine the expe ted distribution of lunar meteorites on the Earth, I plot
the e lipti latitudes of the entry points in Fig. 3.16 . I have used the latitude
on the Earth with respe t to the e lipti plane sin e I have not kept tra k of
the Earth's polar pre ession in the simulation. Thus the latitudes with respe t
to the Earth's equator may di er by as mu h as 23 . Nevertheless, a  test
shows that the distribution on the Earth is statisti ally onsistent (at the usual
5% level) with uniformity (i.e., there are no favored latitudes). The Earth should
be uniformly overed with lunar meteorites, and there is no bias for or against
Antar ti a on dynami al grounds ( f. Halliday and Gri en 1982, who laim a
slight 15% observational bias against polar returns for reballs). The unbiased
distributions of impa t latitudes is also true for those parti les olliding during
the geo entri stage of the simulations.
2

54

80

60

40

20

0
0

20

40

Figure 3.17 Entry angles for the geo entri stage impa tors from one of the 2.6
km/s simulations. There is a bias towards entry angles larger than 45o due to the
fa t that parti les in geo entri orbit are likely to ollide with Earth after having
their perigees lowered to just below the Earth's surfa e. This produ es a greater
likelihood of shallow entries.

55
One thus on ludes that the dis overy lo ation on the Earth imparts no information as to where on the Moon a lunar meteorite was laun hed. Nevertheless
Fig. 3.4 demonstrates that obje ts laun hed with high velo ity (more than 2.6
km/s) have an extreme bias towards oming from the trailing half of the lunar
surfa e if those parti les are delivered to the Earth without ever es aping geo entri orbit. If the laun h-velo ity spe trum is at enough that high-speed parti les
make up a majority of the es aping eje ta, then geo entri stage deliveries from
the leading half of the Moon would be rare. A ordingly, in the absen e of other
information, the three lunar meteorites with only upper bounds on their CREs
(that is, those whi h might never have been in helio entri orbit) are somewhat
more likely to ome from the trailing hemisphere of the Moon. Beyond a epting
this very tentative hain of reasoning, one an on lude little. If the 4 CRE of
an obje t ould be shown to be only a few days (so that the meteorite arrived
via a `dire t' transfer), then one might be able to dedu e more, but only if the
eje tion velo ity and angle were known (see Gault 1983). Sin e su h information
will not be available, we must on lude that the dynami s an do little to narrow
down the sour e regions of lunar meteorites. In parti ular, until CREs an be
determined to 100-year a ura y, there is little reason to try to distinguish parti les that arrived on `dire t' traje tories (transfer times of a few days) from those
that ondu t many geo entri orbits before impa ting the Earth (surviving up
to several de ades), or even es ape to helio entri orbit and re-impa t with the
Earth in < 10 years. Note that if the vl ' 2:4 km/s ase is the most ommon
(as we might expe t), then there are no preferred sour e regions for either the
geo entri or helio entri stage deliveries.
Any rigorous omparison of the data with simulations like those presented
here should attempt to orre t for: bias against high entry velo ity obje ts, sele tion biases in dis overy of the lunar meteorites, and biases (due to ollisional
disruption) against long-lived obje ts that rea h orbits with large aphelia. Constru tion of a self- onsistent model of lunar meteorite delivery, given what is
known about the impa tor ux, will be the subje t of Chpt.6.
3

3.5

Relevan e for the Small Earth


Approa hers (SEAs)

The Small Earth-Approa hers (SEAs) are obje ts with diameters of 5-50m that
have orbits passing lose to the Earth. A lunar origin (Rabinowitz 1993) has been
proposed for this re ently dis overed lass of obje ts as a possible explanation for
their Earthlike orbits. The simulations performed here are well suited to address
the dynami al onsisten y of this hypothesis. I nd that the steady-state population after 10 Myr produ es a reasonable mat h to the low-e entri ity omponent
of the SEA population (Rabinowitz 1996) after biasing for teles ope dete tion ef-

56
ien y and orre ting for dynami al prote tion me hanisms that prevent some
surviving obje ts from entering the observable region (D. Rabinowitz, 1994, private ommuni ation). The in lination distribution shown in Fig. 3.9, with very
few parti les having i > 30o, agrees with the observations. However, too many
Aten-type orbits (a < 1) are naturally produ ed, and these are absent in the observed population; this is addressed by Bottke et al. (1996), who for this reason
laim that martian eje ta supply a better mat h to the SEA observations.
Perhaps an even more ompelling argument against a lunar origin for the
SEAs is as follows: The number of SEAs observed so far imply a very large population of SEAs ( 10 obje ts of 10m diameter exist a ording to Rabinowitz
1994). Even if the number of low-e entri ity obje ts (from a lunar origin) is
only 5-10% of this population (Rabinowitz 1994), as might be true if the SEAs
are the large-size end of a ontinuously inje ted population of lunar impa t debris, then one would probably expe t mu h greater numbers of re overed lunar
meteorites in the available smaller size range. This problem remains even if the
SEAs are the remnants of a single large impa t event o urring more than a Myr
ago (whi h would now have a low delivery rate of fragments of all sizes to the
Antar ti i e sheet). This issue will be quanti ed in Chpt. 6. Finally, the lunar
SEA hypothesis annot be ruled out on orbital-dynami s grounds, but it may be
di ult to produ e the required number of large obje ts self- onsistently. In fa t,
Bottke et al. (1996) al ulates that only a few hundred 10-m obje ts would be
laun hed by the 39-km impa t rater Harpalus, and raters larger than this are
unlikely to have been produ ed in the last 10-20 Myr.
8

3.6

Summary

Available lunar meteorite data are onsistent with the simple dynami al model
of lunar eje tion, geo entri es ape, and subsequent helio entri evolution. The
qualitative nature of the delivery of lunar material to the Earth is relatively
insensitive to the eje tion velo ity and typi al eje tion angle, and thus the details
of the laun h pro ess should not a e t the results.
The numeri al studies are fully onsistent with the predominan e of short
CREs that are found in the lunar meteorite sample. One nds that roughly onequarter to one-half of the eje ted lunar material is re-a reted by the Earth in 10
Myr, with a large fra tion arriving within the rst 50 kyr. An O pik approa h to
the problem will underestimate the absolute yield of lunar meteorites by a fa tor
of three to twelve. The spe trum of laun h speeds seems to be steep enough that
eje ta leaving with speeds greater than 3 km/s are rare. I also on lude that the
Earth should be uniformly overed with lunar meteorites, and that the dis overy
lo ation provides no lues as to the sour e region on the Moon. There are no
preferred laun h lo ations on the Moon for Earth delivery either, given urrent
knowledge about the lunar meteorites.

Chapter 4
Dynami s of martian meteoroids
In order to al ulate the expe ted ux of martian meteorites, either in a relative or
absolute sense, we must rst al ulate the delivery e ien y for martian material
(the fra tion of es aping material that arrives at the Earth).
4.1

Introdu tion

Martian meteorites have taken mu h longer to rea h the Earth than the lunar
ones (Table 2.1, page 16), simply be ause the orbits of most eje ted martian
meteoroids do not initially ross that of the Earth. However, be ause of the
e entri orbit of Mars, the v1 of es aping parti les need only be about 2.3
km/s ( orresponding to eje tion speeds of 5.5 km/s, merely 10% greater than the
5 km/s es ape speed) in order for some eje ta to be on orbits that immediately
ross Earth's. Thus, fast transfers are o asionally possible and the short 0.6 Myr
4 CRE age of EET79001 is not espe ially surprising. In fa t, transfers as rapid
as 16,000 yr were observed in the simulations.
The ground-breaking work of Wetherill (1984), who a de ade ago addressed
the delivery e ien y of martian meteorites using Monte Carlo simulations,
presents, in hindsight, a puzzle given what we now know of the 4 CRE ages
of these meteorites. Even though ollisional destru tion was in luded in those
simulations, the majority of martian obje ts arrived at the Earth having taken
longer in their journeys than the re overed meteorite with the greatest CRE
age (15 Myr), unless the mean eje tion velo ities are very large indeed (> 6:4
km/s). Sin e the lunar results seem to indi ate that proportionally little material
is laun hed at speeds greater than 125% of the es ape speed, one might expe t
that most martian meteoroids should be laun hed at < 6 km/s. Of ourse, it may
 This hapter is a onsiderably expanded version of dis ussion given in the paper: Gladman, B., J.A. Burns, M. Dun an, P. Lee, and H. Levison (1996), The Ex hange of Impa t
Eje ta Between Terrestrial Planets, S ien e

271,

Asso iation for the Advan ement of S ien e.

57

1387{92 [ opyright 1996 by the Ameri an

58
be that the regolithi stru ture of the lunar surfa e is responsible for the sharp
drop-o with velo ity, and that this result does not apply to Mars. However,
Vi kery (1987) studied se ondary rater elds around martian, lunar, and mer urian impa t raters and found power-law de reases in the fragment size with
in reasing eje tion speed that had little variation between the planetary bodies.
4.2

Simulations

I have simulated the gravitational evolution of 2100 parti les es aping from Mars
at various speeds, for up to 100 Myr. The planets from Venus to Neptune were
in luded in the simulations. The initial onditions for the test parti les onsist
of pla ing the test parti les uniformly on the surfa e of a sphere 100 martian
radii away from the planet, moving radially outward at a hosen velo ity v1
(this orresponds to uniform ratering of the planet). Previous work (Wetherill
1984) has shown that the delivery e ien y is relatively insensitive to the orbital
phase and urrent orbital elements of Mars. Eje tion from the planet results in
the es aping parti les being in helio entri orbit immediately; no intermediate
phase of orbit around the planet need be onsidered. Parti les were removed
for the same reasons as in the lunar ase: planetary ollision, Q > 6 AU, or
Sun-grazing. The Sun-grazing riterion was hanged to the a tual solar radius
(i.e., q = 0:005 AU); the frequen y of Sun-grazing was found to be insensitive to
whether one or two solar radii were used as the termination distan e.
The depletion rate of the eje ted parti les (Fig. 4.1) is learly di erent from
the other ases (laun h from Mer ury and Venus is dis ussed in Chpt. 5) be ause,
even at this low eje tion speed, re- ollision with Mars is not a signi ant removal
me hanism. Of the few Mars re-impa ts that do o ur, more than 90% take pla e
in the rst few Myr; on e the relative velo ities in rease above the es ape velo ity,
ollisions with Mars remove an insigni ant fra tion. For higher eje tion speeds,
typi ally less than 2% of the parti les re- ollide.
The delivery e ien y of martian meteoroids to the Earth for v1 = 1 km/s is
' 7.5%, with about one-third of these o urring in the rst 10 Myr (Table 4.1).
Interestingly, Mars, Venus, and Earth all re eive omparable fra tions of the
material eje ted from Mars. Raising the eje tion velo ity auses a small in rease
in the delivery e ien y to Earth (Table 4.2). The yields shown here are about an
order of magnitude larger than those seen in Monte Carlo simulations (Wetherill
1984), although I have not yet in luded the possibly important e e ts of ollisional
destru tion. These ollisional e e ts lower the transfer e ien y by a fa tor of
2 at most, but this still results in a signi ant di eren e with the Monte Carlo
results. The dis repan y an be understood by examining Fig. 4.2, whi h shows
how the orbits of the es aped eje ta evolve after laun h. It an be seen that the
parti les remain in the vi inity of Mars (a = 1:52 AU) only for the rst 100,000
years. By 1 Myr several interesting phenomena have o urred: a few parti les

59

Figure 4.1 The fra tion of es aping parti les remaining in the simulations as a
fun tion of time. The simulations for Mer ury, Venus, and Mars are the v1 = 1
km/s ases, while the lunar simulation shown is for an eje tion speed vl o the
lunar surfa e of 2.4 km/s.

60

Table 4.1 Fates of the parti les from a ompilation of ve v1=1 km/s martian
eje ta simulations ontaining a total of 900 parti les and lasting up to 100 Myr.
No ollisional e e ts are in luded in these simulations.
Meteoroid fate
Fra tion
Impa t Venus
7.5%
Impa t Earth
7.5%
9.0%
Impa t Mars
Sun-grazing
38%
Rea h Jupiter
15%
Survivors
23%

Table 4.2 Transfer e ien ies for Mars eje ta in the rst 15 Myr after laun h, as
a fun tion of the eje tion speed, with no orre tion for ollisional destru tion. All
simulations used 300 parti les. (*) Note that Sun-grazing and Jupiter- rossing
only begin to operate e iently after 10 Myr, and thus are under-represented
here ( ompare with Table 4.1).
Eje tion speed (km/se )
E ien y, in 15 Myr (%)
v1
Surfa e Earth Venus Mars Sun Jupiter
1.0
5.13
3.1 1.5 9.5 9.0
3.0
1.8
5.34
4.0 2.7 2.7 8.0
6.0
2.3
5.53
7.7 4.7 0.7 9.0
5.0
2.7
5.71
5.3 4.0 1.7 9.3
5.0
3.3
6.02
6.3 3.7 2.0 13.3
6.7

61

Figure 4.2 Orbital evolution of 200 parti les laun hed from Mars with v1=1
km/s. The web of lines shows the lo ations where the perihelion or aphelion of
a parti le would lie at a planet's semimajor axis (the urve in the upper right
orresponding to Jupiter).

62
have di used down the Q = 1:5 AU line due to multiple lose en ounters (in
a manner similar to that observed in the lunar simulations), and some of these
parti les have had their orbits drasti ally modi ed by the Earth (having rossed
the q = 1 AU line). The obvious feature at a ' 1:65 AU is aused by se ular
resonan es dis ussed in the next se tion. By 10 Myr most of the parti les have
been removed from Mars-like orbits, and by 100 Myr it is apparent that the
population has been heavily depleted.
4.2.1 Se ular resonan es near Mars
Unlike the lunar simulation, di usion up the q = 1:5 AU line is halted by the
presen e of two nonlinear, se ond-order se ular resonan es, whi h are thought
to be lo ated near a ' 1.6 { 1.7 AU using a perturbation theory al ulation
(Froes hle and Morbidelli 1994). The resonan es are 2g = g + g and g s =
g s , with the former the more dynami ally e e tive of the two. The libration
of the two resonant arguments is shown for one of the test parti les in Fig. 4.3.
Note that in these gures the plotted resonant angle is indi ated by the resonant
frequen y (e.g., the angle 2~! !~ !~ is plotted in the 2g = g + g panels.
Here g and s denote the pre ession rates of the perihelion and as ending node
of the parti le, and gi and si are the ith fundamental se ular eigenfrequen ies of
the solar system (Brouwer and Clemen e 1961). First-order se ular resonan es
o ur when a single se ular frequen y is mat hed; for example, if g = g then
the parti le's peri enter pre esses at the same rate that Jupiter's does and the
parti le would be in the lassi al  resonan e (the two notations are equivalent).
In the urrent ase the resonan es are non-linear be ause they involve more than
one fundamental frequen y, and se ond-order be ause they do not appear in the
expansion of the se ular disturbing fun tion until quadrati terms in the planetary
masses are onsidered.
These resonan es ause os illations, with periods of  10 yr, in the e entri ities of parti les in this region up to Earth- rossing values (e ' 0:4) thereby
raising the e ien y of delivery for martian meteoroids (Fig. 4.4). Sin e these
resonan es were not in orporated into earlier Monte Carlo simulations and appear to have su h dramati e e ts, it is not surprising that the results di er.
These two se ular resonan es appear to be present in mu h of the phase spa e
near the martian region; a large fra tion of the parti les (at many di erent values
of a, e, and i) have pre ession rates (presumably indu ed by Mars) mat hing
one of these se ular frequen ies, even though they may not be at the lo ations
determined by Froe hle and Morbidelli (1994). Fig. 4.4 illustrates that parti les
an be at a variety of semimajor axes and e entri ities and still be lo ked in
these resonan es.
Besides the potential for Earth impa t, another onsequen e of the delivery
of parti les to the q = 1 AU urve is that their semimajor axes an be raised by
5

63

Figure 4.3 An orbital history of a martian meteoroid. The semimajor axis and
perihelion distan e are shown. This parti le spends the duration of this simulation
with an in lination i < 20, and with ! and
ir ulating. The resonant angles
indi ate that the parti le is near, but not exa tly at the two se ond-order se ular
resonan es, whi h nevertheless qui kly in rease its e entri ity to 0.3, and the
parti le be omes mildly Earth- rossing. The perihelion then de ouples from the
Earth, although the parti le then rmly lo ks in the 2g = g + g resonan e.
5

64

Figure 4.4 Libration of the two se ond-order se ular arguments for a martian
meteoroid that impa ts the Earth. This parti le appears to begin the simulation in the resonan es (as indi ated by the libration of the resonant angles),
and they ause the e entri ity e to rise and thus perihelion q to be lowered
to Earth- rossing values (the top panel also shows the semimajor axis a). The
parti le spends most of its lifetime lo ked in the 2g = g + g resonan e. Even
the lose en ounter at t ' 1:27 Myr does not disrupt the resonant behavior. At
t = 1:38 Myr the parti le ollides with the Earth.
5

65

Figure 4.5 Libration of the two se ond-order se ular arguments for a martian
meteoroid that be omes a Sun-grazer. Starting at t = 2:6 Myr the e entri ity
is driven to unity and the parti le impa ts the Sun. The other orbital elements
and resonant arguments are shown in Fig. 4.6; note espe ially the resonant angle
for the  resonan e.
6

66

Figure 4.6 The other orbital elements for a martian meteoroid that be omes a
Sun-grazer. This is the same parti le as in Fig. 4.5. Note that  and  resonan es
are important near the end of the evolution; the e entri ity rises rapidly when
the semimajor axis rea hes a > 2 AU and both  and  are important. Note
also that the parti le seems to leave 2g = g + g at 2.1 Myr when it be omes
lo ked in  .
5

67
lose en ounters (with the Earth and Venus) to the inner edge of the asteroid belt
(a ' 2:1 AU), where the powerful se ular resonan es  ,  , and  operate; these
resonan es are apable of driving the e entri ities of test parti les to unity at
whi h point the parti les strike the Sun, as dis ussed previously. Sun-grazing is
dis ussed for near-Earth asteroids by Farinella et al. (1994), for the short-period
omets by Bailey et al. (1992), and for the Jupiter family omets by Levison and
Dun an (1994).
Sun-grazing (illustrated in Figs. 4.5 and 4.6) is in fa t by far the dominant
loss me hanism after 10 Myr. By 100 Myr almost 40% of the parti les have been
driven into the Sun, more than twi e the number removed from the system by
rossing Jupiter's orbit. These two e e ts ultimately deplete the swarm and yield
an almost linear de line in the number of surviving meteoroids (Fig. 4.1); this
partly explains why no martian meteorites have 4 ages older than  15 Myr;
ollisional e e ts, whi h also ontribute, will be dis ussed in the next se tion.
To on lude our dis ussion of the simulations, Fig. 4.7 presents umulative
spe tra (over 15 Myr of evolution only) for the simulations presented in Table 4.2.
In ontrast to the lunar ase, the delivery rate of martian meteorites to the
Earth appears to be almost onstant (note the linear time axis, as opposed to the
logarithmi one for the lunar ase of Fig. 3.13). Given the relatively small number
statisti s of the simulations there is little di eren e between the laun h velo ities.
The only slight di eren e is that the v1 = 2:3 km/s ase has an in rease in early
deliveries due to the fa t that at this value of v1 a fair number of parti les have
q ' 1 AU at the very beginning of the helio entri simulation, allowing almost
immediate deliveries.
6

4.3

16

Comparison with meteorite data

Fig. 4.8 shows, in a umulative plot, the expe ted CRE age spe trum for the
purely gravitational N-body simulation with v1 = 1 km/s, whi h was run for
100 Myr of simulated time in order to extend well past the 4 age of the oldest
martian meteorite. The agreement with the martian meteorite data does not
appear to be as good as in the lunar ase; only a little more than half of the
meteorites delivered in the simulation arrive within the 15-Myr upper bound
of the re overed meteorites (a problem mentioned in Se . 1.5). However, this
disagreement is not surprising at this stage. The delivery time s ale is many
millions of years (as opposed to tens to hundreds of thousands of years for the
lunar meteorites). Many of the martian meteoroid orbits rea h out to the asteroid
belt (Q > 2:1 AU) for at least some of the time during their journey to the Earth
and thus the meteoroids will be prone to ollisional disruption, with a half-life of
 1{10 Myr (Bottke et al. 1994). This is in rough agreement with the observed
CRE ages of the ordinary hondrites (Wasson 1985). Wetherill (1988) postulates

68

Figure 4.7 Cumulative delivery spe tra for all 15 Myr martian simulations. The
verti al axis is the umulative fra tion of obje ts that have stru k the Earth,
of all those that will within 15 Myr. The points shown represent ea h individual
impa t seen in the simulation (of 300 parti les). Given the relatively small number
of deliveries, these spe tra are all well represented by a onstant delivery rate,
although note that the total e ien y varies by a fa tor of about 2 (Table 4.2).

69
a ollisional half-life for a meteoroid of radius r (in m) of
 = 1:2  10 r = yr;
(4.1)
when Q > 2:1 AU. Thus a r ' 3 m meteoroid (pre-atmospheri mass  300 g)
with aphelion in the main belt would
have a ollisional lifetime of only 2 Myr.
p
Sin e the half-life s ales only as r, the range of a fa tor of 10 in martian
meteorite masses orresponds to a variation of only a fa tor of 3 in  . Even
the 40-kg Nakhla meteoroid would have had a ollisional half-life of no more than
 5 Myr if it entered the main belt. Thus I have used the value of 2 Myr (roughly
the lifetime for the median martian meteorite mass) for all meteoroids; further
re nements are unwarrented in any ase given the small numbers of meteorites.
The time spent in the main asteroid belt as a fun tion of transit time to the
Earth was tabulated from the simulations (Fig. 4.9). It is apparent that most
meteoroids that arrive at the Earth in less than 10 Myr spend little, if any, time
transiting through the main belt. On the other hand, most obje ts taking more
than 10 Myr to arrive at the Earth spend many millions of years in the main belt,
and are unlikely to survive this given their small sizes. (Chondrites with CRE
ages of tens of Myr are known, but this osmi ray exposure was almost ertainly
a quired while the material was in roughly meter-sized bodies, in on ordan e
with Eq. 4.1).
I am assuming a model in whi h hypervelo ity ollisions into martian meteoroids smaller than several tens of kilograms are so atastrophi that no ollisional
produ ts are apable of surviving until Earth delivery (if this were not true, then
we should presumably have martian meteorites with transit ages as old as the
oldest hondrites). The mean residen e time in the belt was al ulated from
Fig. 4.9 as a fun tion of transit time (using 3-Myr bins) and onvolved into the
delivery spe trum (Fig. 4.8). With su h a ollisional model, the N-body simulation mat hes the CRE data reasonably well; however, the ollisions lower the
delivery e ien y for the v1 = 1 km/s ase from 7.5% to ' 3%.
oll

1 2

oll

4.4

Impli ations for the laun h pro ess

The age distribution of the martian meteorites is onsistent with a model in


whi h all fragments are laun hed, at speeds modestly above the es ape velo ity,
as small bodies and delivered independently to Earth. The orbital elements just
before impa t of the parti les in one of the v1=1 km/s simulations are shown in
Fig. 4.10. The simulated meteorites delivered in the rst 15 Myr almost all have
entry velo ities into Earth's atmosphere in the range 11{17 km/s (Fig. 4.11), in
agreement with the ablation data for the SNCs (Bhandari et al. 1988). In fa t,
there is some osmogeni nu lide eviden e that the qui kly arriving shergottites
have systemati ally lower ablation than the other martian meteorites (Garrison

70

Figure 4.8 Cumulative plot of the expe ted CRE age spe trum of the martian
meteorites. The urves show (as a fun tion of time) the umulative number of
meteorites that have stru k the Earth (as a fra tion of those that do within 40
Myr. The solid and dotted urves show predi ted spe tra, one in orporating
atastrophi ollisions (solid) and the other without (dotted). The dashed line
onne ts the data points for the martian meteorites.

71

Figure 4.9 For the parti les that stru k the Earth in the rst 40 Myr of the
100-Myr, v1=1 km/s simulation, the integrated amount of time spent in the
main asteroid belt is plotted as a fun tion of the time it took for the meteoroid
to rea h the Earth. (Only 1 parti le stru k the Earth after this, at t = 73 Myr).

Figure 4.10 The orbital elements just before impa t of the simulated meteorites
from one of the 100-Myr simulations.

72

Figure 4.11 The entry velo ities for the simulated martian meteorites that rea h
the Earth. Left panel: All parti les from the 15-Myr simulations. Right panel:
parti les from the 100-Myr simulation. Note the di ering axes.
1995, Swindle et al. 1996). This tenden y is de nitely supported by the
simulations; Fig.4.11 shows atmospheri entry velo ities at the Earth for the meteorites from all of the 15-Myr simulations as well as the 100-Myr simulation.
Meteorites arriving as rapidly as the shergottites (<4 Myr) seldom seem to have
atmospheri entry velo ities greater than the relatively low value of 13 km/s,
whi h would result in ablative mass losses of 40{60% (ReVelle 1979), orresponding to about 20% of the meteoroids radius. This ould explain the systemati ally
lower ablation seen in the shergottites (Garrison et al. 1995).
However, the simulations do not explain the apparent lustering of the 4
CREs into at least 3 groups: 0.6 Myr (1 obje t), 3  1 Myr (5 obje ts), and
13  3 Myr (5 obje ts). Are these groups due to sour e- rater pairing (p. 2)
or, alternatively, to separate ollisional fragmentations of large meteoroids in
spa e (Bogard 1995)? Note that the umulative spe trum (Fig. 4.8) would be
un hanged by sour e- rater pairings. Tremain and o-workers (Tremain et al.
1994, Tremain 1995a) argue for one-stage exposures as small bodies, but allow
for sour e- rater pairing of the shergottites or nakhlites/Chassigny. The martian
meteorites share mu h loser petrologi anities than the lunar meteorites (M Sween 1995): the 3-Myr group ontains only shergottites, and 3 of the 13-Myr
group are the nakhlites. Re ently, Eugster (1996) laims the following sour e rater pairings on the basis of CRE eviden e: three of the basalti shergottites
(Shergotty, Zagami, and QUE94201) at ' 2:7 Myr ago, the two lherzoliti sher-

et al.

73
gottites at ' 3:5 Myr ago, and all three nakhlites at ' 10:5 Myr ago ( f. Tables
1.2 and 2.1). I agree that these age lusters likely represent individual impa t
events into distin t sour e terrains (see Chpt. 6).
A previously onsidered hypothesis (Vi kery and Melosh 1987) { that all the
martian meteorites are derived from re ent atastrophi fragmentations of large
bodies that were laun hed 200 Myr ago and then stored in spa e { is rendered
very unlikely sin e the simulations demonstrate that few parent bodies an dynami ally survive for this time owing to the e ien y of meteoroid destru tion,
espe ially by Sun-grazing. This model would also have to explain why (i) there
are no meteorites from the upper few meters of the parent meteoroids (half of
even a 10-m meteoroid is within 2 m of its surfa e and thus exposed to osmi
rays!), (ii) no impa ts more re ent than 200 Myr have been sampled, and (iii)
only shergottite parent meteoroids have been disrupted in the last 3 Myr, and
none before. The results presented here show that the simpler model, whi h
produ es ex lusively small meteoroids, explains all the CRE eviden e, although
sour e- rater pairings and relative surfa e properties of the Moon ompared to
Mars may be important. The issues of why su h groupings o ur for Mars but not
for the Moon and why there are equal numbers of lunar and martian meteorites
(Wetherill 1984) remain, and will be onsidered in Chap. 6.

Chapter 5
Delivery from Other Terrestrial
Bodies
The numeri al simulations indi ate that parti les di use readily throughout the
inner solar system, and so, for ompleteness, this hapter presents dis ussions
about delivery e ien ies from the solar system's remaining parent bodies. The
fa t that we have no meteorites from these obje ts argues that either (1) the
transfer pro ess is less e ient, (2) the laun h pro ess is less e ient, or (3) we
have su h meteorites and simply do not re ognize them. The last possibility is
probably the least likely (but see the dis ussions in Lindstrom et al. 1994; Love
and Keil 1995). The se ond possibility is not in on eivable, but it is perhaps di ult to devise a reason that at least the mer urian surfa e should be dramati ally
di erent from that of the Moon.
5.1

Mer ury

It should be possible to liberate meteoroids o the surfa e of Mer ury, as its


es ape velo ity (4.2 km/s) is lower than that of Mars (5.0 km/s), and the impa t
velo ities on Mer ury should be higher, thus making more energy available for the
laun h. However, the dynami al transfer of this eje ta to Earth is substantially
more di ult be ause Mer ury lies deep in the Sun's gravitational well. Ignoring
resonan e e e ts, a series of properly-timed Mer ury s atterings will be needed
for the meteoroids to be pushed a ross Venus's orbit and then e to Earth. Monte
Carlo al ulations (Wetherill 1984, Melosh and Tonks 1993) had found the total
delivery e ien y to the Earth to be on the order of 10 in 10 yr.
4

 This hapter is an expanded version of dis ussion given in the paper: Gladman, B.,
J.A. Burns, M. Dun an, P. Lee, and H. Levison (1996), The Ex hange of Impa t Eje ta Between
Terrestrial Planets, S ien e

271, 1387{92 [ opyright 1996 by the Ameri an Asso iation for the

Advan ement of S ien e.

74

75

Figure 5.1 Orbital evolution of 200 parti les laun hed from Mer ury with v1=1
km/s. The web of lines show the lo ations where the perihelion or aphelion of
a parti le would lie at a planet's semimajor axis. The orbital in linations never
rise above ' 35.

76
Table 5.1 Fates of the parti les from simulations of mer urian and venusian impa t
eje ta. Both simulations used 200 parti les. No ollisional or radiation e e ts are
in luded in these simulations.
Parent Body:
Mer ury Venus
Duration (Myr)
50
10
Meteoroid fate (%)
Impa t Mer ury
78.5 0.5
Impa t Venus
7.0 47.0
Impa t Earth
0.5 8.5
Impa t Mars
0
0
Sun-grazing
3.5 4.5
Rea h Jupiter
1.5 4.0
Survivors
9.0 65.0
To address this problem I have tra ked 200 parti les laun hed from Mer ury
in random dire tions having v1 = 1 km/s after es aping from the planet. The rea retion rate is initially very high (Fig. 4.1) due to the low relative velo ity of the
parti les with respe t to Mer ury, whose helio entri orbital speed of ' 48 km/s
is very large. The lunar and mer urian ases are similar be ause, ompared to the
planetary orbital speed, the initial random velo ity is very small. For Mer ury,
about three-quarters of all laun hed parti les are re-a reted during the 50-Myr
simulation (Table 5.1). Snapshots of the orbital elements spa ed logarithmi ally
in time are shown in Fig. 5.1.
Just 1 of the 200 parti les was found to hit the Earth, after 23 Myr. Its
orbital history is shown in Fig. 5.2. Note that this parti le o asionally librates
in the  or  resonan e, and that these periods seem to be hara terized by
stability rather than instability. It is un lear whether the parti le is simply near
the resonant frequen y by han e and in an epo h of few lose en ounters, or
whether the resonan e is a tively maintaining the resonant state. The parti le
appears to be delivered to Earth- rossing by a large number of lose en ounters
with Venus, that begin after 14.5 Myr.
The 0.5% Earth delivery e ien y is 50 times higher than previously suggested, but is obviously based upon rather poor statisti s; it is about an order
of magnitude smaller than the e ien y for Mars. The urrent formation rate
of > 10 km diameter raters is thought to be a fa tor of two larger on Mer ury
than on Mars, although most of the rater-produ ing proje tiles on Mer ury are
ometary (Wetherill 1989). Mer ury's smaller es ape velo ity should therefore
result in a larger meteoroid liberation rate. Thus, if we a ept the 0.5% e ien y, the existen e of 12 martian meteorites would lead us to expe t a few
mer urian meteorites. Alternately, a omparison based on the Moon's meteorite
5

77

Figure 5.2 Orbital evolution of the single mer urian parti le that impa ts the
Earth (at 24.1 Myr after eje tion). The output sampling interval of the simulation
was lowered after 3 Myr.

78
ontribution (where the present ratering rate for Mer ury is at least an order of
magnitude larger, but the delivery e ien y 100 times smaller) also yields a few
expe ted mer urian meteorites.
However, a purely gravitational model may not be su ient to a urately
simulate the transfer of material from Mer ury to the Earth. Radiation for es
in the inner solar system ause signi ant orbital evolution over tens of Myr,
times like that required for the single simulated meteoroid to rea h the Earth.
Orbital ollapse due to Poynting-Robertson (P-R) drag at Mer ury's helio entri
distan e o urs on a time s ale:
7  10 sR
 =
(5.1)
Q
6

PR

pr

where s and  are the radius and density of the parti le (in gs units), R is its
helio entri orbital radius (in AU), and Q is a oe ient of order unity that
depends on the s attering properties of the parti le (Burns et al. 1979). Orbital
ollapse thus takes only  5 Myr for a 5 g/ m , 1 m radius meteoroid at 0.39
AU. On the other hand, the Yarkovsky e e t, whi h dominates over P-R e e ts
for parti les of this size with spin periods longer than 1 s (Burns et al. 1979),
may indu e some mer urian meteoroids to spiral outward to Earth. Love and
Keil (1995) dis uss the Yarkovsky e e t and the problems of identifying mer urian meteorites. However, mer urian meteoroids may be atastrophi ally fragmented by dust-sized impa tors whi h, due to gravitational fo ussing, in rease
signi antly as the Sun is approa hed. Collisional lifetimes of 100 g bodies at
Mer ury's distan e are estimated to be < 10 yr (Grun et al. 1985). Be ause of
these ompli ations, the likelihood of nding mer urian meteorites is di ult to
quantify, and must be left as an open question. It appears dynami ally possible,
but the abundan e will ertainly be smaller than those from the Moon or Mars.
pr

5.2

Venus

The identi ation of meteorites from the Moon and Mars has allowed s ientists
to onsider more seriously the possibility of nding meteorites from Venus or the
Earth (hereafter, `venusian' and `terrene' meteorites). The higher es ape velo ities of these planets will only be over ome by a tiny fra tion of the eje ta, and
then only in the larger and mu h rarer impa t events. The di ulty of su essful eje tions is heightened by the presen e of massive atmospheres on the Earth
and Venus sin e su h atmospheres e e tively s reen out all rater-produ ing impa tors below a ertain threshold size, and laun hed fragments have to plow
ba k through the atmosphere (Melosh 1988). Chyba (1993) points out that the
Earth's atmosphere prevents stony obje ts with diameters < 50 m from rea hing
the ground and reating hypervelo ity impa t raters; For Venus, data from the
Magellan spa e raft has shown that impa tors below i 1 km are hindered from

79
rea hing the surfa e (S haber et al. 1992). The eje ta liberated by impa tors
that su essfully rea h the surfa e of Earth or Venus must nd their way ba k
out through an atmosphere just as dense as the one fa ed by the impa tor; the
eje ta is likely moving mu h slower than the impa tor and will have a smaller
ratio of mass to surfa e area, making the atmosphere even more of an obsta le.
One way around this nal di ulty is the possibility that some of the eje ta ould
exit out the `tunnel' left in the atmosphere by the impa tor's entry, whi h would
not have had time to lose before the eje ta exits (Melosh 1988).
For ompleteness, I have performed a single 10-Myr simulation of the evolution
of venusian impa t eje ta with v1 = 1 km/s (Table 5.1). The loss rate was shown
in Fig. 4.1 (page 59). Unsurprisingly, Venus re-a retes almost half of its eje ta
in 10 Myr, omparable to the Earth's re-a retion rate ( f. Table 3.5). Based on
these simulations, we expe t that the re-a retion e ien y by the Earth of its
own eje ta will be several times higher than Earth's a retion of Venusian eje ta.
Given the mu h more massive atmosphere of Venus, if venusian meteorites are
possible then ertainly terrene meteorites should be mu h more abundant. Thus
let us now restri t our attention to the latter.
5.3

Earth

The lunar simulations should su e to estimate the Earth's re-a retion e ien y
for its own eje ta. Assuming a small v1 for the departing material, if the Earth
has been stru k by an impa tor large enough to eje t material, then it would
have re-a reted roughly 20{50% of the eje ta, on a short (< 1 Myr) time s ale.
How ould a terrene meteorite be re ognized and distinguished from untravelled
material? Presumably only falls, or nds with preserved fusion rusts, would be
readily a epted as bona de terrene meteorites: anomalous Earth ro ks found
on the Antar ti i e sheet are probably our best hope. Sin e only massive rare
impa ts are apable of laun hing su h obje ts, it is unfortunately (or fortunately!)
the ase that the Earth likely has not re ently experien ed an event apable of
eje ting Earth ro ks at greater than the es ape velo ity. Thus we should not
expe t terrene meteorites in the relatively young (< 1 Myr old) Antar ti i e
sheet. The problem of distinguishing su h meteorites, even in Antar ti a, is
paramount.
The only Earth-obje ts that we now know to have been eje ted into spa e
spa e are tektites (impa t glasses), some of whi h may have been laun hed along
sub-orbital traje tories ar hing above the Earth's atmosphere before re-entry (see
Koeberl 1986 and referen es therein). With slightly higher speeds, other tektites
might have es aped the Earth's gravitational eld. Su h obje ts would have a
high probability ( 30{50%) of rapidly re-impa ting the Earth. Isolated tektite
nds (that is, not part of a strewn eld) would be worth examining for eviden e
of a brief ( 1 Myr) CRE. Sear hes for CR-indu ed radionu lides in tektites

80
have produ ed only upper limits on their time in spa e varying from < 900 to
< 90; 000 years. Relevant papers are reviewed by O'Keefe (1976). Sin e the
tektites examined were from strewn elds, whi h implies that they never es aped
to helio entri orbit, these results do not ne essarily onstrain theories of obje ts
that es ape from the Earth.
A proviso in this pi ture is that tektites are not stri tly analogous to the
relatively lightly sho ked lunar and martian meteorites. It may be perhaps more
relevant to ask: where are the tektites from the Moon and Mars? Presumably the
answer is simply that this highly sho ked, jetted material makes up a negligible
fra tion of the mass eje ted in any given impa t.
The orbital histories of terrene meteoroids, if any exist, are also of interest
in view of the enormous e orts expended to sterilize spa e raft to prevent the
ontamination of Mars by terrestrial organisms. This sterilization would make
little sense if terrestrial mi roorganisms have already been arried to Mars aboard
terrene meteorites (Melosh 1988).
5.4

Phobos and Deimos

The only remaining permanent denizens of the inner solar system are the two
martian moons. Their relatively small geometri al ross-se tions ompared to
Mars (10 and 3  10 that of Mars for Phobos and Deimos, respe tively) may
be more than ompensated for by the mu h greater ease that eje ta will have in
es aping the martian gravity well. With orbital velo ities of 2.1 and 1.4 km/s,
eje ta need only leave the surfa e of the moons at less than 1 km/s in order to
es ape out to helio entri orbit, sin e the es ape velo ities of the moons are negligible (Dobrovolskis and Burns 1980). The number of meteoroids relative to Mars
that do es ape will depend very riti ally on the velo ity spe trum of es aping
eje ta. If  10 times more eje ta above the `es ape velo ity' are generated per
unit time (smaller, more frequent impa tors should be able to produ e eje ta),
then the produ tion ould be omparable to that of Mars.
On e liberated to helio entri orbit, the delivery e ien y to Earth should
be basi ally the same as that from Mars (' 4% after orre ting for ollisional
e e ts). The problem here is one of re ognition. Phobos and Deimos are believed
to be ompositionally very similar to C-type asteroids (Thomas et al. 1992), and
there is no obvious way to tell any meteorites from these moons apart from the
C hondrites. Some more re ent work may point to the martian moons being a
better spe tral mat h to D-type rather than C-type asteroids (Zellner and Wells
1994, Mur hie and Erard 1996). Until more is known about the detailed surfa e
omposition of Phobos and Deimos, this topi an only be one for interesting
spe ulation.
5

81
5.5

Meteorites from the outer solar system?

A short dis ussion of the possibility of meteorites whose origin is the surfa e of a
body in the outer solar system is in order. I rule out the outer planets themselves
immediately; even if they had solid surfa es, no impa tor is likely to be able to
penetrate their immense atmospheres to laun h material o of these planets at
the very high velo ities ne essary to es ape. By far more likely is the han e that
we ould have fragments of the satellites of these planets. Obje ts striking the
satellites may have very high relative velo ity due to gravitational a eleration
of the impa tors as they fall into the gravity wells of these gas giants.
However, it is no small feat for the eje ta to es ape to helio entri orbit. Even
though the es ape velo ities of these bodies are no larger than Mars, es ape from
the satellites is only the rst step. As in the ase of the Moon, the es aping
parti les will nd themselves in orbit about their primary, and must rely on
gravitational s atterings from their parent (and perhaps other) Moons to es ape.
However, unlike the lunar ase, the es ape velo ities of these obje ts are smaller
than their orbital speeds (e.g., vorb = 5:6 km/s for Titan, while ves = 2:6 km/s).
Therefore, only by a fortuitous sequen e of en ounters, all of whi h in rease the
orbital velo ity, an fragments es ape to helio entri orbit.
The transfer e ien y to the Earth of the few su h es aping parti les is bound
to be very small. Any su h parti les would have to pass through a stage in
whi h their orbits are Jupiter- rossing. Jupiter is extremely e ient at eje ting
parti les from the solar system, although some small fra tion of parti les an be
pushed down into the inner solar system as eviden ed by the existen e of the
short-period omets (Levison and Dun an 1994). Clearly the outer planets are
also quite apable of a reting su h parti les as well, as eviden ed by the omet
Shomaker-Levy 9 impa t.
In summary, the ux of `outer solar system meteorites' to the Earth will be
very mu h smaller than the ux of lunar or martian material (possibly by several
orders of magnitude). The likely i y omposition of many of the surfa es (and
thus of their meteorites) an only hinder their re overy. It is not surprising that
we have no su h obje ts.

Chapter 6
Modelling the Complete Problem
This hapter attempts to onstru t a self- onsistent model for laun h and delivery
of the lunar and martian meteorites. The major problem for this enterprise is we
have a poor understanding of the laun h physi s. For this reason, this thesis has
tried very hard to not invoke any parti ular model of ratering physi s. Up to this
point, none of the results have depended on any model of the eje tion physi s;
all that has been important so far is the elestial me hani s of the parti les after
laun h (and some ollisional disruption in the ase of martian meteoroids). Of the
ve puzzles regarding the lunar and martian meteorites (p. 7), only that regarding
the fairly short 4 ages of the martian meteorites has been resolved (Chpt. 4).
The most puzzling of the remaining fa ts is the approximately equal numbers of
lunar and martian meteorites. My hief goal is to understand how to redu e the
expe ted ratio of lunar to martian meteorites from order 10 (Wetherill 1984) to
order 1. I begin by reviewing the onstraints available from the meteorite data,
the simulations, and proposed theories for ratering eje tion at high velo ity.
3

6.1

Constraints

6.1.1 Meteorite data


The greater average masses of the martian meteorites has already been noted.
Note that the four martian falls (Table 2.1) a ount for four of the ve large (>3
kg) martian meteorites; this ould be blamed on a sele tion e e t, but one must
still explain why there are no omparably large lunar falls. The depth data show
that all the lunar meteorites with short blast-o times (tbo < 0:3 Myr; p. 15)
originate at shallow depths. Only the three meteorites that left the Moon more
than 1 Myr ago were buried deeply at the time of their eje tion. In ontrast,
all the martian meteorites were buried very deeply at the time of their eje tion.

82

83
6.1.2 Sour e- rater pairing (SCP)
Warren (1994) on luded that at least six sour e raters were required to laun h
the (then nine) lunar meteorites. More re ently, Thalmann et al. (1996) laim at
least six, and possibly eight, separate raters for the eleven meteorites listed in
Table 2.1. Both works feel that a sour e- rater pairing (SCP) between Y-793169
and Asuka 881757 is very probable; the re ently determined di eren e in the
depth provenan e of these two meteorites (Thalmann et al. 1996) probably rules
out their being laun hed in a single meteoroid and paired in the onventional
sense. In addition, Warren suggests as plausible a SCP between EET87521 and
Y-793274, but reje ts laims for a SCP between ALH81005 and Y-791197, as
well as any pairing of these latter two with any others. Sour e- rater pairings,
although interesting, do not a e t omparisons of the meteorite data with the
simulated CRE age spe tra, sin e the latter are only sensitive to the fra tion of
transits that o ur in a given time, and SCP bodies are delivered independently.
I believe that the overlap of (relatively un ertain) osmi -ray exposure ages is a
ne essary, but hardly su ient, ondition to establish SCPs; the petrologi data
are at least equally important. Thus if isotopi ratios (Warren 1994, Thalmann
et al. 1996) in two meteorites that are SCP andidates do not mat h, the pair
an be reje ted sin e su h ratios are known to vary little over the length s ale of
Apollo traverses.
Martian meteorites separate rather naturally into age and petrographi groups.
ALH84001 is distin t in both ways. The three nakhlites were all laun hed about
10.5 Myr ago (again, errors of 20{30% in these ages are likely). Chassigny, at
tbo ' 9:9 Myr (Eugster et al. 1996), annot be split from the nakhlites on CRE
grounds, but its petrology is so distin t that it on eivably represents a separate
event; sin e three of the NCs are isolated falls, none of these four an be paired in
the onventional sense. Eugster et al. (1996) provide support that the lherzoliti
shergottites CRE ages of ' 3:5 Myr are distin t from the basalti shergottites
at 0.6 and 2.7 Myr. If these three CRE ages are due to three martian impa t
eje tion events, then it is rather urious that no other shergottite eje tion events
are present in the re ord after 4 Myr (sin e presumably this implies that su h
events are ommon); it is also puzzling then that no events other than shergottite eje tions are represented during the last 10 Myr. If all the shergottites were
spawned in a single impa t (presumably  3:5 Myr ago), then this problem is redu ed, but in this ase the laun h of large bodies is required to shield the younger
meteorites, with all the attendant di ulties of this hypothesis (Se . 4.4).
6.1.3 Sour e regions on Mars
Warren (1994) points out that the lunar meteorites seem to representatively sample the various geologi al regions of the lunar surfa e, and thus we have no reason
to spe ulate that any region of the Moon is parti ularly favored by the laun h

84
physi s. The simulations of Chpt. 3 also indi ate that no regions of the lunar surfa e are dynami ally favored for delivery. In ontrast, as mentioned in Chapters
1 and 2, the martian meteorites are distinguished (ex ept for ALH84001) by the
fa t that they all have young rystallization ages. This prevalen e of young ages
(11 of the 12 meteorites) is unexpe ted sin e only a small fra tion ('15%) of the
martian surfa e is thought to be this young (Tremain 1995a). This fa t favors
a small number of laun h events (even one), for then the youth of the samples
ould be attributed to small-number statisti s. If one postulates only 3 laun h
events (one ea h for S, NC, and ALH84001), then the probability that 2 of them
o ur in young terrain is 5%, whi h is perhaps a eptable; however, the 10-Myr
impa t must overlap both N and C terrain as well as laun h large bodies in order
to produ e di erent shielding times for the shergottites (as just dis ussed). If
more than 3 impa ts are responsible for laun hing the martian meteorites, then
sampling only young terrain by han e be omes very unlikely. Treiman (1995a)
presents a more detailed dis ussion of this topi .
Warren (1994) has proposed that the la k of geologi ally old martian ro ks is
not due to han e, but instead indi ates something important about the surfa e
properties of the older regions of Mars. He proposes that weathering pro esses
have degraded the surfa e stru ture su h that meteorite laun h from older portions of the surfa e is inhibited. This hypothesis would then o er the following
explanations: (1) we olle t fewer martian than lunar pebble-sized meteorites
be ause oherent un-weathered pebbles are rare on Mars; (2) few martian meteorites are laun hed from shallow depths be ause only a small fra tion of the
outer several meters of Mars have es aped weathering; and (3) SNC meteorites
are young ma ro ks be ause (a) only young ro ks are free of pervasive weathering; (b) even without weathering, sedimentary ro ks and most impa t bre ias are
not strong enough to survive the rigors of eje tion; and ( ) most young, igneous
ro ks on Mars are probably ma .
Se . 6.3.3.2 dis usses the in uen e on the transfer model of restri ted portions
of the martian surfa e being available for laun h, in luding the possibility that
the martian atmosphere favors laun h from terrains at high altitude. It is likely
that the meteorite data will never be able to answer this question de nitively;
only a sample return mission to Mars will.
6.1.4 The simulations
We have already seen that the time s ales for lunar and martian meteorite delivery
agree well with the 4 ages of the meteorites. In the ase of the Moon, the
prevalen e of qui k transfers in the time spe trum of the deliveries leads one
to on lude that most of the eje ta barely es apes the Moon, i.e., the eje ta's
velo ity spe trum must be relatively steep; this will be quanti ed below. In
ontrast, the eje tion velo ity makes little di eren e to the CRE age spe trum

85
from Mars, so we are unable to onstrain this using the 4 ages of the martian
meteorites, only the average ollisional lifetimes (relatively unimportant for the
lunar ase) of martian meteoroids were dedu ed.
In both ases the simulations provide the time spe tra for delivery as a fun tion of laun h velo ity, and the absolute delivery e ien y. The latter yield is
approximately Y =4015% for the Moon, depending on the laun h velo ity, and
Y =42% from Mars. The error in the martian delivery e ien y is due to small
number statisti s in the simulations (only 10-20 parti les from ea h 300-parti le
simulation impa ted Earth) and the unknown ollisional e e ts (both the time
s ale and whether all ollisions should be viewed as atastrophi ). The roughly
50 per ent un ertainty in these absolute delivery e ien ies will be more than
su ient for our purposes, sin e we are only trying to mat h uxes to order of
magnitude.
It is useful at this point to de ne two quantities. If n(t)dt is the number of
(lunar or martian) meteorites arriving at Earth between t and t + dt, then the
Earth transfer e ien y E (t) is given by
n (t) dt = Nes E (t) dt ;
(6.1)
where Nes is the number of obje ts that es aped from the parent body in some
impa t event. (Note that, for larity, I always use the term `impa t' to refer to
the laun h event; the term `arrival' or `delivery' is used for the re eption of the
meteorite at Earth). Then for any given impa t, the total number of obje ts that
have ever arrived on Earth by time T after laun h is
N (T ) = Nes

Z
0

E (t) dt  Nes  Y  F (T ) ;

(6.2)

where Y is the total yield (the fra tion of laun hed parti les that will ever rea h
Earth) given above, and F is the umulative fra tion of material arrived. In
general, F (T ) satis es F (0) = 0 and F (1) = 1, and is basi ally given by the
umulative CRE age plots presented earlier (Figs. 3.13 and 4.7). Of ourse,
sin e the simulations are of nite duration they only provide an approximation
to F (T ). Sin e the delivery rate has dropped so mu h in the later part of the
simulations and Sun-grazing or ollisional destru tion will be destroying everin reasing numbers of meteoroids, I believe that relatively few parti les will arrive
at Earth after the termination of the simulations and thus the simulated spe tra
are su ient.
Note that the umulative plots do not indi ate the di eren es in total yield
Y between the simulations, whi h an be obtained from Tables 3.5 and 4.2. For
the Moon F (1 Myr) > 0:8 for all the simulations, so that almost all of the lunar
meteorites that will arrive at Earth will do so in <1 Myr. For the 2.4 km/s
simulation, the delivery is so rapid that F (0:7 Myr) = 0:9, i.e., only 10% of
meteorites take longer than 0.7 Myr to arrive at Earth. The lunar and martian

86

Figure 6.1 The per entage of laun hed parti les that impa t Earth from lunar
(L) and martian simulations. The lunar urves are marked with the eje tion
velo ities, while the martian speeds are v1's. The verti al axis is Y  F (T ) ( f.
Eq. 6.2).

87
N (T ) urves are plotted using a linear time axis in Fig. 6.1, whi h brings home

how sharply the delivery of lunar material tails o ompared to that from Mars.
6.1.4.1

Age of the i e sheet

It is important to realize that the bulk of our meteorite sample was olle ted in
Antar ti a (Se . 1.2). The foregoing dis ussion does not take into a ount that
the i e sheet is of nite age (denoted A ). This age should not be viewed stri tly
as how old the i e is, but rather the typi al lifetime of a meteorite in the i e before
it is destroyed.
Eq. 6.2 gives the number of meteorites that have arrived on Earth sin e the
lunar or martian impa t T years ago. However, if the laun h o urred longer ago
than A , then many of the meteorites that landed on the i e sheet have sin e
been destroyed. Therefore, the a tual number of meteorites urrently in the i e
sheet is given by
i e

i e

F
1
F
2
F
1

t
t

- A

imp

time

imp
ice

Figure 6.2 The i e sheet will only a umulate meteorites during its age A , and
thus only the fra tion F F of all the meteorites that arrive are urrently in
the i e sheet if the impa t o urred before A .
i e

i e

N = Nes  Y

)
if timp < A
 F (timp) F F(timp
(timp A ) if timp > A ;
(

i e

i e

i e

(6.3)

where timp is how long ago the impa t o urred. This is illustrated in Fig. 6.2.
The e e t will be espe ially important for the lunar meteorites sin e most of them

88
arrive in a short burst after the impa t. If this burst nishes more than Ai e ago,
then most of the meteorites from that impa t are no longer re overable.
The age of the i e sheet an be estimated from studies of the CRE data for
Antar ti meteorites (Cassidy and Ran itelli 1982; Nishiizumi et al. 1989). The
number of Antar ti meteorites drops almost exponentially with terrestrial age
(t), with a half-life of perhaps just slightly less than 100 kyr (Nishiizumi et al.
1989). The median terrestrial age of the lunar meteorites is somewhere between
30 kyr to 60 kyr; unfortunately many of the t 's are just upper limits (Table 2.1).
The mean age may not be a good representation as the 230 kyr age of MAC88105
unrepresentatively skews the distribution. The i e elds, and even the various
stranding areas of ea h i e eld, have di erent distributions of terrestrial ages, so
de iding upon a single number may be di ult (and/or misleading). Certainly
the `mean age' is more than 10 kyr and less than 150 kyr. The martian meteorites
have only 4 Antar ti terrestrial ages determined: 10, 11, <100, and 200 kyr, and
so are not learly any di erent in this regard.
The model used in Eq. 6.3, in whi h the single uto t = A is imposed, is
perhaps overly simplisti . A more realisti model ould in lude an exponential
loss pro ess, in whi h ea h delivery has some probability of being destroyed before
re overy. We should note that sin e the average mass of lunar meteorites is
smaller than the martian meteorites (or the bulk sample of all meteorites) one
might suspe t the average retention time to be somewhat smaller. I have not
in luded these additional ompli ations in the urrent model.
i e

6.1.5 Cratering me hani s


In order to make some estimates of the e ien y of meteoroid laun h from an
impa t so that a omplete pi ture an be developed, at this point we must examine a model for the eje tion physi s. The results available in the literature
are based on hydro odes (e.g., O'Keefe and Ahrens 1977; Holsapple and Choe
1988), analyti al models (e.g., Zel'dovi h and Raizer 1967, Melosh 1984), and
laboratory ratering experiments (e.g., Gault et al. 1963, Gratz 1993, Kato et al.
1995).
It is ru ial to realize that mu h of the work that has been done on understanding impa t ratering is on erned with the ex avation of the rater itself.
The rater's avity is formed by a subsoni ex avation ow (see Melosh 1989 for a
general introdu tion to ratering phenomena). In ontrast, the physi s that eje ts
the very fastest, lightly sho ked material represented by the lunar and martian
meteorites is probably quite di erent from that taking pla e in the ex avation.
The eje ta blo ks that reate se ondary rater elds are interpreted to have been
laun hed from the original rater at up to 1 km/s (Vi kery 1987), in a pro ess
whi h eje ts material from a near-surfa e spall zone (Melosh 1989). It is plausible, but not proven, that this same pro ess is responsible for the eje tion of

89
material at faster than the es ape velo ity; there is some indi ation in the work
of Gault et al. (1963) that some transition o urs in the eje tion physi s at about
1 km/s (at least for basalt targets).
Any model of the laun h pro ess must explain the lightly sho ked state of the
lunar and martian meteorites (Chap. 1). This histori ally surprising fa t is now
viewed as a major onstraint on the laun h pro ess. Two pro esses have been
suggested in the literature. The rst is oblique-impa t-indu ed, vapor-jet plume
entrainment (Nyquist 1983, O'Keefe and Ahrens 1986), in whi h the eje ta are
entrained in an expanding gas loud whi h a elerates them to es ape velo ity.
The se ond model relies on the interferen e of sho k waves (Melosh 1984, 1985)
in a near-surfa e spallation layer to propel parti les to speeds greater than es ape
while maintaining low peak pressures. I have hosen to base all of my dis ussion
on the Melosh model be ause (1) produ tion of lightly sho ked, high-velo ity
spalled eje ta has been observed in laboratory experiments (Gratz 1993), and (2)
the quantitative predi tions of the model are in reasonable on ordan e with a
number of features of the meteorite data. It is important to realize though that
the transfer dynami s are probably not su ient in themselves to distinguish
between these laun h models.
6.1.5.1

The spallation model

I will brie y summarize the sho k-wave interferen e model, for whi h the best
introdu tion is Melosh (1985). Consider a proje tile of diameter D striking a surfa e with a omponent of velo ity U normal to the surfa e. The impa t produ es
a sho k wave whi h appears to travel spheri ally outward from the equivalent
enter, a point roughly one proje tile diameter below the target's surfa e. As the
sho k wave sweeps past any given point, the pressure in reases with a hara teristi `rise time'  equal to the time it took the impa tor to penetrate into the
surfa e by its own radius,
D

(6.4)
2U :
After this, the pulse de ays away in a time   D= L, where L is the sound
speed in the target, and is a onstant. The total time duration of the pressure
pulse is thus (1 + ) . The model relies on the fa t that, near the surfa e of
the target, two waves arrive at any given point from the equivalent enter: a
dire t wave, and one re e ted from the nearby surfa e. Sin e the sign of the
re e ted pressure wave is reversed, these two waves interfere and in fa t the peak
pressure rea hed is onsiderably smaller than the maximum pressure in the wave.
However, even though ro ks at the interferen e zone do not feel the full stress
pressure, they are still a elerated be ause the nal velo ity of material after the
wave has passed depends on the pressure gradient rather than the pressure itself.
In the interferen e zone the pressure a tually rises twi e as rapidly as the ase
when no interferen e o urs, due to the presen e of the free surfa e; this an

90
a elerate material to nearly twi e the parti le velo ity of the wave itself. This
me hanism an therefore eje t lightly-sho ked parti les at high speeds.
Melosh's estimate of the depth z of the interferen e layer is important for our
purposes. This layer is a lens-shaped region, the depth of whi h in reases with
the horizontal distan e s from the impa t point:
z=

L 

v
u
u
u
t

2 1+ D
From Eq. 6.4, L ' LD=(2U ), and so

s2
2

L 

2

(6.5)

z=

u
L D u
s2 =D2
u1 +
4U t 1  L 2

(6.6)

For a hypervelo ity impa t (U > L) we an approximate the denominator of the


se ond term as unity. Sin e the laun h velo ity drops o roughly as s (Warren
1994), the majority of the highest velo ity eje ta should be laun hed within a
few impa tor diameters of the onta t point (s=D  2{3), and thus it is roughly
orre t to say that the spall zone has an approximately onstant thi kness of
order

z  D L:
(6.7)
U
For U =10{20 km/s impa ts into pristine ro k (where L 6 km/s), the spall
zone depth is of order an impa tor radius. However, impa ts into a regolith layer
(where L 1 km/s) will have interferen e zones very mu h shallower than the
impa tor. This is of great importan e, sin e the sound speed in the upper few
meters of the lunar regolith is measured by the Apollo experiments to be only
L 100 m/s (M Kay et al. 1991). Thus, a 100-m proje tile hitting the lunar
regolith at 10 km/s engenders an interferen e zone of depth only one meter!
Sin e the lunar regolith is generally 4{5 m in the mare and perhaps 10{15 m
in the highlands (M Kay et al. 1991), only impa tors of order 1 km an mine
down below the regolith to laun h parti les from depth. However, the Melosh
spallation model may need to be modi ed to ope with a layered target (Warren
1994).
Therefore, the low sound speed of the Moon's surfa e results in a drop in
the number of expe ted meteoroids laun hed in any single impa t, by up to two
orders of magnitude. It is not ertain that the martian surfa e should be any
more favorable (in a relative sense) for meteorite laun h, but the megaregolithi
stru ture (M Kay et al. 1991) of the lunar surfa e is probably not present on
Mars, espe ially in the younger terrains, due to ongoing surfa e pro esses and
re ent vol anism on Mars (Christensen and Moore 1992). Therefore one expe ts
a relative dearth of eje tions from the Moon, whi h may be a major reason for
the `over-representation' of martian meteorites in the olle tion. I will return to
this topi below.
3

91
6.1.6 Size distributions of surfa e material
Sin e a regolith annot support tensile stress, the surfa e layer is simply eje ted
in a spall pro ess (Melosh 1985). In ontrast, in a solid target eje ta is spalled o
in plates that then break up in ight into fragments whose size an be estimated
(Melosh 1989). The 2 CRE eviden e tells us that the martian meteorites have
ome from depths below several meters, and so the size distribution of martian
surfa e material may be irrelevant for understanding the sizes of its meteorites.
Nevertheless, for ompleteness, note that the surfa e size distribution of martian
ro ks has been estimated from Viking lander photography by Golombek and
Rapp (1996).
In the ase of lunar laun h, the size distribution of the es aping meteoroids
should presumably be that of the regolith sin e the surfa e layer has little strength.
The size distribution of lunar soils is well atalogued (Graf 1993), but little information is readily available about the relative number of ro ks in the range
from 1 mm to 10 m (the size of the meteorites) in the upper few meters of the
regolith. Parti les in these size ranges are too large to be well represented in drill
ores, and it is di ult to rea h rm on lusions from radar studies due to model
un ertainties (Carrier et al. 1991).
The surfa e photography performed by the Surveyor missions (Shoemaker
et al. 1969) is the best sour e of this size information. All of these spa e raft
landed in mare areas, ex ept Surveyor VII whi h landed in highland terrain and
next to a large young rater (Ty ho). From television pi tures of the Surveyor
I, III, V, VI, and VII landing sites, the umulative number of parti les N per
100 m was fairly well represented by a relation of the form N = Kd , with
ranging from -1.8 to -2.6, for parti le diameters d from '1{500 mm. The absolute
normalization varied from site to site, as some sites were espe ially ri h in larger
ro ks. The surfa e density distributions were then used by Shoemaker et al.
(1969) to estimate the volumetri parti le-size-frequen y distribution fun tions.
Ex ept for the Surveryor VII site (whi h was atypi al due to being so lose to
Ty ho), these authors nd that ro ks larger than d '1 m in diameter (mass
1 g) o upy only ' 2  1% by volume of the lunar regolith. Thus, even allowing
for some un ertainty, to obtain 1 10-g lunar meteorite requires laun hing at
least two orders of magnitude more material (by volume) sin e so mu h of the
regolith onsists of ne soils.
The lunar meteorite size distribution is statisti ally onsistent with a d
power-law, but only for those meteorites larger than 30 g. This is not surprising;
olle ted Antar ti meteorites are believed to be representative of those a tually
in the i e only at masses above this limit (Huss 1990). There is therefore no
reason to suspe t that the lunar laun h pro ess favors any parti ular mass range.
2

92
6.2

Modelling lunar laun h

I shall now adopt the goal of using the meteoroid dynami s to determine as mu h
information as possible about the lunar laun h pro ess.
6.2.1 Laun h rate, lower limit
The observed number of lunar meteorites (LMs) an be used in onjun tion with
transfer e ien y to estimate a lower limit to the meteoroid laun h rate. Consider
the following four assumptions:
1. All LMs in the olle tion have been identi ed,
2. LMs are no more di ult to re ognize than other meteorites,
3. LMs are not more prone to destru tion by weathering,
4. LMs are just as strong during entry as other meteorites.
If any of these assumptions are in orre t, then the laun h rate we are about to
estimate will rise. Now, of the ' 20,000 Antar ti meteorites, 15 are lunar if we
ount all the meteorites un orre ted for pairing, or of order one in a thousand
if assumptions 1{3 are orre t. If assumption 4 is orre t, then this ratio of 1
in 10 is also representative of the fra tion of meteoroids that are presently in
Earth- rossing spa e (at least, over the last A years). Therefore we an use
reasonably well alibrated estimates of the total ux of meteorites (Halliday and
Gri en 1992; Halliday et al. 1984, 1989, 1991; Huss 1990) to estimate the lunar
fall rate. The smallest ux estimate in the literature is that of Halliday et al.
(1989) who estimate the number of in ident meteoroids larger than some total
meteorite mass mT (in grams) to be
N (m > mT ) = 260mT : =10 km =yr
(6.8)
for meteorites with total masses of <1 kg. The smallest lunar meteorite is 6 g,
and probably had a pre-atmospheri mass of at least 10 g. Using this 10-g mass
as a lower bound in Eq. 6.8, the fall rate of meteorites is 100 /10 km /yr,
and therefore the lunar fall rate is at least 0.1 /10 km /yr. A ordingly, the
Earth's surfa e area re eives an integrated ux of at least 50 lunar meteorites
per year. The lunar transfer e ien y is 4015%, and using 50% gives us a
lower bound on the (averaged) laun h rate of at least 100 meteoroids per year.
This laun h-rate estimate applies to strong meteoroids bigger than 10 g over the
last Myr or so that the CRE ages span. Given that we have had several lunar
laun h events in the last 10 years, the impa tors are probably striking the Moon
every  10 years, implying a time-averaged estimate of at least 10 meteoroids
laun hed per event.
It is unlikely that any of the 4 assumptions given above are wrong even to
a fa tor of 2. The strength assumption (#4) is the most interesting, as Warren (1994) points out that lunar meteorites tend to have mu h higher rushing
3

i e

0 49

93
strengths than Apollo samples. It is not lear, however, whether lunar meteorites
are systemati ally stronger or weaker than hondrites, or if rushing strength is
the relevant parameter for survivability during atmospheri entry. Nevertheless,
let us assume that the lunar meteorites are of omparable strength to other meteorites (or alternately that the laun h estimates are only of ro ks at least this
strong), and al ulate a best estimate of the laun h rate instead of a lower limit.
Huss (1990) believes the most realisti estimate of meteorite infall rate from 1 g
to 1000 kg to be
N (m > M ) = 6800 M : =10 km =yr ;
(6.9)
where M is the terminal mass (in grams) of the meteorite; Halliday et al. (1996)
give a relationship that is similar within a fa tor of 2 for masses >2 kg. The
fa tor of a few di eren e between the terminal and total mass need not on ern
us mu h here, but let us use a terminal mass of 6 g for the sake of argument.
Assuming that 1 in 10 of this ux is lunar yields a best estimate of the lunar
laun h rate of 1500 meteoroids/year being inje ted into near-Earth spa e (in a
time-averaged sense).
0 833

6.2.2 Impa tor ux


The ux of lunar impa tors is estimated by rater ounting on the Moon and
Earth (Melosh 1989, Neukum and Ivanov 1994, Hartmann 1995) and teles opi
observations of near-Earth obje ts (Shoemaker 1984, Rabinowitz 1994, Shoemaker et al. 1994, Bottke et al. 1994). Observationally, the impa tor population
an be des ribed by a umulative distribution N(diameter > D) satisfying:
N (D) dD = CD dD ;
(6.10)
with = 2 for D > 100m. There is some eviden e (Rabinowitz et al. 1994,
Warren 1994) for a steepening of the size distribution to D below 100 m. I will
examine below the e e t of allowing the exponent to hange to = 3 at sizes
less than 100 m.
I bin the impa tors into pan in remental size distribution (see Melosh p1989,
p. 186) with bins of size (D; 2D), i.e., the upper boundary of ea h bin is 2 of
its lower boundary. This binning has the property that the number of impa tors
per bin also s ales as D (or -3). That is,
p
N (D; 2D) / D
(6.11)
I have pegged the impa t rate to the frequen y of a 1-km impa tor, and s aled
all others via the number distribution above. A ording to many sour es (e.g.,
Bottke et al. 1994), an impa tor larger than 1 km urrently hits the Moon every
tpeg ' 2 Myr, with probably at most a fa tor of 3 error. This implies that an
3

94
p
impa tor between 1 and 2 km hits the Moon every 4 Myr. Some have suggested,
however, that at present the lunar impa tor ux is twi e that of several Gyr ago
(Shoemaker 1983, Moore and M Ewen 1996). The lunar CRE age spe trum turns
out to be relatively insensitive to these un ertainties, although the absolute ux
of meteorites will of ourse depend linearly on the impa tor ux.
I have arbitrarily hosen the upper end of the largest impa tor diameter bin
to be at D = 32 km, thus the last bin is (22.62,32) km. For = 2, an impa tor
with D > 32 km urrently hits the Moon only every 1 Gyr, so ignoring events
less frequent than this will be irrelevant to the study of meteorites that are now in
the Antar ti i e sheet. This upper bin hoi e also has the onvenien e of having
one bin boundary at D = 1 km. The sensitivity of the results to the lower end
of the impa tor size distribution will be dis ussed. For impa ts to o ur at least
every 10,000 years the smallest impa tors must be < 100 m.

6.2.3 Laun h s aling


It is now unavoidable that some form of s aling be introdu ed for the ratering
events. I will attempt to make minimal, and reasonable, assumptions. Clearly
we expe t larger, more energeti impa ts to liberate more parti les than smaller
ones, and thus the laun h s aling I will use is that the number N of parti les
laun hed between v and v + dv drops o as a power law, with exponent p:
N (v)dv / (E )v pdv ;
(6.12)
where  is some monotoni ally in reasing fun tion of the impa tor's kineti energy E . Power-law relationships like Eq. 6.12 are often observed as the results
of ratering experiments (Gault et al. 1963, Fris h 1992, Kato et al. 1995). This
relation implies that the number of es aping parti les is
1
(E ) 1 p :
Nl (p; E; ve) =
N
(
v )dv = k
(6.13)
p 1 ves
ves
I am assuming that the impa tors all arrive with a median velo ity, and a
velo ity spe trum that is independent of size. The former assumption is known
to be wrong. Chyba et al. (1994) shows the distribution of lunar impa t velo ities
for Earth- rossing asteroids; the median value of v1 is only 12 km/s, the majority
o ur at under 15 km/s, and 25% of the impa ts o ur at <10 km/s. Less than
10% of lunar impa ts o ur at >25 km/s, whi h would boost the energy by more
than a fa tor of 4 ompared with the median value (for an impa tor of a given
diameter). I will assume that all impa tors arrive at the median velo ity, or at
least that the in reased e e t of fast impa tors of a given size is an elled out by
the underestimated e e t of slower speed impa tors of a larger size. This singlespeed hypothesis will be less valid if omets (whi h impa t at higher velo ities
and for whi h the eje tion physi s may di er) make up a reasonable fra tion of
Z

95
the relevant impa tors, or if it is only the highest velo ity impa tors that produ e
most of the eje ta. In any ase, removing the impa tor velo ity as a parameter
means that the impa tor's kineti energy is a fun tion only of the impa tor's
diameter D, and
) (E ) = (D) :
(6.14)
Following Warren (1994), I adopt a power-law expression for the number of
meteoroids laun hed as a fun tion of the impa tor diameter of the form
(D) / D :
(6.15)
If eje ted meteoroids were all of omparable diameter, then Vi kery and Melosh
(1987) al ulate = 3:84, but Melosh (private ommuni ation, 1996) is autious
about this result sin e it is based on a 2-D hydro ode. Warren (1994) believes
must be near 2 for the Moon, but that  3 for Mars in order to make sense of
the meteorite CRE data; I will show that Warren's on lusions are justi ed by
my simulations.
Substituting this form of  into Eq. 6.12 yields
1
D 1 p
:
(6.16)
N
(
v )dv = k
Nl (p; E; v > ve ) =
p 1 ve
ve
However, sin e at the moment we are interested only in a single body (the Moon),
this simply says
Nl / D
(6.17)
sin e all other quantities are xed.
In light of the dis ussion of Se . 3.4.1, let us quantify what we an say about
the value of p (assuming a power law is valid) from the lunar meteorites. As
dis ussed earlier, the majority of meteoroids must not leave the Moon at more
than 3 km/s. It is easy to show from Eq. 6.16 that the fra tion f of es aping
meteoroids that leave at velo ity greater than v is


f =

ve p
v

(6.18)

If at least 50% of the es aping lunar eje ta is to leave at less than v=3.0 km/s,
then p  4; if 90% then p > 11.
6.2.4 The ratering algorithm
I now pro eed to simulate the ratering and delivery history from the Moon. The
goal is to ompile both the meteorite-time and impa tor-size spe tra over the
entire impa t history. That is, I will ompute the expe ted CRE age spe trum
(hereafter alled the `age spe trum') and the fra tion of meteorites ontributed by

96
ea h size bin of the impa tors (hereafter alled the `laun her spe trum', not to be
onfused with either the size distribution of the impa tors or the size distribution
of the eje ta). It should be noted that be ause there is a delivery `window' of
duration A , the algorithm below a tually al ulates the spe trum of blast-o
times (Se . 2.3.3), sin e all that is done is to ompile the number of meteorites
that have arrived in the last A years.
p
The algorithm is as follows: for ea h size bin (D; 2D), beginning with the
largest and de reasing through the smallest D , I perform the steps des ribed
below. The parameters are summarized in Table 6.1.
1. Compute the number of meteoroids laun hed by the impa tor of this size,
s aled from Eq. 6.17. I arbitrarily take 10 meteoroids to be laun hed by a 100-m
impa tor. This normalization is for onvenien e, its value makes no di eren e to
the results.
2. For this bin, ompute the number of impa tors Ximp relative to the 1km impa tor bin, using Eq. 6.11. If desired, one an use a size distribution for
D < 100 m with exponent 6= 2, in whi h ase one rst omputes the number
of 100-m impa tors and then s ales from there using D .
3. The mean rate, or average spa ing in time, of impa ts in this size bin D is
thus tspa e = tpeg =Ximp.
4. Now work ba kwards in time through the impa t history. Ea h impa t
o urs randomly in time, and so the probability of not having had an event by
time t is exp( t=tspa e ). Thus, generate a random number R from 0 to 1, and
the next impa t time is timp = tspa e  ln(1 R) farther ba k in time. When
onstraining the parameters I have sometimes turned o this random timing so
that timp = tspa e always.
5. Use Eq. 6.3 to determine the number of meteoroids that this impa t has
delivered to the i e sheet during the re ent past. Keep tra k of whi h size bin and
time bin the parti les are from, as well as the total number of lunar meteorites
that have arrived. I have used the 2.4 km/s delivery spe trum to ompute F (T ).
6. Return to step 4, and ontinue generating events until t > 100 Myr. That
is, assume that impa ts o urring longer ago than 100 Myr are not delivering any
appre iable number of meteorites today. (The lunar simulations in fa t ended at
10 Myr, but I use the 100 Myr number to be onsistent with the martian study
to be done below.) I assume that only a negligible fra tion of lunar meteorites
return after 10 Myr; this is supported by both their absen e in the olle tion and
the relatively small delivery rate in the later stages of the simulations.
7. On e this impa torp diameter lass is nished, return to step 1 and repeat
for impa tors that are 2 smaller, until we rea h the smallest impa tor lass
Dsmall onsidered.
To summarize, the parameters relevant for the lunar simulation are given in
Table 6.1, along with likely values for these parameters.
i e

i e

small

97
Table 6.1 Parameter values for studies of the lunar ollision history. Reasonable
ranges for ea h parameter are given; these values will be onstrained later by
omparison with the meteorite data.
Parameter
Des ription
Value


/D
2{4

N (D) / D (for < 100 m)
2{3
A
retention age of i e sheet
0.03 { 0.1 Myr
D
smallest impa tor bin
<100 m (maybe ?)
tpeg
Freq. D >1-km impa tor hits Moon 4 Myr ( fa tor of 3?)
i e

small

6.2.5 Constraining the lunar parameters


Fig. 6.3 shows the baseline ase; the top panel gives the `age spe trum' and the
bottom panel the `laun her spe trum' (as de ned above). The ve relevant parameters are indi ated (likely ranges for these parameters are given in Table 6.1).
The notation N (D) / D ; D refers to the power laws for D < 100 m and
D > 100 m, respe tively; i.e., the rst number is sin e the size exponent is always taken to be -2 above 100 m. The ve parameter values given are in fa t lose
to optimal for produ ing a good mat h with the data. I will vary the parameters
away from this baseline ase in order to demonstrate the various dependen ies.
For these purposes I temporarily will not allow the impa tors to be randomly
spa ed, be ause this introdu es variations in the spe tra that obs ure the systemati hanges indu ed by altering the parameters. Random spa ing will be
reinstated in Se . 6.2.5.5, but for now the impa ts will o ur spa ed exa tly by
tspa e; i.e., if tspa e = 10 yr, then the impa ts are onsidered to o ur 10 , 2  10 ,
3  10 yrs, et ., ago. The properties of the size bins for the standard ase are
listed in Table 6.2.
Fig. 6.3 has several features of note. Two sets of meteorite data are shown,
onne ted by dotted lines, and these agree above 250 kyr. The rightmost set of
data uses only upper limits obtained from the available CRE data. The left set
instead adopts the thermolumines en e (TL) 4 ages for those meteorites that
have them (Table 2.1), and uses lower limits for all other quantities in order to
al ulate a minimum blast-o age. For Y-793274 and EET87521, whi h have
no lower bound on tbo available from either analysis, I have used a minimum
tbo of one-tenth the upper limit. It is likely that the left urve based on the
TL data underestimates the a tual transit ages; TL ages an be erroneously low
due to heating of the meteoroid (see Benoit et al. 1996); the right urve serves
as a de nite upper bound. The orre t spe trum is probably somewhere in the
middle, like the omputed spe trum in this ase. I will ontinue to show both
limits for the a tual ages, and readers an judge for themselves.
2

98

Figure 6.3 Upper panel: Age spe trum of simulated lunar deliveries (solid line)
overlain with two sets of CRE data (points onne ted by dashed lines). The
rightmost set of CRE data onsists of upper limits from the osmonu lide data;
the left set is lower limits (see text). Lower panel: The laun her spe trum of
the meteorites (the fra tion of delivered meteorites laun hed by ea h size bin of
impa tors). In this ase most of the meteorites in the i e sheet were laun hed by
small (D < 100 m) impa tors. The N (D) notation indi ates that a D power
law was used both above and below 100 m for the impa tors. This al ulation
had the random timing of impa tors turned o .
2

99

Table 6.2 Properties of the impa tor bins


p for the lunar ase. For ea h bin with
lower bound D (and upper bound 2D ), the number of impa tors Ximp
relative to the D =1-km bin is shown. The impa tors of ea h bin hit the
Moon on average tspa e apart, and laun h Nl meteoroids from the Moon above
the es ape velo ity. The normalization for Nl was set at 10 meteoroids for a
100-m impa tor, but the absolute value here has no e e t on the spe tra.
lower

lower

lower

Dlower (m)

15.6
22.1
31.2
44.2
62.5
88.4
125.0
176.8
250.0
353.6
500.0
707.1
1000.0
1414.2
2000.0
2828.4
4000.0
5656.9
8000.0
11313.7
16000.0
22627.4

Ximp

4.1010
2.0510
1.0210
5.1210
2.5610
1.2810
6.4010
3.2010
1.6010
8.0010
4.0010
2.0010
1.000
5.0010
2.5010
1.2510
6.2510
3.1210
1.5610
7.8110
3.9110
1.9510

03
03
03
02
02
02

01
01
01

00

00
00

01
01
01
02
02
02
03
03
03

tspa e (Myr)

0.00098
0.00195
0.00391
0.00781
0.01563
0.03125
0.06250
0.12500
0.25000
0.50000
1.00000
2.00000
4.00000
8.00000
16.00000
32.00000
64.00000
128.00000
256.00000
512.00000
1024.00000
2048.00000

Nl

2.4410
4.8810
9.7710
1.9510
3.9110
7.8110
1.5610
3.1210
6.2510
1.2510
2.5010
5.0010
1.0010
2.0010
4.0010
8.0010
1.6010
3.2010
6.4010
1.2810
2.5610
5.1210

04
04
04
05
05
05

06
06
06

07

07
07
08
08

08

08
09
09

09
10
10
10

100
A se ond interesting feature is that the laun her spe trum shows that even
though large impa ts that o urred in the past are in luded, almost all of the
lunar meteorites now present on Earth were laun hed by impa tors smaller than
1 km, and the majority by impa tors <100 m. This la k of representation of
large laun hers is aided by, but not ex lusively due to, 's value of 2 in this
simulation (as dis ussed in Se . 6.2.5.3 below) Noti e a very important fa t; even
though more than half of the delivered meteorites from an impa t arrive within
0.01 Myr of laun h (Fig. 3.13) for the 2.4 km/s F (T ) fun tion we are using,
the age spe trum in Fig. 6.3 predi ts only '5% of the simulated deliveries have
blast-o ages this low. This rather obvious e e t was not mentioned in Gladman
et al. (1995); if the meteorites ome from multiple impa ts, only very re ent (and
therefore presumably smaller on average) impa ts an deliver young samples to
the i e sheet be ause meteorites that have landed in the last 50 kyr from impa ts
that o urred hundreds of kyr ago will not have short tbo ages. This e e t does
not modify the argument (whi h is based solely on 4 ages) that the eje ta's
velo ity-spe trum must be steep (Se . 6.2.3).
When judging the quality of mat hes to the data, we must keep in mind the
small-number problem of the meteorite data. A ordingly, the most that should
be required of the model is to reprodu e the gross features of the problem to
within a fa tor of 2 or 3. In the lunar ase, these features are: (1) the age
spe trum, with half of the meteorites arriving in less than 100,000 years; and (2)
a la k of SCPs, indi ated by having most of the meteorites laun hed by small
impa tors as opposed to a few large ones.
6.2.5.1

The smallest impa tor

Dsmall

p
Fig. 6.3 showed the ase where an impa tor between 1 and 2 km hits the
Moon every 4 Myr. Sin e the impa tor size distribution varied as D below
100 m, impa tors between D=88 and 125 m hit the Moon roughly every 30 kyr
(Table 6.2). As Warren (1994) points out, impa tors apable of laun hing lunar
meteorites must be smaller than this sin e we have had several laun hes in the
last 50 kyr (barring a statisti ally unlikely barrage of re ent impa tors of this size
range). This raises the question: how small an impa tor an laun h a D=2 m,
'10 g lunar meteorite? This is a di ult question to answer beyond the trivial
argument that the impa tor would have to be at least of order the same diameter.
Can we perhaps dis over the answer from the meteorite re ord?
Fig. 6.4 shows how the expe ted meteorite 4-age spe trum would hange as
a fun tion of D . The predi tions are essentially identi al for D <31 m,
but above this the spe tra begin to not agree with the data. This is be ause
below D =63 m the smallest impa tors, whi h deliver most of the meteorites,
strike mu h more often than A (see Table 6.2). Above D ' 63 m few, if
any, impa tors strike the Moon more re ently than A , and therefore almost
no meteorites with tbo < 0:05 Myr are present. The (62.5,88.4) m impa tor bin
2

small

small

small

i e

small

i e

101

Figure 6.4 These panels show the expe ted age spe tra as a fun tion of the smallest diameter impa tor that is allowed to laun h lunar meteorites. The laun her
spe tra (not shown) ea h look similar to that of Fig. 6.3, in that the majority of
the delivered meteorites are laun hed by impa tors smaller than D '300 m.

102
delivers an impa tor to the Moon every 16,000 years, so apparently the impa tors
apable of laun hing meteoroids must be striking at least this often in order to
produ e the observed age spe trum. Unfortunately, the age spe trum is not
sensitive to a minimum value for D , so this remains un onstrained. However,
below 63 m the value of D does not e e t the results.
small

small

6.2.5.2

The age of the i e sheet

Ai e

Varying the assumed average retention age of the i e sheet for meteorites results
in the expe ted spe tra hanging as shown in Figs. 6.5 and 6.6. As A in reases,
the fra tion of young meteorites drops monotoni ally. The age spe trum an be
seen to be fairly sensitive to the value of A ; an older i e sheet be omes more
able to retain meteorites from larger, more an ient impa ts. In fa t, only in the
range A =0.08{0.16 Myr does the predi ted age spe trum agree with the data
(by 0.32 Myr the spe trum is too lose to the upper limits of the CRE data
to be onsidered a likely mat h). This age range for A is entirely onsistent
with the dis ussion of 6.1.4.1, and so from now on I shall adopt A =100 kyr,
in agreement with the lifetime of Antar ti meteorites determined by radioa tive
dating (Se . 6.1.4.1).
Fig. 6.6 is interesting be ause it learly shows the e e ts of an unrealisti ally
long retention age for the i e sheet. Even though it is still the ase that almost all
of the meteorites are laun hed by small impa tors, only a tiny fra tion of those
meteorites will have blast-o ages <0.25 Myr due to the fa t that there are so
many more small impa ts between 0.25 and 1.0 Myr that have delivered their
meteorites to the long-lived i e sheet. Thus, the preponderan e of short blast-o
times in the lunar meteorite sample is due to two e e ts: the very high initial
a retion rates due to low eje tion velo ities and the young i e sheet.
i e

i e

i e

i e

i e

6.2.5.3

The laun h exponent

The value of has a very large e e t on the in oming meteorite ux. If (D) /
D (i.e., =2) the number of meteoroids laun hed per impa t s ales as the surfa e
area of the rater sin e the rater diameter is roughly proportional to that of the
impa tor (Melosh 1989). This would be expe ted if the meteorites are being
laun hed in a very thin surfa e layer of roughly onstant thi kness, as both the
CRE eviden e and the theoreti al onsiderations of the spallation model would
predi t. On the other hand, = 3 might be expe ted if the number of meteoroids
laun hed s ales as the volume of the rater (Warren 1994), with a spall zone
thi kness / D. Fig. 6.7 shows that if we adopt this latter s aling, the arriving
meteorite ux would be in onsistent with the data.
An important property of the (D) / D s aling is that, if the impa tor
distribution s ales as N (D) / D , then ea h logarithmi bin will laun h equal
numbers of meteoroids. The arriving spe trum will thus be entirely ontrolled
2

103

Figure 6.5 These panels show the expe ted age spe tra as a fun tion of the
retention age of the i e sheet for lunar meteorites. The laun her spe tra (not
shown) again look similar to that of Fig. 6.3, in that the majority of the delivered
meteorites are laun hed by impa tors smaller than D '100 m.

104

Figure 6.6 The age and laun her spe trum for the ase of A =1 Myr, orresponding to an extremely old i e sheet. Using su h an unrealisti ally long retention
age results in almost all of the meteorites presently in the i e sheet oming from
impa ts that o urred more than 0.25 Myr ago; this is rmly ruled out by the
CRE data.
i e

105

Figure 6.7 The age and laun her spe trum if the number of meteoroids laun hed
per impa t s ales as the ube of the impa tor diameter. Too many of the meteorites should then ome from more than several hundred kyr ago, in disagreement
with the data.

106
by the F (T ) spe trum and the in uen e of the i e sheet. The drop-o in the
laun her spe trum beginning at D 100 m in the standard ase of Fig. 6.3 is
due to the fa t that impa tors larger than this are not hitting the Moon on a
time s ale less than A . The absolute ut-o at D '1 km in that same gure
results from no impa tors larger than 1 km having hit the Moon in the 10 Myr
time s ale over whi h lunar meteorite delivery takes pla e (i.e., where F be omes
lose to 1). This reasoning is further lari ed by a re-examination of Fig. 6.6,
where all impa tors that hit more often than the age of the i e sheet are equally
represented, and the very dramati uto still o urs at D '1 km.
When in reases to 3, this behavior hanges. Now the larger impa tor bins
laun h more meteorites than the smaller ones, but these larger impa tors o ur
less frequently, and thus on average longer ago. These two e e ts produ e a
laun h spe trum as shown in Fig. 6.7, with most of the meteorites oming from
impa ts of obje ts a few hundred meters in diameter. The ut-o at 1 km is of
ourse una e ted. If were in fa t 3, then not only would the age spe trum
of meteorites be di erent, but we should probably expe t a greater prevalen e
of more deeply laun hed meteorites sin e larger impa tors should ex avate to
greater depths. It is notable that the three oldest lunar meteorites are also the
ones that seem to have been laun hed from the greatest depths (Table 2.1, p. 16).
i e

6.2.5.4

Steepening the size distribution

N (D )

As long as =2, steepening N (D) below 100 m to be proportional to D leaves


the age spe trum virtually una e ted. This o urs be ause the majority of meteorites already ome from small impa tors spread evenly in time; thus adding
additional smaller impa tors o urring more often than A only slightly modi es
the age spe trum, produ ing a small enhan ement in early deliveries (Fig. 6.8).
The laun her spe trum is dramati ally a e ted, however, sin e the extremely numerous impa tors in the smallest size bins laun h most of the meteorites. Sin e
we have no dire t eviden e of what size impa tors laun hed the lunar meteorites
(although shallow laun h depths probably imply smaller impa tors), the lunar
meteorite data annot onstrain the possibility that the impa tor size distribution steepens for smaller bodies. However, neither do we have to worry about the
possible steepening a e ting the model either, for the age spe trum is insensitive
to this hange.
The absolute number of meteorites will depend rather strongly on this steepening. An N (D) / D , (D) / D distribution has the property that adding
another size bin at the lower end in reases the total number of laun hed meteorites only by a small amount sin e every bin ontributes the same number of
meteorites. On the other hand, if the size distribution steepens to D , then ea h
additional bin ontributes more meteorites than the next larger one, explaining
the skewing of the laun her spe trum towards smaller impa tors.
3

i e

107

Figure 6.8 The age and laun her spe trum if the size distribution of the impa tors
steepens to N (D) / D below 100 m. The age distribution is skewed very
slightly towards faster returns ( ompare to Fig. 6.3). The laun her spe trum
hanges more dramati ally (see text).
3

108
6.2.5.5

Lunar sour e- rater pairings

One obvious way to produ e an ex ess of younger meteorites (the hief onstraint
we have used to mat h the age spe trum) is to have a re ent large impa t. To
illustrate this, now that we have explored the systemati e e ts of hanging the
other parameters, I have in luded the random spa ing of the impa tors (step 5
of the algorithm in Se . 6.2.4), whi h allows larger impa tors to have stru k the
Moon in the re ent past. Fig. 6.9 shows su h a ase; a single 800-m impa tor
stru k the Moon ' 40,000 years ago. As an be seen from the laun her spe trum,
this impa t laun hes so many meteorites, and has su h a high transfer e ien y,
that about half of all the meteorites expe ted to be in the i e sheet are ontributed
by this single impa t. However, all of these meteorites should have identi al
blast-o ages and similar petrologi hara teristi s (i.e., they should be sour e rater paired). Sin e Warren (1994) feels that few, if any, of the lunar meteorites
are sour e- rater paired, we an rule out the o urren e of any large (>300 m)
impa ts on the Moon in the last hundred thousand years. Note that the e e t
of these impa tors would be more pronoun ed if we were to allow =3, sin e the
larger impa tors would laun h even more meteorites.
This example highlights the importan e of the sto hasti nature of the impa t pro ess. By performing about 30 su h simulations I have observed that an
impa tor large enough to produ e an una eptable number of sour e- rater pairs
o urs only in about one-third of the ases. Even if an impa t larger than 500 m
happened in the last 10 Myr, it an o ur long enough ago that its initial peak
of deliveries is prevented from ` ontaminating' the age spe trum as illustrated by
Fig. 6.10. I suggest that the sour e- rater pairing of Asuka-881757 and Y-793169
may be due to the o urren e of su h a large impa t '1 Myr ago on the Moon;
the deep provenan e of these two meteorites supports su h a hypothesis.
6.2.6 Lunar summary
In summary, of the ve relevant parameters, only A and the exponent of
(D) dramati ally a e t the spe tra (for plausible ranges of the parameters).
Apparently must be loser to 2 than 3, and thus the number of meteoroids
laun hed per impa t s ales with the surfa e area of the rater rather than its
volume; this on lusion was already rea hed by Warren (1994) on the basis of
the number of re ent laun h events. The modelling suggests that the i e sheet is
less than about 60 kyr old, whi h is perhaps somewhat younger than one might
estimate (see Nishiizumi et al. 1989); however, re all that the relevant parameter
A is a tually the mean survival time of lunar meteorites on the i e surfa es
that have been sear hed so far. If we base our estimate of A on the meteorite
sample (Se . 6.1.4.1), then 60 kyr is reasonable.
The diameter of the smallest impa tors apable of laun hing lunar meteoroids,
the mean impa t rate of 1-km impa tors, and a possible steepening of the size
i e

i e

i e

109

Figure 6.9 With random impa t timing allowed, it is possible to have a large
impa tor hit the Moon re ently. In the ase shown, a single 800-m impa tor
striking the Moon 40,000 years ago would ontribute about half of the lunar
meteorites present in the i e sheet. The impa t is indi ated by the large spike
in the laun her spe trum and the dis ontinuous jump in the age spe trum. This
possibility is not supported by the meteorite data.

110

Figure 6.10 If a large impa tor strikes the Moon more than several hundred
thousand years ago, it delivers so little material to the i e sheet in the re ent
past that it produ es only a minor e e t in the age spe trum. In the ase shown
a 2 km impa tor strikes the Moon 10 : = 4 Myr ago (its presen e is indi ated
by the small verti al jump of the age spe trum at this time). The peaks in the
laun her histogram at large D are due to individual impa ts, whereas at small D
the meteorites are ontributed by a myriad of small impa ts.
06

111
distribution of the impa tors below 100 m all have relatively small e e ts on the
age spe trum.
6.3

Modelling martian laun h

Our hief on ern on e we broaden our study to in lude the laun h of martian
material is to understand the ir umstan es under whi h the number of lunar to
martian meteorites is roughly equal. This requires the in lusion of four additional
parameters: (1) the relative ux of impa tors hitting Mars as ompared to the
Moon; (2) the exponent p in the s aling of the number of laun hed meteoroids
vs. eje tion velo ity in Eq. 6.12; (3) the energy exponent of (D) for Mars; and
(4) the fra tion of the martian surfa e suitable for meteoroid eje tion.
The ux of impa tors onto Mars is not well onstrained observationally. Theoreti al models estimate that the spa e density of impa tors near Mars should
be omparable or slightly larger than that near the Moon. Wetherill (1989) al ulates that the ratering rate per unit area on Mars is 1.94 times that of Earth.
One might naively expe t that the spa e density of impa tors should be higher at
Mars sin e it is nearer to the main asteroid belt, but the population of impa tors
in near-Mars and near-Earth spa e depends riti ally on the pro esses whi h inje t asteroids and omets (the two lasses of impa tors) onto orbits inside the
asteroid belt. However, there is no parti ular reason to assume that the size distribution of impa tors in these lasses should be any di erent at the Moon and
Mars. Thus I assume that either asteroids or omets dominate at both targets,
and that the ux of impa tors I (D) near Mars is some xed multiple of the
lunar ux irrespe tive of size; that is,
I (D) = F I (D) / F D :
(6.19)
If the spa e density of impa tors were identi al and gravitational fo ussing were
ignored, then F would be simply the ratio of the martian to lunar surfa e area,
whi h is four. The gravitational fo ussing of Mars is / 1 + (ves =v1) (Eq. 3.4).
Most Earth-Moon impa tors approa h with v1 = 10{20 km/s (Wetherill 1969,
Chyba et al. 1994, f. p. 94) and, sin e we expe t the martian values to be
omparable, gravitational fo ussing likely results in an enhan ement of a few
tens of per ent in the martian impa tor ux.
I use F = 8, whi h ombines fo ussing, Wetherill's estimate, and an order
unity enhan ement in the spa e density of impa tors; F is likely to be a urate
to a fa tor of two.
The assumption of a D power-law over the entire impa tor size range is
probably even more valid for Mars sin e one would expe t its higher es ape
velo ity (of 5.03 km/s, more than twi e that of the Moon) to result in a larger
minimum impa tor size for meteoroid laun h. From Eq. 6.16, the minimum
Mars

Mars

Moon

112
diameter for laun hing a meteoroid an be seen to s ale as ves p = , where p is the
exponent of the velo ity spe trum of the es aping parti les. Sin e we on luded
earlier that p  4 (Se . 6.2.3), martian laun h requires impa tors at least 3 times
larger (and thus an order of magnitude less frequent) than lunar ones, assuming
similar surfa e properties ( = 2).
The exponent p is also very important for determining the relative number of
laun hed meteorites. If surfa e properties were identi al, Eq. 6.13 predi ts that
for equal size impa tors,
(


vMars p
NMoon
= v
NMars laun hed
Moon

' 2p

1)

(6.20)

in terms of the ratio vMars=vMoon of the es ape speeds. The number of meteorites
that arrive at Earth is in uen ed by the delivery e ien ies. If we adopt 40% for
the lunar and 4% for the martian total delivery e ien y (Se . 6.1.4), then the
ratio of numbers that eventually rea h the Earth from impa tors of equal size is

NMoon
vMars p
= 10  v
NMars 
Moon

 2p :
+2

(6.21)

Even if p is the probably minimal value of 4 from the lunar data, then the number
ratio should be at least 60, as opposed to the observed value of '1.
I will allow the exponent of (D) for Mars to be di erent from that of
the Moon. This was done to permit the possibility of a general di eren e of
surfa e properties between Mars and the Moon. Warren (1994) laims that the
martian must be loser to 3 than 2 in order to mat h the CRE eviden e; I will
explore the onsequen es of this. Lastly, I will also examine the e e t of limiting
the available area on Mars for meteoroid laun h, in order to help reprodu e the
prevalen e of young sour e terrains for the martian meteorites.
6.3.1 The baseline martian ase
Fig. 6.11 shows the baseline ase for the full simulation that onsiders both Mars
and the Moon. The mat h here with the meteorite data is very good; large
numbers of sour e- rater pairs are expe ted for the martian meteorites, and the
ratio of lunar to martian meteorites R (indi ated in the bottom left plot) is within
a fa tor of 2 of unity. The exa t timing of the large martian impa t events need
not pre isely agree with the data of ourse; only the general spe tral shape and
prevalen e of sour e- rater pairing need to be reprodu ed. The values of p, F ,
and the exponent of (D) are also indi ated on the martian panels. I shall again
vary the parameters systemati ally to explore the model dependen ies.

113
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Figure 6.11 Age and laun her spe tra for the lunar and martian ases. The two
left panels show the age spe trum for the lunar (top) and martian (bottom) meteorites; note that the lunar panel uses a logarithmi time axis whereas the martian
one is linear. The two right panels show the lunar (top) and martian (bottom)
laun her spe tra. Random impa t timing was in luded in this simulation.

114
6.3.2 The velo ity power law and impa tor ux ratio
The only way in whi h the exponent p of the velo ity power-law (Eq. 6.12) enters
into the model al ulation is when determining the ratio of the numbers of meteoroids laun hed in an impa t of a given diameter (see Eq. 6.20). Thus, when p
is in reased by one, the lunar to martian meteorite ratio R goes up by a fa tor
of about two (the ratio of the es ape velo ities). Thus hanging p to 7 would not
alter Fig. 6.11 at all ex ept to hange the meteorite number ratio to '80.4=3.2.
Changes in the value of F produ e an approximately linear hange in the
value of R sin e the ux of martian impa tors in ea h bin is proportional to
F . The model is basi ally in apable of distinguishing between variations in the
parameters F and p, but I have kept both sin e they represent di erent physi s.
6.3.3 The martian laun h exponent
The martian spe trum depends riti ally on the value of . In order to explore
the e e t of 's variation, I again temporarily turn-o the random spa ing of the
impa tors (Fig. 6.12). As dis ussed in the ontext of the lunar ase, if =3 the
larger impa tor bins laun h more material than the smaller ones, as shown in
the martian laun her spe trum. Thus the largest impa tor (D '5 km), whi h
stru k Mars '16 Myr ago in this simulation, ontributes the most meteorites
(slightly more than 30%). All of the (sour e- rater paired) meteorites from this
event would have the same blast-o age, as indi ated by the dis ontinuity in
the martian age spe trum. In this simulation the ratio R of lunar to martian
meteorites is 0.6. A fa tor of two more martian meteorites have fallen during
the age of the i e sheet, even though more lunar than martian meteorites have
been delivered to Earth over all of history. This o urs be ause the urrent
delivery rate from an ient lunar impa ts is redu ed to a relative tri kle, whereas
any martian impa t delivers meteorites at almost a onstant (but smaller) rate
for 15{20 Myr (Fig.6.1). Sin e large impa ts on Mars are more likely (due to
the larger impa tor ux), an ient martian impa ts that laun h large numbers
of meteoroids are heavily represented in the meteorite re ord; this is doubly
important be ause only when sampling these large impa ts is there a reasonable
han e of seeing sour e- rater pairs.
When for Mars is hanged to 2 (Fig. 6.13) the martian laun her spe trum
is hanged radi ally. Here, as in the lunar ase, almost all the meteorites ome
from small impa tors, be ause =2 implies that ea h logarithmi bin laun hes
the same number of meteoroids. Note from the expe ted martian age spe trum
that although the distribution of transfer times is roughly orre t, sour e- rater
pairings are almost absent in the expe ted age spe trum. This disagrees with the
meteorite data. Observe also that the lunar to martian meteorite ratio has risen
by an order of magnitude.

115
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30

40

50

Figure 6.12 The standard result when the number of laun hed martian meteorites
s ales as the volume of the rater and random impa ts are not allowed. The age
spe trum of the martian materials is unrepresentatively skewed towards later
laun hes. Note that the D s aling of the laun hers means that most of the
martian meteorites are laun hed by the largest impa tors that o ur during the
20 Myr delivery horizon.
3

116
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Figure 6.13 If the number of laun hed meteoroids s ales as the surfa e area of
the rater, then (1) the number of arriving martian meteorites drops by an order
of magnitude (relative to the lunar ux), (2) almost all martian meteorites are
laun hed by small impa tors, and (3) SCPs be ome very rare. This s enario is
not supported by the data.

117
6.3.3.1

Impli ations

These results suggest that there must be some pro ess whi h dis riminates against
meteoroid produ tion by smaller martian impa tors, and yet still allows for large
impa tors to produ e enough of a ux to keep R  1. One an imagine several
hypotheses to explain this.
(1) Perhaps the martian atmosphere appre iably modi es the size distribution
of the impa tors or laun hed meteoroids. It is unlikely that the 6 mbar atmosphere an prevent impa tors from rea hing the surfa e; even Earth's more massive atmosphere only stops sili ate impa tors below D  100 m (Chyba 1993).
The martian atmosphere will only stop yet smaller impa tors, whi h probably
would la k su ient kineti energy to liberate meteoroids in any ase. On the
other hand, the atmosphere may hinder small (up to tens of m) laun hed meteoroids from es aping ba k out to spa e, sin e they have mu h smaller ratios of
surfa e area to mass (the important parameter for drag). Therefore it is on eivable that smaller eje ted parti les are preferentially prevented from es aping the
planet. This would help explain the larger average mass of the martian meteorites.
(2) An entirely di erent laun h pro ess may dominate on Mars. Perhaps the
vaporization of subsurfa e i e ould assist meteoroid laun h. Any su h proposed
pro ess must still satisfy all of the onstraints (preferen es for deep laun h, young
sour e terrains, and bigger impa tors). The data do not yet seem to demand this
extreme hypothesis.
(3) As shown above, if the number of meteoroids s ales as the volume of the
rater, this naturally resolves the problem. Volume s aling might o ur in two
ways.
(i) Perhaps the martian surfa e is not overed with a regolith layer having a
sound speed as low as the lunar one, at least not in the young sour e terrains
of most of the martian meteorites. This would result in the martian impa tors
mining down deeper than their lunar ounterparts and laun hing more eje ta.
However, in this ase we might then expe t many obje ts from small impa tors
and thus fewer sour e- rater pairs.
(ii) Alternately, perhaps the surfa e layers on the two parent bodies are identi al. Then small martian impa tors only ex avate very shallow surfa e layers
of little volume. But the transfer dynami s show that an ient (1-10 Myr ago)
large martian impa ts are well represented in the impa t re ord. Even with a
100 m/s sound speed, a 3-km impa tor (not an un ommon o urren e on Mars
over 10 Myr) will have a spall zone of depth z  30 m (Eq. 6.7). On e down
into bedro k, as su h an impa t would almost surely be, the sound speed would
rise dramati ally and thus the spall layer may be onsiderably deeper than 30 m.
In this regime the amount of eje ta may be ome proportional to the volume of
the proje tile (Melosh 1985, Vi kery and Melosh 1987) and almost all the meteorites will ome from larger raters ( f. laun her spe trum in Fig. 6.12). The

118
s enario has the advantage that it does not matter if the smaller impa tors are
being s reened out or not. The larger masses of the martian meteorites may
then be simply due to their being produ ed in larger impa ts; on the other hand,
atmospheri e e ts may still enhan e this e e t by sele ting against smaller meteoroids. The deep provenan e of the martian meteorites may be either (1) due
to a la k of near-surfa e ro ks suitable for eje tion (Warren 1994), or (2) simply
be ause only a very small fra tion of the material spalled o in larger impa ts
is within 3 m of the surfa e when depths down to many tens of meters are
ex avated.
6.3.3.2

The fra tion of young terrain

Sin e 11 of the 12 martian meteorites are from geologi ally young terrain whi h
o upies a small portion of the surfa e, this strongly argues that these terrains
are favored (perhaps almost ex lusively) for laun h. Con eivably, small number statisti s ould be to blame, but if six impa t events are in fa t represented
(Eugster et al. 1996), then this hypothesis begins to stret h the bounds of redibility. I have explored in luding the e e t of having limited sour e regions by
simply randomly reje ting 80% of all martian impa ts, hypothesizing that only
15% of the martian surfa e ontains su iently young terrain (Tremain 1995a),
and allowing 5% of the older terrain to be suitable (to allow for the existen e of
ALH84001). Although learly ad ho , this assumption does provide a me hanism
for the sele tion of younger meteorites. It simultaneously in reases the frequen y
of sour e- rater pairings, sin e the martian laun h pro ess be omes even more
dependent on the sto hasti nature of the largest impa ts, whi h must now strike
inside the 15 Myr `delivery window', but also into young terrain. Even the baseline ase seems to have too little sour e- rater pairing in the expe ted spe trum
(Fig. 6.11). After reinstating random impa tor-timing, allowing only 20% of the
martian surfa e to laun h meteorites produ es expe ted spe tra su h as the example of Fig. 6.14. Here, three large impa tors hitting Mars in the last 6 Myr
have produ ed 90% of the martian meteorites; so many meteoroids were in fa t
produ ed that just as many martian meteorites were delivered to the i e sheet as
lunar ones. Su h an out ome is not ommonpla e however. In most simulations
that use the parameters of Fig. 6.14 lunar meteorites are favored by a fa tor of
3{6; this dis repan y ould be easily re ti ed by minor hanges in the relative
ux or power law exponent. Of ourse, it need not be re ti ed at all; Fig. 6.14
shows that the observed spe tra an be reprodu ed with this set of parameters.
A possibility worthy of mention is that the martian atmosphere is in large
part responsible for the sele tion of young terrains. This ould o ur be ause the
young vol ani terrains on Mars (spe i ally in the Tharsis region) are at higher
altitudes than the older terrains. If the martian atmosphere does e e tively
hinder meteoroid laun h, as dis ussed in the previous se tion, then the higher
altitude regions ould be favored sin e onsiderably less atmospheri mass will

119
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50

Figure 6.14 Limiting the fra tion of Martian terrain results in a greater tenden y
for sour e- rater pairing. Although this on average would be expe ted to de rease
the number of laun hed martian meteoroids, large impa ts into young terrain an
still produ e more than enough meteorites, as in this example where just as many
martian as lunar meteorites are present in the i e sheet. The exa t form of the
martian age spe trum learly depends on the timing of these impa ts.

120
need to to penetrated by the eje ta. At the 6 mbar level (the zero-altitude
referen e level on Mars), the amount of atmospheri mass per unit area above
the surfa e is  = P=g ' 16 g/ m , where P is the surfa e pressure and g =
371 m/s the gravitational a eleration. Meteorite laun h would be hindered
if the eje ted meteoroid needs to traverse roughly its own mass in atmosphere
(Chyba 1993). At 0-km altitude, only very large meteoroids (r > 15 m, m >
30 kg) have ratios of mass-to-surfa e area larger than ne essary. In ontrast, at
elevations above one martian s ale-height ( 11 km), 5- m meteoroids (m  1 kg)
ould es ape. The an ient northern highlands have an average elevation of about
4 km (Esposito et al. 1992), so only the very highest terrains will be above a
s ale-height, and thus favored by this atmospheri e e t. While this s enario
learly favors laun h from the very young vol ani terrains, it further restri ts
the available portions of the martian surfa e. In fa t, only the anks of the four
largest Tharsis vol anos are above 11 km altitude; Je rey E. Moers h (1996,
private ommuni ation) estimates this represents only  0:3% of the martian
surfa e area.
2

6.3.3.3

Sto hasti variability

The example of Fig. 6.14 illustrates that the sto hasti nature of the martian
(and sometimes lunar) impa ts ould be ru ial to understanding features in
the data. For this reason, to provide the reader with some sense of how mu h
random variation o urs, I show the results of several simulations. Figs. 6.15{
6.23, along with Fig. 6.14, present the out omes of ten sequential simulations, all
with the same parameters. The di eren es in these plots are entirely due to the
random-impa t timing and the limited viable martian laun h area. These gures
demonstrate that: (1) the exa t nature of the martian age spe trum in regards to
sour e- rater pairings depends heavily on the timing of the largest impa ts, and
(2) a lunar-to-martian meteorite number ratio R  1 is not in fa t un ommon;
the ratio is usually within a fa tor of 6 of this.
Fig. 6.15 is an espe ially interesting ase, be ause it illustrates the onsequen es of a large, re ent lunar impa t. 100 Kyr after the event, the i e sheet
is still so dominated by this 2-km impa tor's eje ta that almost all lunar meteorites ome from the impa t and these meteorites outnumber the martin ones by
a fa tor of 100. Only after the hail of meteorites from this impa t eases (after
a few hundred kyr at most), and are destroyed in the i e sheet, does R return to
order 1{6, as it is most of the time.
6.3.4 Musings on martian sour e- rater pairings
An unresolved issue in the previous dis ussion is the extent of sour e- rater pairing (SCP) in the martian meteorites. As dis ussed in Se . 4.4, it is almost in on eivable in light of the onstraints that all of the martian meteorites were

121
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Figure 6.15 A sample delivery history for lunar and martian meteorites. This
is part of a series of ten simulations (Figs. 6.14{6.23), all of whi h use the same
parameters, intended to illustrate the importan e of large sto hasti impa ts on
the Moon and Mars. These simulations use randomly timed impa ts and limited
martian sour e area.

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Figure 6.16 A sample delivery history for lunar and martian meteorites. This
is part of a series of ten simulations (Figs. 6.14{6.23), all of whi h use the same
parameters, intended to illustrate the importan e of large sto hasti impa ts on
the Moon and Mars. These simulations use randomly timed impa ts and limited
martian sour e area.

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Figure 6.17 A sample delivery history for lunar and martian meteorites. This
is part of a series of ten simulations (Figs. 6.14{6.23), all of whi h use the same
parameters, intended to illustrate the importan e of large sto hasti impa ts on
the Moon and Mars. These simulations use randomly timed impa ts and limited
martian sour e area.

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Figure 6.18 A sample delivery history for lunar and martian meteorites. This
is part of a series of ten simulations (Figs. 6.14{6.23), all of whi h use the same
parameters, intended to illustrate the importan e of large sto hasti impa ts on
the Moon and Mars. These simulations use randomly timed impa ts and limited
martian sour e area.

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Figure 6.19 A sample delivery history for lunar and martian meteorites. This
is part of a series of ten simulations (Figs. 6.14{6.23), all of whi h use the same
parameters, intended to illustrate the importan e of large sto hasti impa ts on
the Moon and Mars. These simulations use randomly timed impa ts and limited
martian sour e area.

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Figure 6.20 A sample delivery history for lunar and martian meteorites. This
is part of a series of ten simulations (Figs. 6.14{6.23), all of whi h use the same
parameters, intended to illustrate the importan e of large sto hasti impa ts on
the Moon and Mars. These simulations use randomly timed impa ts and limited
martian sour e area.

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Figure 6.21 A sample delivery history for lunar and martian meteorites. This
is part of a series of ten simulations (Figs. 6.14{6.23), all of whi h use the same
parameters, intended to illustrate the importan e of large sto hasti impa ts on
the Moon and Mars. These simulations use randomly timed impa ts and limited
martian sour e area.

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Figure 6.22 A sample delivery history for lunar and martian meteorites. This
is part of a series of ten simulations (Figs. 6.14{6.23), all of whi h use the same
parameters, intended to illustrate the importan e of large sto hasti impa ts on
the Moon and Mars. These simulations use randomly timed impa ts and limited
martian sour e area.

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Figure 6.23 A sample delivery history for lunar and martian meteorites. This
is part of a series of ten simulations (Figs. 6.14{6.23), all of whi h use the same
parameters, intended to illustrate the importan e of large sto hasti impa ts on
the Moon and Mars. These simulations use randomly timed impa ts and limited
martian sour e area.

130
laun hed in a single impa t. However, one ould attempt to make a ase for only
three impa ts being represented: ALH84001 15 Myr ago, the NCs about 10 Myr
ago, and all the shergottites about 3 Myr ago. This s enario would require the
10-Myr impa t to overlap both N and C sour e terrains. It would also require the
3-Myr impa t to laun h both lherzoliti and basalti lithologies and to produ e
very large meteoroids in order to shield at least EET79001 for 2 Myr (and perhaps the basalti shergottites for 1 Myr). Su h a hypothesis eases the problem
involving the young sour e terrains, for then only 2 of 3 impa ts are into the
young regions instead of needing 5 of 6 to be so. This hypothesis thus demands a
very large 3-Myr impa t, whi h is plausible as indi ated by the variety of possible
histories seen in Figs. 6.14{6.23.
The model presented in this hapter is unable, given the amount of data, to
distinguish between the likelihood of having 3 versus 6 martian impa ts represented, although I prefer the latter option. It is unlikely that EET79001 is a
shielded ollisional fragment from a 2.5-Myr event and that the lherzoliti shergottites are from a separate impa t event; I believe it to be all or nothing (i.e.,
all the shergottites were laun hed in a single event with partial shielding, or three
events o urred).
These questions are likely unanswerable at present. In fa t, it may be fair to
say that they may never be answered.
6.4

The big pi ture

I now summarize the general theory, and put forward a hypothesis that resolves
the puzzles presented in the introdu tion regarding the lunar and martian meteorites. The data are not yet plentiful enough to onstrain these onje tures
with ertainty; the following general pi ture does explain the available fa ts, but
perhaps not uniquely.
The lunar and martian surfa es are bombarded by a set of impa tors whose
diameters fall o as D . These impa tors laun h meteoroids by stress-wave
interferen e, from a spall zone of depth z  D L=U . In the Moon's surfa e layers
the sound speed L '100 m/s so that impa tors of tens to hundreds of meters in
diameter (striking with U 10 km/s), an only loft into spa e a thin spall layer
of a few meters depth. Impa tors large enough to tunnel below the lunar regolith
do not tend to strike often enough be represented in the present-day meteorite
sample. In ontrast, su h large impa tors (D > 1 km) do hit Mars on time s ales
less than 10 Myr, where these impa tors laun h eje ta in greater quantity and
from greater depth.
On e eje ted into spa e, 4015% of lunar meteoroids nd their way to Earth,
whereas 42% of martian meteoroids do. The lunar meteorites mostly fall in a
fairly brief burst immediately after laun h; the majority arrive in 100,000 years,
with only a relatively slow tri kle ontinuing after a million years. In ontrast,
2

131
the martian meteorites are delivered in an almost steady stream over about 10{
20 Myr, where the upper limit is aused by a ombination of ollisional destru tion and orbital loss. On this basis alone we expe t the large impa ts either
represented in the i e sheet or re overed as falls to be solely martian. A slightly
oversimpli ed statement would be that the lunar meteorites we have are laun hed
by 10{300 m impa tors that strike the Moon every tens of thousands to few hundred thousand years, while the martian meteorites we have were laun hed by
1{10 km impa tors that are striking Mars every 1{10 Myr.
I propose the following resolution of the 5 puzzles listed on p. 7, whi h I
present in the reverse of the order given there.
(5) The martian age spe trum terminates at 15 Myr be ause Sun-grazing
and ollisional destru tion eliminate the meteoroid population in spa e on this
time s ale.
(4) The prevalen e of geologi ally young ro ks amongst the martian meteorites
is either a statisti al uke, due to pervasive weathering whi h makes the older
regions of Mars unsuitable for meteorite laun h (as suggested by Warren 1994),
or aused by martian atmospheri e e ts. This is probably the most important
unresolved puzzle.
(3) The la k of shallow-provenan e martian meteorites omes about simply
be ause the upper 3 m of surfa e material omprises a tiny fra tion of the very
thi k spall layers thrown o in the large impa ts that are responsible for laun hing
martian meteoroids.
(2) The martian meteorites have larger mean masses be ause they are produ ed by larger impa tors. The martian atmosphere may play some role in
preventing smaller meteoroids from es aping.
(1) The equal numbers of lunar and martian meteorites is a onsequen e of the
nite age of the i e sheet ombined with transfer dynami s that today deliver few
meteorites from an ient lunar impa ts, but a reasonable ux from larger an ient
martian impa ts.

Appendix A
Lunar Gravity Assists
This appendix dis usses gravity assists in the ontext of a restri ted three-body
problem (Earth-Moon-test parti le), and explores an interesting phenomenon of
possibly great utility to astrodynami s. I will not rigorously explore the phenomenon, but instead will des ribe it and present some simple arguments whi h
provide some intuitive insight. This appendix assumes that the reader is familiar
with the material presented in Se . 3.2.1.
A.1

Motivation

At the start of the helio entri stage of the lunar simulations with vej = 2:4
km/s, a small lump of parti les (see Fig. 3.6) with ommon orbital elements
(a ' 1:05 AU, e ' 0:045) was noti ed. Su h a lump is surprising sin e parti les
are typi ally liberated from the Earth-Moon system via gravitational s atterings
by the Moon; random en ounter geometries o urring at random times should
evenly s atter parti les both interior and exterior to the Earth's orbit. The
parti les in this lump were identi ed and their orbital histories tra ked. Very
surprisingly, these parti les did not omplete a single geo entri orbit, but es aped
dire tly to helio entri orbit even though they were laun hed only barely faster
than the lunar es ape velo ity! What is happening here?
A.2

Energy arguments

Consider a small obje t laun hed from an isolated massive body. Based on elementary prin iples, the es ape velo ity v from a body of mass M and surfa e
radius Rs is
2GM ;
v =
(A.1)
R
es

es

132

133
where G is the gravitational onstant. For the Moon, v = 2:38 km/s. A body
laun hed with velo ity vl < v will only rea h a height R whi h satis es
1
1 = vl ;
(A.2)
Rs R
2GM
before falling ba k to the surfa e.
The Moon is, of ourse, not isolated. On e a parti le re edes a su ient
distan e it is lear that the gravitational pull of the Earth will be ome more
important than that of the Moon. There are various estimates of this distan e
(Greenberg et al. 1991); I adopt that of the Hill sphere
es

es

max

max

RH = aorb

 1=3

(A.3)
3 ' 35Rs ' 9:6R ;
where a is the Moon's orbital radius (' 60R), and  ' 1=81 is the ratio of
the Moon's mass to that of the Earth. Therefore a quantity of greater interest
than the Moon's `es ape' velo ity is the laun h speed v ne essary for a parti le
to rea h the lunar Hill sphere. Sin e, due to the 1=r potential, most of the
gravitational work is done near the Moon, v is only slightly smaller than v ; in
fa t v = 2:35 km/s. This is on rmed in an additional set of laun h simulations
(Table A.1) identi al to those performed in Se . 3.2.1, ex ept that the laun h
velo ities were all near the lunar es ape speed. For vl < v , all the parti les
fall ba k to the lunar surfa e without es aping to geo entri orbit. Above v ,
an in reasing fra tion of parti les es ape the Moon's gravitational pull, although
many of these subsequently re-impa t the parent obje t. Eventually more than
80% of the parti les es ape to helio entri orbit (in on ordan e with the earlier
results of Chap. 3), mostly via repeated gravity assists by the Moon.
orb

es

A.3

Gravity assists

This se tion will develop the ba kground of gravity-assist traje tories in the ontext of a pat hed- oni approa h. I will use one of the omputed traje tories
from the simulations just dis ussed for illustrative purposes.
Fig. A.1 shows the orbital path taken by the parti le es aping to the Earth's
Hill sphere in the shortest time (about 8 months) from the 2.35 km/s simulation.
The parti le follows the lunar orbit losely for the rst month. Close approa hes
appear as usps in the traje tory. In fa t, the parti le is in a temporary apture
orbit around the Moon, as shown in Fig. A.2. Almost exa tly one month after
laun h (i.e., near the same geo entri oordinates where the laun h took pla e)
a lose en ounter o urs whi h eje ts the parti le from lunar orbit and alters the
path to one with orbital semi-major axis onsiderably smaller than the Moon's,
whi h the parti le follows for seven revolutions (Fig. A.1). The Moon then draws

134

escape

100

launch

lunar Hill sphere


mean lunar orbit
-100

-100

-50

50

100

Figure A.1 The path taken by a parti le es aping the Earth-Moon system via a series of gravity assists. The relative geo entri position is shown, in an non-rotating
frame entered on the planet and proje ted onto the e lipti plane. The dashed
line shows the mean lunar orbit (at 60R). Re all that the Moon's Hill sphere
(shown) is 10 R . The laun h does not o ur at the distan e of the mean lunar
orbit due to the Moon's e entri ity. See text for des ription.

135
Table A.1 For ea h geo entri -stage simulation the table lists the total number
of parti les laun hed (18 parti les per impa t site), the per entage Es of
parti les that es ape to helio entri spa e, and the per entages that impa t the
Earth () and Moon (M), as a fun tion of the lunar laun h speed vl . To rea h
the lunar Hill sphere requires vl =2.35 km/s.
N

vl

Geo entri Stage Results

(km/s)
2.33
2.34
2.35
2.36
2.37
2.38
2.39

N % Es % 
360 0.0 0.0
360 0.0 0.0
360 2.8 0.0
360 31.7 1.9
360 65.8 2.2
360 81.9 2.5
360 84.7 3.1

%M
100.0
100.0
97.2
66.4
32.0
15.6
12.2

the parti le o this orbit and ings it away at su ient speed that it es apes
the Earth-Moon system entirely. This se ond en ounter is also seen in Fig. A.2
(marked `se ond entry' and 'se ond es ape').
It is lear that the route to es ape in this ase is that dis ussed in Se . 3.2.1,
namely, during lose approa hes to the Moon, the parti le's geo entri velo ity
ve tor is modi ed. The most ommon way to on eptualize this is by a `pat hed
oni ' approa h (see D'Amario et al. 1992 for example). This method views the
orbits before and after the en ounter as unperturbed Kepler orbits about the
Earth, and during the en ounter as a hyperboli orbit past the Moon. However,
this is an idealization: Fig. A.2 illustrates that, during its se ond entry into
the lunar Hill sphere, the parti le's orbit never seems to be parti ularly well
represented by a luno entri hyperbola. This is be ause the parti le is never mu h
loser to the Moon than RH =2 and therefore a two-body problem entered on the
Moon is not a parti ularly good representation of the dynami s. However, we an
still use the usual pat hed- oni ve tor-addition pi ture (Fig. A.3) to understand
how the nal lose en ounter resulted in a gravity-assist that produ ed es ape
velo ity. From Figs. A.1 and A.2, it an be seen that the Moon at hes up to
the test parti le just before the parti le enters the lunar Hill sphere (the Moon
is moving in the positive x dire tion during the y-by). Therefore, as shown
s hemati ally in Fig. A.3, while inbound to the en ounter the parti le's geo entri
velo ity is smaller than the Moon's, and in the lunar frame ~v is moving opposite
to the apex of the lunar motion. The lose en ounter reverses the relative velo ity
ve tor to ~v and so, when the ve tor addition is performed, the parti le has
rather substantially in reased the magnitude of its geo entri speed (from V~ to
in

out

in

136

first escape

40

20

re-entry

-20
second escape
-40
-50

50

100

x (lunar radii)

Figure A.2 The luno entri traje tory of the parti le shown in Fig. A.1, in the
same non-rotating frame proje ted onto the e lipti plane. The Moon (to s ale)
is indi ated, as well as the approximate lo ation of its Hill sphere (dotted ir le).
After laun h the parti le remains in temporary orbit until es ape. It returns later
for a hyperboli en ounter whi h eje ts it from the geo entri orbit. See text for
dis ussion.
V~out). In this ase the magnitude of the in rease is enough to make the parti le

unbound with respe t to the Earth.


A.4

The three- and four-body problems

The type of gravity assist just dis ussed was the pi ture in the author's mind of
how all es apes from the Earth-Moon system o ur, at least when parti les are
laun hed o the Moon with a residual velo ity (Fig. 3.3) below geo entri es ape
speed. That is, after es aping the Moon the parti le's geo entri orbit will be
modi ed repeatedly by lose approa hes until one of these fortuitously ings the
parti le `o to in nity'. (It turns out that the example just dis ussed is extremely
atypi al in that only a single re-en ounter with the Moon was ne essary; this
parti le was sele ted as being the fastest es aping meteoroid.) However, it turns
out that a gravity assist is not the method of es ape that produ es the group
of parti les that make up the above-mentioned lump in Fig. 3.6 in the original
vl = 2:4 km/s simulation.

137
Vin

vin
V

Vout
vout

moon

Figure A.3 A ve tor-addition diagram representing a pat hed- oni gravity-assist. This is a s hemati representation of the nal en ounter pi tured in
Figs. A.1 and A.2. Geo entri velo ities are indi ated by upper ase letters and
luno entri velo ities by lower ase letters.
Snapshots of the full geo entri simulation over the rst 3 months of time
are shown in Figs. A.4 and A.5. Sin e the simulation onsists of 20 laun h
events eje ting 18 parti les ea h in a one, the Moon appears to eje t parti les
in an expanding shell (all laun h dire tions being equally likely). After a few
days this shell a quires a noti eable asymmetry, whi h be omes more pronoun ed
after 0.2 months. This asymmetry o urs be ause some parti les have had their
orbital energies redu ed by the Moon's gravity; thus they have smaller semimajor
axes and orrespondingly shorter orbital periods. Su h parti les therefore lead
the Moon. Many of these same parti les have a quired substantial geo entri
e entri ities, produ ing perigees of '20 R, as seen in Fig. A.4 and d. In
ontrast, other parti les have gained orbital energy from the Moon, a quiring
larger semimajor axes, and therefore lag the Moon in longitude. However, the
most interesting aspe t of these gures is the devlopment of a `lobe' or `petal'
of these lagging parti les ( ontaining about 10{15% of the total), seen learly in
the lower right quadrant of panels (e){(h), whi h simply expands away from the
Earth, never to return. This luster be omes the lump of Fig. 3.6; all of these
parti les exit the Earth's helio entri Hill sphere (of about 230 R ) in short order
(about a month). The remaining parti les ir le the planet, ontinuing in Earth
orbit until they hit a primary or are eje ted by subsequent lunar gravity assists.
In the remainder of this appendix I will attempt to develop an intuitive understanding of the dynami s in terms of simple energy arguments and 2-body
reasoning. These dis ussions will not be rigorously orre t, be ause the real dynami s are loser to 4-body problem (or at least, two sequential restri ted 3-body
problems). A omplete understading of this phenomenon is probably equivalent
to another thesis.
Let us examine two of these qui kly es aping traje tories more arefully
(Fig. A.6). The parti les simply leave the Moon on hyperboli traje tories, and
ontinue smoothly out to the Earth's Hill sphere, with no temporary apture

138
200

200

100

100

-100

-100

-200

-200
-100

100

200

200

100

100

-100

-100

-200

-200
-100

0
x (Earth radii)

100

-100

100

-100

100

x (Earth radii)

Figure A.4 Geo entri snapshots of the evolution of the swarm of lunar eje ta
in a vl =2.4 km/s simulation. The positions of all surviving test parti les are
proje ted onto the non-rotating e lipti plane. The Earth (at 0,0) and Moon are
indi ated by the open ir les (not to s ale). The snapshots are taken at elapsed
times of approximately (a) 0.05 months, (b) 0.1 months, ( ) 0.2 months, and (d)
0.5 months.

139
200

200

100

100

-100

-100

-200

-200

-200

-100

100

200

-200

1000

1000

500

500

-500

-500

-1000

-1000

-1000

-500

x (Earth radii)

500

1000

-1000

-100

100

200

-500

500

1000

x (Earth radii)

Figure A.5 Geo entri snapshots of the evolution of the swarm of lunar eje ta
in a vl =2.4 km/s simulation. The positions of all surviving test parti les are
proje ted onto the e lipti plane. The Earth (at 0,0) and Moon are indi ated
by the open ir les (not to s ale). Note the s ale of the gures hange. The
snapshots are shown at elapsed times of approximately (e) 0.75 months, (f) 1
months, (g) 2 months, and (h) 3 months.

140
0

20

Moon

10
-100
0
Moon
-10

-200

-20

-30

-20

-10

-300
-400

x (lunar radii)

-200

x (lunar radii)

20

Moon
10
Moon

-100

-10

-200

-20

-30

-20

-10

x (lunar radii)

-300
-400

-200

x (lunar radii)

Figure A.6 The es ape traje tories of two fast es apers, in luno entri oordinates
(non-rotating frame). The Moon is shown (to s ale) in ea h ase. Left panels: the
hyperboli eje tion out to the lunar Hill sphere (requiring about a day). Right
panels: The traje tory out to about one-half of the Earth's Hill sphere.

141
or se ond lunar en ounter involved. In terms of a pat hed- oni pi ture of the
dynami s, the motion ould be explained as follows. In the lunar frame, the
parti le's spe i orbital energy (i.e., per unit mass) is
1 GMm
EL = vL
(A.4)
2
rL
where the L subs ripts indi ate quantities referred to the Moon, and so rL is the
lunar distan e of the parti le. If the parti le is laun hed at vl =2.4 km/s, then
by the time the parti le rea hes the lunar Hill sphere (at ' 35 lunar radii), its
residual speed should be
GM 1
1)
vr = vl + 2 m (
Rm 35
' 500m=s :
If this residual velo ity were fortuitously added to the lunar velo ity ve tor (Vm '
1 km/s) as dis ussed in onjun tion with Fig. 3.3), then temporarily the parti le
would
p have the es ape speed ne essary to depart geo entri orbit (i.e., about
2  1 km/s at the lunar distan e). However, just rea hing the lunar Hill sphere
is really not su ient sin e the parti le will still have to do work against the
Moon's gravitational eld to get to `in nity'. At in nity the residual velo ity is
only '300 m/s (Eq. 3.2), and thus the parti le should not have enough energy
to es ape geo entri orbit.
The dis ussion just presented is wrong be ause the physi s annot be represented as a superposition of two 2-body problems (i.e., es ape from the Moon
followed by es ape from Earth). Instead, we need to onsider a 4-body problem.
Sin e there is no relevant theory for the dynami s of these parti les a 4-body
ontext, I shall ontinue in the previous vein.
A better way to dis uss the problem is to examine a parti le's orbital energy
in the geo entri frame, viewing the Moon and Sun as obje ts whi h do work on
the parti le. That is, in order to be on a hyperboli geo entri orbit, the parti le
must rea h a positive spe i orbital energy in the expression
1 GM ;
(A.5)
Eg = vg
2
Rg
where the g subs ripts refer to geo entri quantities. Of ourse, this is still using
2-body reasoning, but it should be valid within the Earth's Hill sphere as long as
the obje t is more than several lunar Hill-sphere radii from the Moon (so that the
latter's in uen e on the parti le's geo entri velo ity is negligible). Expression
(A.5) allows us to easily al ulate that the Moon has a spe i orbital energy of
-0.538 MJ/kg (bound orbits have Eg < 0). Thus this mu h work per unit masss
must be performed in the geo entri frame on an es aping parti le in order to
unbind it from Earth orbit.
2

142
200

2.5

2
0
1.5
-200

0.5
-400
0
0

20

40

60

200

400

t (days)

-0.2

-0.2

-0.4

-0.4

-0.6

-0.6
0

20

40

60

100

200

300

t (days)

Figure A.7 The history of a fast es aper. The dashed lines mark the Earth's Hill
sphere. In the upper right panel the orbit is shown proje ted onto a non-rotating
oordinate system in the e lipti plane with the Earth at the origin; during
this parti ular es ape the Sun o upies a point near the positive y-axis (at
y ' 23; 000R). See the text for dis ussion.

143
The energy history for one of the rapidly es aping parti les is shown in
Fig. A.7, where instead of plotting Eg , I have shown
1 GM GMm :
E 0 = vg
(A.6)
2
Rg
Rl
E 0 is more meaningful sin e, at the instant of laun h, the geo entri velo ity
is very large; this is be ause vl = 2:4 km/s, whi h translates into a geo entri
velo ity of vg ' 2:6 km/s for this parti le (upper left panel). The parti le would
thus be immediately unbound if the Moon had no mass. Of ourse, most of
this kineti energy is lost es aping the Moon's gravity-well; this is heuristi ally
orre ted for by the presen e of the lunar term in Eq. A.6. Far from the Moon
E 0 ! Eg .
The lower left panel of Fig. A.7 shows the energy history. In the few days
it takes the parti le to leave the Moon's vi inity, E 0 rst in reases rapidly, and
then drops again. The peak, where the parti le appears temporarily unbound
(E 0 > 0), o urs near the lunar Hill sphere. However, by the time the parti le
es apes to a few lunar Hill-sphere radii the Moon's in uen e is negligible, and
the geo entri energy levels o to a onstant (bound) value of ' 0:2 MJ/kg.
The apogee of this Keplerian orbit would be at ' 313R, whi h is outside the
Earth's Hill sphere of ' 234R. Unsurprisingly, as this parti le approa hes the
Earth's Hill sphere (upper right plot), the Sun's in uen e manifests itself; orbital
energy in reases starting at 2/3 RH . After leaving the Earth's Hill sphere, the
Sun's ontinuing in uen e unbinds the parti le from Earth orbit, and the parti le
es apes to an independent helio entri orbit.
2

A.5

Impli ations

The on lusion that an be drawn from this study is rather dramati : a judi iously hosen laun h at the lunar es ape velo ity an not only es ape the Moon,
but geo entri orbit as well! This an be done in a single stage; no se ond lunar
en ounter is ne essary to take advantage of a gravity assist. Es ape to the Earth's
Hill sphere required approximately one month.
This method is more energy e ient and faster than might be expe ted. Using
2-body reasoning, one might think that enough fuel is needed to papply a v of
2.38 km/s to es ape the lunar gravity eld, and then another ( 2 1) times
the lunar orbital velo ity (400 m/s) to a hieve the transition from a ir ular
geo entri orbit to a hyperboli es ape traje tory. In fa t, the extra 400 m/s of
v is not ne essary. The traje tory is also the fastest, sin e es ape annot o ur
in less than a month if a se ond lunar lose en ounter is required to obtain a
gravity assist.
The dynami s dis ussed here is similar to the 4-body dynami s des ribed by
Belbruno and Miller (1993), who onstru ted energy-optimal transfer traje tories.

144
I have not attempted to dis over how to spe ify the initial onditions whi h
belong to the es aping set; I suspe t that this will be a omplex problem. Su h
a al ulation would be of interest sin e it would provide a low-fuel method to
laun h spa e raft to helio entri spa e from the lunar surfa e.

Appendix B
The Numeri al Method
The helio entri simulations of this thesis were arried out with a Regularized
Mixed Variable Symple ti (RMVS) algorithm. This method allows for the e ient numeri al integration of a large number of test parti les that su er re urring
lose approa hes with planets. The ode was not written as part of this thesis
resear h, although some minor modi ations were made and the ode was rigorously tested. The RMVS algorithm was developed as part of a software pa kage
alled SWIFT (Levison and Dun an 1994) that implements and improves the
mixed-variable symple ti method of Wisdom and Holman (1991).
B.1

Mixed-variable symple ti (MVS)


integrators

These odes are outgrowths of the intense work that has gone into the study
of e ient methods for integrating the equations of motion of Hamiltonian systems in the last two de ades (Ruth 1983, Forest and Ruth 1990, Channell and
S ovel 1990, Yoshida 1993). The di erential equations of motion derived for a
Hamiltonian system have spe ial properties. The goal is to take advantage of
this `symple ti ' stru ture in the phase spa e of these systems; for example, as
parti les move they must remain on a hypersurfa e of onstant energy. Most
numeri al integration algorithms (e.g., Runge-Kutta) do not make allowan es for
this spe ial stru ture, and thus the traje tories drift away from surfa es representing integrals of the motion (for example, the energy or angular momenta may
hange). Symple ti integrators are designed to onserve these invariants; mu h
more omplete dis ussions are given in Gladman et al. (1991) and Yoshida (1993).
The basi algorithm is to break the problem into exa tly soluble pie es, and
then to solve them alternately in su h a fashion as to mat h as losely as possible
the original system. Until 1991 the two pie es of the Hamiltonian used were
the kineti and potential energy fun tions, either of whi h by itself des ribes a
145

146
trivially integrable system (see Gladman et al. 1991).
A further improvement was provided by Wisdom and Holman (1991), who
reated a symple ti integrator that took expli it advantage of the fa t that the
Kepler problem is exa tly soluble. These authors alternate between solving the
Kepler problem and the intera tion Hamiltonian of the system. That is, ea h test
parti le moves along a Kepler ellipse, whi h is then perturbed by the remaining,
non-Keplerian for es. The Kepler problem is solved e iently and exa tly by
using the Gauss f and g fun tions (Danby 1988). The intera tion Hamiltonian
ontains the for es from all the intera tions between the parti les (ex epting the
Sun), and is trivially integrable if expressed in the Ja obi oordinates for the Nbody problem (Wisdom and Holman 1991). Be ause two sets of oordinates are
simultaneously used in the solution, the method is referred to as `Mixed-Variable
Symple ti ' (MVS).
The ode is stru tured in two pie es. The Np planets are integrated in an
N-body fashion; that is, ea h planet feels the gravitional perturbations of all
the others. The number of for e al ulations ne essary per time step s ales as
Np . Simultaneously, the for es exerted by these planets on a large number of
test parti les is al ulated and the test parti le orbits are also evolved. The n
test parti les do not intera t with ea h other or with the planets, and thus the
number of for e al ulations s ales only linearly with n. Therefore the CPU time
t required to perform a simulation for a simulated duration T s ales as t / T Np n.
In this algorithm the non-Keplerian for es must be small in order for the integrator to remain e ient. If the test parti les were to undergo a lose approa h
to a planet, the trun ation error of the algorithm will in rease. De reasing the
time step of a numeri al integrator is a ommon way of dealing with su h a problem. Unfortunately, hanging the time step in a symple ti integrator degrades
the integral onservation properties (Gladman et al. 1991), and thus the MVS
algorithm is best applied to systems that do not undergo lose approa hes (e.g.,
studies of dynami al stability for orbits that are not planet- rossing).
2

B.2

The regularized MVS (RMVS) integrator

Sin e many interesting problems involve planet- rossing orbits, it was important
to attempt to extend the MVS algorithm to allow for test parti les to have repeated lose en ounters. RMVS (Levison and Dun an 1994) uses an adaptive
Hamiltonian that in some sense `regularizes' lose approa hes (produ ing the `R'
in the a ronym). The idea is simple: when a parti le approa hes a planet, instead
of treating the problem as a Kepler orbit about the Sun perturbed by the planet,
the orbit is onsidered to be around the planet and perturbed by the Sun. In
the intermediate regime (near the planetary Hill-sphere) the time step is simply
lowered. Although this destroys the exa t symple ti nature of the algorithm in

147
a rigorous sense, extensive testing has shown (Levison and Dun an 1994, Mi hel
and Valse hi 1996) that the statisti al results of ode are orre t.
The term `regularized' should be applied to this integrator only in an intuitive
sense. Regularization is a mathemati al pro ess that removes a singularity from a
di erential equation. Regularizing the Kepler problem (or the N-body problem)
has been a method of dealing with the for e singularity at r = 0 (see Stiefel and
S hiefele 1971). In this pro ess the Kepler problem is turned into the harmoni
os illator by oordinate transformations; the singularity is thus eliminated from
the equations. In the RMVS algorithm, the singularity is e e tively removed from
the problem by swit hing to a Kepler problem entered on the planet. Using the
exa t solution to the problem provided by the Gauss f and g fun tions then
allows arbitrarily- lose approa hes to be omputed e iently.
The RMVS ode is thus able to deal with large numbers of test parti les
moving in a system with multiple planets. Obje ts not lose to a planet are
integrated with the MVS algorithm. Parti les within 3 Hill-sphere radii of a
planet are temporarily treated di erently than the rest of the bodies; after their
lose en ounter is over they are returned to the swarm of other test parti les.
Only parti les that enter a planetary Hill-sphere have their Hamiltonian re ast
so that the planet is the entral obje t. Upon emerging from the Hill sphere, the
parti les are arefully re-syn hronized with the rest of the integration.
This algorithm is more e ient omputationally (by an order of magnitude)
than all other methods that this author is aware of. Several hundred planet rossing parti les an be integrated in the eld of 7 planets at a rate of order
500,000 years per day of CPU time on a very fast dedi ated workstation. All
told, the lunar simulations required about 5 months of a tual omputer time on
a Hewlett Pa kard 715 with a 75 MHz lo k speed. The martian simulations
required somewhat more time, and were performed on a variety of omputer
platforms.

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