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Testing the robustness of the derived strength scale-dependence of ordinary chondrites: The case of the Leedey (L6) and Hammadah al Hamra 346 (L6) meteorites.

Presentation #510.08 in the session Asteroids: Planetary Defense (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Testing the robustness of the derived strength scale-dependence of ordinary chondrites: The case of the Leedey (L6) and Hammadah al Hamra 346 (L6) meteorites.

The scales of asteroid strength, from centimeters to tens of meters or more, can in principle be connected via the well-known Weibull theory (Weibull 1951) that explains in probabilistic terms why small samples of a rock are stronger than the whole. There are fewer weak flaws to be exploited in a smaller sample. This leads to a statistical understanding of size-dependent strength that has been implemented in fragmentation and damage models for planetary materials (Melosh et al., 1992; Benz and Asphaug 1994, 1995). The Weibull analysis enabled Cotto-Figueroa et al. (2016) to extrapolate laboratory measurements of meteorite strength of a carbonaceous (Allende, CV3) and an ordinary chondrite meteorite (Tamdakht, H5) to make predictions about the estimated strengths of objects of similar material, meters to tens of meters in size, i.e. large boulders on asteroids, and major atmospheric bolides. However, the application of size-dependent strength modeling to L-chondrite meteorites is perplexing. Recent studies of the Aba Panu (L3) and Viñales (L6) meteorites (Rabbi et al. 2021, 2023; Cotto-Figueroa et al. 2020, 2023), showed that they were more homogeneous than the meteorites previously studied, exhibiting therefore higher strengths at meter-scales, especially in the case of Aba Panu. The implication from the studies of the Aba Panu and Viñales meteorites is that meter-sized L-chondrite bolides should have greater airburst strengths than other ordinary chondrites. However, the reported “L fireballs” are quite weak. We are therefore conducting additional laboratory measurements of meteorite strength of two other L6 ordinary chondrites. Here, we present preliminary results obtained from 1-cm cubes of the Leedey and Hammadah al Hamra (HaH) 346 meteorites. Leedey fell in 1943 over Leedey, Oklahoma in the United States while HaH 346 is a find of 2019, but a possible fall of a 2018 large fireball that was widely seen and heard around the southern area of the Jabal al Gharbi District of Libya. Our goal is to better understand the scale-dependent mechanical properties of Near-Earth Objects and their components to help developing mitigation strategies from Potentially Hazardous Asteroids and for understanding properties of materials on asteroids during human and robotic exploration.

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