The importance of experiments: Constraints on chondrule formation models

Steven Desch, Melissa A. Morris, Harold C. Connolly, Alan P. Boss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


We review a number of constraints that have been placed on the formation of chondrules and show how these can be used to test chondrule formation models. Four models in particular are examined: the "X-wind" model (sudden exposure to sunlight <0.1AU from the proto-Sun, with subsequent launching in a magnetocentrifugal outflow); solar nebula lightning; nebular shocks driven by eccentric planetesimals; and nebular shocks driven by diskwide gravitational instabilities. We show that constraints on the thermal histories of chondrules during their melting and crystallization are the most powerful constraints and provide the least ambiguous tests of the chondrule formation models. Such constraints strongly favor melting of chondrules in nebular shocks. Shocks driven by gravitational instabilities are somewhat favored over planetesimal bow shocks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1139-1156
Number of pages18
JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The importance of experiments: Constraints on chondrule formation models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this