The complicated geologic history of asteroid 4 vesta
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The Complicated Geologic History of Asteroid 4 Vesta. Spectral studies of the HED meteorites show that they likely come from asteroid 4 Vesta. HED stands for: Howardites, which are mixtures of: Eucrites (basaltic lava flows) Diogenites (orthopyroxenites)

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The Complicated Geologic History of Asteroid 4 Vesta

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The complicated geologic history of asteroid 4 vesta

The Complicated Geologic History of Asteroid 4 Vesta

  • Spectral studies of the HED meteorites show that they likely come from asteroid 4 Vesta.

  • HED stands for:

    • Howardites, which are mixtures of:

    • Eucrites (basaltic lava flows)

    • Diogenites (orthopyroxenites)

  • The howardites contain rock and mineral fragments, and impact-produced glasses

  • The glass fragments and spherules record the compositions of a wide range of lithologies on Vesta


The complicated geologic history of asteroid 4 vesta1

The Complicated Geologic History of Asteroid 4 Vesta

  • Rock samples of eucrites plot in the basalt field on this widely-used diagram to classify igneous rocks.

  • Most glasses are similar to the rocks, but are enriched in alkalis

  • A few glasses are enriched in SiO2 and alkalis, falling into the dacite field (≈ granite)

  • This indicates that extensive fractional crystallization of magmas occurred on Vesta


The complicated geologic history of asteroid 4 vesta2

The Complicated Geologic History of Asteroid 4 Vesta

An interesting picture of Vesta:

  • Metamorphism

  • Intrusions into the crust: magmatic differentiation, contact metamorphism

  • Partial melting of the crust in some places

  • Magma mixing between crustal partial melts and eucrite basalt magma

  • Eucrite basalt magma migration through crust

  • Granites could form in intrusions or in the residual magma ocean


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