Tehostekuvassa fysiikan laitosta etuoven suunnalta

5. Meteorite petrophysics

Participating scientists

  • L.J. Pesonen, project leader
  • T. Kohout, Ph.D.
  • R. Klein, M.Sc.
  • A. Bishoff (University of Münster, Germany)
  • K. Kinnunen (Geological Survey of Finland)
  • P. Rochette and J. Cattacea (CNRS, France)
  • P.J. Wasilewski and G. Kletetschka (NASA, GSFC)
  • A. Luttinen and M. Lehtinen (Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki)
  • P. Pruner (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic)

Project goals

To further develop the "harmless" petrophysical classification of meteorites. Study of the effects of weathering (terrestrial vs. space) and shock metamorphism on physical properties of meteorites. Distinction between falls and finds (altered and fresh specimens). Study of the petrophysical properties of chondritic meteorites in order to identify their history and the physical state of their asteroidal parent bodies (e.g. onion structure vs. rubble pile). Studies of Martian and Lunar meteorites and their significance in understanding ancient magnetic field on Mars and Moon.


  • Physical properties including density, porosity and magnetic properties are being investigated by non-destructive methods.
  • Mobile laboratory facility is used for meteorite measurements in remote meteorite collections.
Neuschwanstein meteorite

(D) IRM acquisition (circles), IRM demagnetization (triangles) and NRM demagnetizaiton (squares) measured on a chip of Neuschwanstein meteorite interior. The difference between IRM demagnetization and NRM demagnetization behavior show complex NRM history. (b) The chip that arrived to Helsinki, about 5mm wide. (c) The finding from Neuschwanstein, about 20cm wide.

Recent publications

  • Kohout, T., Gritsevich, M.I., Grokhovsky, V.I., Yakovlev, G.A., Haloda, J., Halodova, P., Michallik, R.M., Penttilä, A., Muinonen, K., 2013. Mineralogy, reflectance spectra, and physical properties of the Chelyabinsk LL5 chondrite, insight into shock induced changes in asteroid regoliths. Icarus, in press.
  • Pesonen, L.J., Klein, R., Kohout, T., 2013. Two striking meteorite events: "The Roof Meteorite" Oslo 2012 and the "Catastrophic" Chelyabinsk 2013 Meteorite. Working Papers of the Finnish Forest Research Institute: FinCOSPAR 2013 - Abstracts 29th-30th August, Vantaa, Finland.
  • Čuda, J., Kohout, T., Tucek, J., Filip, J., Medrik, I., Mashlan, M., Zboríl, R., 2012. Mössbauer study and magnetic measurement of troilite extract from natan iron meteorite. AIP Conference Proceedings. 1489, 145-154.
  • Čuda, J., Kohout, T., Filip, J., Tucek, J., Kosterov, A., Haloda, J., Skala, R., Santala, E., Medrík, I., Zboríl, R., 2011. Low-temperature magnetism of alabandite: Crucial role of surface oxidation. American Mineralogist, 98(8-9), 1550-1556.
  • Paton, M., Muinonen, K., Pesonen, L.J., Kuosmanen, L.J., Kohout, T., Laitinen, J., Lehtinen, M., 2011. A PCA study to determine how features in meteorite reflectance spectra vary with the sample's physical properties. Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, 112(11), 1803-1814.
  • Kohout, T., Donadini, F., Pesonen, L.J., Uehara, M., 2010. Rock Magnetic Studies of the Neuschwanstein EL6 Chondrite - Implications on the Origin of its Natural Remanent Magnetization. Geophysica, 46(1-2), 3-19.
  • Kohout, T., Kletetschko, G., Elbra, T., Adachi, T., Mikula, V., Pesonen, L.J., Schnabl, P., Schlechta, S., 2008. Physical properties of meteorites- applications in space missions to asteroids. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 43(6), 1009-1020.
  • Kohout, T., Kosterov, A., Jackson, M., Pesonen, L.J., Kletetschka, G., Lehtinen, M., 2007. Low-temperature magnetic properties of the Neuschwanstein EL6 meteorite. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 261, 143-151.
  • Kohout T., Cheron A., Donadini F., Kletetschka G., Pesonen, L.J. (2005), The possible scenarios of the Neuschwanstein's NRM. Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 7, EGU05-A- 04203, 2005.
  • Kohout T., Donadini F., Pesonen, L.J. (2004): Petrophysical Charasteristic of Neuschwanstein EL-6 Chondrite. Meteoritics & Planetary Science Supplement 39 (4), A54, 2004.
  • Kohout T., Cheron A., Donadini F., Kletetschka G., Pesonen, L.J. (2004), The possible scenarios of the Neuschwanstein meteorite history based on physical properties. Eos Trans. AGU, 85(47), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract MR11A-0905.

Application of research results

  • Future planetary sample return programmes
  • Material parameters for the future NEO mitigation systems