A critical tool for evaluating the lunar magma ocean hypothesis and the evolution of younger magmas on the Moon has been a series of equilibrium and fractional crystallization computer programs developed by John Longhi. Those programs, originally developed in FORTRAN, have been translated for the MATLAB platform by Jesse Davenport (formerly at the University of Notre Dame and now at the Centre de Recherches Petrographiques et Geochimiques), Clive Neal and Diogo Bolster (University of Notre Dame), Brad Jolliff (University of Washington St. Louis), and John Longhi (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory). The new suite of programs is being called Simulating Planetary Igneous Crystallization Environments or SPICEs.

The new SPICEs program is being made available by the LPI through the “Computational Tools” section of its Lunar Science and Exploration information portal (point of contact David Kring).

Although the program was developed for the Moon, it is useful for studies of the Earth, Mars, Venus, Mercury, and differentiated asteroids whenever olivine is an initial liquidus phase. It also permits tracking of crystallization paths on certain ternary (and pseudoternary) diagrams.

We are pleased LPI has made to these programs available to the entire planetary science community.

Posted by: Soderman/SSERVI Staff
Source: LPI

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The distance to the Moon is measured to a precision of a few centimeters by bouncing laser beams off reflectors placed there by the Apollo astronauts.

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