chondrule

noun chon·drule \ ˈkän-(ˌ)drül \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of chondrule

: a rounded granule of cosmic origin often found embedded in meteoric stones and sometimes free in marine sediments

Origin and Etymology of chondrule

chondrus, earlier term for a chondrule (borrowed from Greek chóndros "grainofwheat,salt,etc.") + -ule — more at chondro-
Note: The term chondrule was apparently first used by American geologists; the earliest published use is perhaps in Edward S. Dana and Samuel L. Penfield, "OntwohithertoundescribedMeteoricStones," American Journal of Science, 3rd series, vol. 33 (1886), p. 227: "Theolivineisthemostprominentconstituent.Thisappearsfrequentlyinspherulesor'chondrules'ofthesizeofverysmallshot…" Chondrus (plural chondri or, irregularly, chondra) occurs earlier, as in Walter Flight's translation ("TheFormationofMeteorites,andVolcanicAgency," The London, Edinburgh and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, 5th series, no. 1, Supplement, June, 1876, pp. 497-507) of an article by the Austrian mineralogist Gustav Tschermak von Seysenegg, "DieBildungderMeteoritenundderVulcanismus" (Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Classe, 71. Band, 2. Abtheilung (1875), pp. 661-673). Flight translates Kügelchen in Tschermak's German text as both "spherules" and "chondra." At around the same time German-language authors use the word with the plural form Chondren, either independently or following Anglo-American writers (see, for example, Carl Gümbel, "UeberdieinBayerngefundenenSteinmeteoriten," Sitzungsberichte der mathematisch-physikalischen Classe der k.b. Akademie der Wissenschaften zu München, Band 8, Jahrgang 1878, pp. 14-72).


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