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Title: The abundance of presolar grains in comet 81P/WILD 2

Abstract

We carried out hypervelocity impact experiments in order to test the possibility that presolar grains are preferentially destroyed during impact of the comet 81P/Wild 2 samples into the Stardust Al foil collectors. Powdered samples of the ungrouped carbonaceous chondrite Acfer 094 were shot at 6 km s{sup -1} into Stardust flight spare Al foil. Craters from the Acfer 094 test shots, as well as ones from the actual Stardust cometary foils, were analyzed by NanoSIMS ion imaging to search for presolar grains. We found two O-rich presolar grains and two presolar SiC grains in the Acfer 94 test shots, with measured abundances in the foils of 4 and 5 ppm, respectively, significantly lower than the amount of presolar grains actually present in this meteorite. Based on known abundances of these phases in Acfer 094, we estimate a loss of over 90% of the O-rich presolar grains; the fraction of SiC lost is lower, reflecting its higher resistance to destruction. In the Stardust cometary foils, we identified four O-rich presolar grains in 5000 {mu}m{sup 2} of crater residue. Including a presolar silicate grain found by Leitner et al., the overall measured abundance of O-rich presolar grains in Wild 2 is {approx}35more » ppm. No presolar SiC has been found in the foil searches, although one was identified in the aerogel samples. Based on the known abundances of presolar silicates and oxides in Acfer 094, we can calculate the pre-impact abundances of these grains in the Stardust samples. Our calculations indicate initial abundances of 600-830 ppm for O-rich presolar grains. Assuming a typical diameter of {approx}300 nm for SiC suggests a presolar SiC abundance of {approx}45 ppm. Analyses of the Stardust samples indicated early on that recognizable presolar components were not particularly abundant, an observation that was contrary to expectations that the cometary material would, like interplanetary dust particles, be dominated by primitive materials from the early solar system (including abundant presolar grains), which had remained essentially unaltered over solar system history in the cold environment of the Kuiper Belt. Our work shows that comet Wild 2, in fact, does contain more presolar grains than measurements on the Stardust samples suggest, with abundances similar to those observed in primitive IDPs.« less

Authors:
; ;  [1];  [2]
  1. Laboratory for Space Sciences, Physics Department, Washington University, 1 Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130 (United States)
  2. Impacts and Astromaterials Research Centre, Science Facilities, Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22167100
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Astrophysical Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 763; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 0004-637X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; ABUNDANCE; CHONDRITES; COMETS; CRATERS; DUSTS; FOILS; IONS; OXIDES; POWDERS; SILICATES; SILICON CARBIDES; SOLAR SYSTEM

Citation Formats

Floss, Christine, Stadermann, Frank J., Ong, W. J., Kearsley, Anton T., and Burchell, Mark J., E-mail: floss@wustl.edu. The abundance of presolar grains in comet 81P/WILD 2. United States: N. p., 2013. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/763/2/140.
Floss, Christine, Stadermann, Frank J., Ong, W. J., Kearsley, Anton T., & Burchell, Mark J., E-mail: floss@wustl.edu. The abundance of presolar grains in comet 81P/WILD 2. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/763/2/140.
Floss, Christine, Stadermann, Frank J., Ong, W. J., Kearsley, Anton T., and Burchell, Mark J., E-mail: floss@wustl.edu. Fri . "The abundance of presolar grains in comet 81P/WILD 2". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/763/2/140.
@article{osti_22167100,
title = {The abundance of presolar grains in comet 81P/WILD 2},
author = {Floss, Christine and Stadermann, Frank J. and Ong, W. J. and Kearsley, Anton T. and Burchell, Mark J., E-mail: floss@wustl.edu},
abstractNote = {We carried out hypervelocity impact experiments in order to test the possibility that presolar grains are preferentially destroyed during impact of the comet 81P/Wild 2 samples into the Stardust Al foil collectors. Powdered samples of the ungrouped carbonaceous chondrite Acfer 094 were shot at 6 km s{sup -1} into Stardust flight spare Al foil. Craters from the Acfer 094 test shots, as well as ones from the actual Stardust cometary foils, were analyzed by NanoSIMS ion imaging to search for presolar grains. We found two O-rich presolar grains and two presolar SiC grains in the Acfer 94 test shots, with measured abundances in the foils of 4 and 5 ppm, respectively, significantly lower than the amount of presolar grains actually present in this meteorite. Based on known abundances of these phases in Acfer 094, we estimate a loss of over 90% of the O-rich presolar grains; the fraction of SiC lost is lower, reflecting its higher resistance to destruction. In the Stardust cometary foils, we identified four O-rich presolar grains in 5000 {mu}m{sup 2} of crater residue. Including a presolar silicate grain found by Leitner et al., the overall measured abundance of O-rich presolar grains in Wild 2 is {approx}35 ppm. No presolar SiC has been found in the foil searches, although one was identified in the aerogel samples. Based on the known abundances of presolar silicates and oxides in Acfer 094, we can calculate the pre-impact abundances of these grains in the Stardust samples. Our calculations indicate initial abundances of 600-830 ppm for O-rich presolar grains. Assuming a typical diameter of {approx}300 nm for SiC suggests a presolar SiC abundance of {approx}45 ppm. Analyses of the Stardust samples indicated early on that recognizable presolar components were not particularly abundant, an observation that was contrary to expectations that the cometary material would, like interplanetary dust particles, be dominated by primitive materials from the early solar system (including abundant presolar grains), which had remained essentially unaltered over solar system history in the cold environment of the Kuiper Belt. Our work shows that comet Wild 2, in fact, does contain more presolar grains than measurements on the Stardust samples suggest, with abundances similar to those observed in primitive IDPs.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/763/2/140},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
issn = {0004-637X},
number = 2,
volume = 763,
place = {United States},
year = {2013},
month = {2}
}