Underground radioactivity measurements of meteorites: Development of methods suitable to determine precise terrestrial age of recent falls

Zbigniew Tymiński, Mikael Hult*, Agata M. Krzesińska, Katarzyna Tymińska, Guillaume Lutter, Paweł Saganowski, Gerd Marissens, Heiko Stroh, Agnieszka Burakowska, Tomasz Ziemek, Marcin Stachowicz, Ahmed El-Mallul

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

The L6 chondritic meteorite, HaH-346, fell in Libya. However, neither the exact date of the fall nor the exact size of the original meteoroid or asteroid is known. A specimen of the meteorite, weighing 488 g, was measured using ultra low-background gamma-ray spectrometry in the 225 m deep underground facility HADES. Activation products 22Na, 26Al, 60Co, 57Co, 54Mn and 44Ti were detected. The detection efficiency was determined by 3D scanning the meteorite and introducing this in the computer model of the detector and sample implemented in the MCNP6.2 Monte Carlo code. The activities of 22Na and 26Al support the hypothesis that the fall took place on 26 August 2018. Furthermore, the 60Co and 26Al activities indicate that the original radius of meteoroid was between 50 and 80 cm, which suggests the mass prior to atmospheric entry was between 2400 and 7300 kg.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110733
JournalApplied Radiation and Isotopes
Volume195
Number of pages7
ISSN0969-8043
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) – Research Infrastructure Access Agreement No. 35714/1/2019-RD-EUFRAT-HADES awarded to the National Centre for Nuclear Research Radioisotope Centre POLATOM in Poland. AMK acknowledges support from Research Council of Norway through its Centres of Excellence funding scheme, project number 223272.

Keywords

  • Meteorites
  • Cosmogenic radionuclides
  • Ultra-low background gamma-spectrometry

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