In this paper we investigate two major issues: (1) What are chondrules, and (2) why do they exist? We review the literature pertaining to each question and explore answers. We discuss the diversity of chondrules, especially with regard to their igneous textures and compositions. We review the constraints that have been placed experimentally on the thermal histories of chondrules and list those fundamental properties that all chondrule formation models must explain quantitatively in order to be considered predictive, quantitative models. We provide background on the three major classes of chondrule formation models currently being discussed, and scrutinize each with respect to how well they adhere to the experimental constraints placed on chondrule formation. Finally, we list several unresolved issues that are now or will soon be at the forefront of chondrule research.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geochemistry and Petrology