4,425 research outputs found

    Impact and collisional processes in the solar system

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    The mechanical and thermodynamic aspects of shock impact cratering and accretionary processes on solid planets and satellites are being investigated experimentally. The recently proposed model of Melosh, describing the physics controlling the size and velocity of only lightly shocked spalled ejecta surrounding the crushed rock region of an impact crater, was studied at the Ames gun facility. Spall velocity measurements using lead and aluminum bullets were conducted. In addition, shock temperatures of silicates and volatile-bearing minerals were measured using radiative techniques. Finally impact devolatilization of minerals and accretion of planetary atmospheres were examined. Measurements of the release isentropes of CaCO3 were carried out. The effect on the water budgets of planets of reactions which occur when metallic iron (which would be present in chondritic material) is introduced into a simple accretion model is under investigation

    Proposed Earth based cratering experiments at low G in hard vacuum

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    In order to address the question of whether the cratering scale which was developed can be extrapolated to low velocity (of planetesimals appropriate for conditions during accretion of the planets and the impact mechanics of encounters of both asteroids and the solid objects which comprise the rings of the outer major planets), a series of experiments at low gravity and at high vacuum are proposed. Specific issues which could be addressed include: the effect of very low gravity on cratering efficiency and final crater shape; and the dynamics of impact into a strengthless spherical and ellipsoidal liquid target

    Impact of an asteroid or comet in the ocean and extinction of terrestrial life

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    Finite difference calculations describing the impact mechanics associated with a 10 to 30 km diameter silicate or water object impacting a 5 km deep ocean overlying a silicate solid planet demonstrate that from 12 to 15% of the bolide energy resides in the water. It is speculated that minimal global tsunami run-up heights on the continents would be 300-400 meters, and that such waves would inundate all low altitude continental areas, and strip and silt-over virtually all vegetation. As a result the terrestrial animal food chain would be seriously perturbed. This could in turn cause extinction of large terrestrial animals

    Penetration depth time history measurement method

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    A new method for measuring the depth time history of rigid body penetration into brittle materials under a deceleration of ~10^5 g. The method includes: sabot-projectile, sabot-projectile separation and penetration depth detection systems. Relatively small intrinsic time error (3%) and depth error (0.3–0.7 mm) results. Penetration depth time history in a series of 4140 steel projectile penetrations into a mortar are measured at velocities of 100 to 500 m/sec with sufficient accuracy such that differentiation with respect to time yields stopping force, via Newton's second law

    Shock wave propagation in porous ice

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    We present data on shock wave propagation in porous ice under conditions applicable to the outer solar system. The equation of state of porous ice under low temperature and low pressure conditions agrees well with measurements under terrestrial conditions implying that data on terrestrial snow may be applicable to the outer solar system. We also observe rarefaction waves from small regions of increased porosity and calculate release wave velocities

    Impact and explosion crater ejecta, fragment size, and velocity

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    A model was developed for the mass distribution of fragments that are ejected at a given velocity for impact and explosion craters. The model is semi-empirical in nature and is derived from (1) numerical calculations of cratering and the resultant mass versus ejection velocity, (2) observed ejecta blanket particle size distributions, (3) an empirical relationship between maximum ejecta fragment size and crater diameter and an assumption on the functional form for the distribution of fragements ejected at a given velocity. This model implies that for planetary impacts into competent rock, the distribution of fragments ejected at a given velocity are nearly monodisperse, e.g., 20% of the mass of the ejecta at a given velocity contain fragments having a mass less than 0.1 times a mass of the largest fragment moving at that velocity. Using this model, the largest fragment that can be ejected from asteroids, the moon, Mars, and Earth is calculated as a function of crater diameter. In addition, the internal energy of ejecta versus ejecta velocity is found. The internal energy of fragments having velocities exceeding the escape velocity of the moon will exceed the energy required for incipient melting for solid silicates and thus, constrains the maximum ejected solid fragment size

    Oblique impact: A process for providing meteorite samples of other planets

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    Cratering flow calculations for a series of oblique to normal impacts of silicate projectiles onto a silicate halfspace were carried out to determine whether the gas produced upon shock vaporizing both projectile and planetary material could entrain and accelerate surface rocks and thus provide a mechanism for propelling SNC meteorites from the Martian surface. The difficult constraints that the impact origin hypothesis for SNC meteorites has to satisfy are that these meteorites are lightly to moderately shocked and yet were accelerated to speeds in excess of the Martian escape velocity. Two dimensional finite difference calculations demonstrate that at highly probable impact velocities, vapor plume jets are produced at oblique impact angles of 25 deg to 60 deg and have speeds as great as 20 km/sec. These plumes flow nearly parallel to the planetary surface. It is shown that upon impact of projectiles having radii of 0.1 to 1 km, the resulting vapor jets have densities of 0.1 to 1 g/cu.cm. These jets can entrain Martian surface rocks and accelerate them to velocities 5 km/sec. It is suggested that this mechanism launches SNC meteorites to Earth

    Shock vaporization and the accretion of the icy satellites of Jupiter and Saturn

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    The role of impact vaporization acting during the formation of the Jovian and Saturnian satellites is examined in an attempt to explain the observed density in terms of composition of these rock and ice objects. A hypothesis is examined which states that the smaller satellites of Saturn having mean densities in the 1.1 to 1.4 Mg/cu m range represent primordial accreted planetesimal condensates formed in the proto-Jovian and Saturnian accretionary planetary discs. These densities are in the range expected for water-ice/silicate mixtures constrained in the solar values of O/Si and O/Mg atomic ratios. It is demonstrated that if the large satellites accreted from the same group of planetesimals which formed the small Saturnian satellites impact vaporization of water upon accretion in a porous regolith, at low H2O partial pressure, can account for the increase in mean planetesimal density from 1.6 Mg/cu m (43% H2O + 57% silicate) to a mean planetary density of 1.9 Mg/cu m for Ganymedean-sized water silicate objects. If impact volatilization of initially porous planetesimals is assumed, it can be demonstrated starting with planetesimals composed of 54% H2O and 40% silicate partial devolatilization upon accretion will yield a Ganymede-sized planet, having a radius of 2600 km and a density of 1.85 kg/cu m, similar to that of Ganymede, Callisto, and Titan

    Dynamic compression and volatile release of carbonates

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    Particle velocity profiles upon shock compression and isentropic releases were measured for polycrystalline calcite. The Solenhofen limestone release paths lie, close to the Hugoniot. Calcite 3 to 2 transition, upon release, was observed, but rarefaction shocks were not detected. The equation of state is used to predict the fraction of material devolatilized upon isentropic release as a function of shock pressure. The effect of ambient partial pressure of CO2 on the calculations is demonstrated and considered in models of atmospheric evolution by impact induced mineral devolatilization. The radiative characteristics of shocked calcite indicate that localization of thermal energy occurs under shock compression. Shock entropy calculations result in a minimum estimate of 90% devolatilization upon complete release from 10 GPa. Isentropic release paths from calculated continuum Hugoniot temperatures cross into the CaO (solid) + CO2 (vapor) field at improbably low pressures. It is found that release paths from measured shock temperatures cross into the melt plus vapor field at pressures greater than .5 GPa, which suggests that devolatilization is initiated at the shear banding sites

    Numerical Modeling of Shock-Induced Damage for Granite under Dynamic Loading

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    Johnson-Holmquist constitutive model for brittle materials, coupled with a crack softening model, is used to describe the deviatoric and tensile crack propagation beneath impact crater in granite. Model constants are determined either directly from static uniaxial strain loading experiments, or indirectly from numerical adjustment. Constants are put into AUTODYN-2D from Century Dynamics to simulate the shock-induced damage in granite targets impacted by projectiles at different velocities. The agreement between experimental data and simulated results is encouraging. Instead of traditional grid-based methods, a Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics solver is used to define damaged regions in brittle media
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