Handheld and non-destructive methodologies for the compositional investigation of meteorite fragments
In the present study, an innovative methodological approach has been proposed in order to characterize meteoritic samples without removing or causing damage to any part of them. In particular, Raman and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) measurements have been preliminarily performed, using portable instruments, in order to obtain qualitative and semi-quantitative compositional information, respectively. These analyses have been followed and supported by time of flight neutron diffraction (TOF-ND) experiments, which allowed us to perform quantitative mineralogical phase analysis. Such a methodological approach was tested on four meteoritic samples, of different types and sizes, coming from several different regions of the Solar System (e.g., the Moon, Mars and asteroids). The validity and strength of the results obtained using these techniques are discussed and compared with results available in the literature.