Bulk mineralogy and three-dimensional structures of individual Stardust particles deduced from synchrotron X-ray diffraction and microtomography analysis

Tomoki Nakamura, Akira Tsuchiyama, Takeshi Akaki, Kentaro Uesugi, Tsukasa Nakano, Akihisa Takeuchi, Yoshio Suzuki, Takaaki Noguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

During preliminary examination of particles released from 81P/Wild 2 short-period comet, we analyzed 28 particles by nondestructive means, high-sensitive X-ray diffraction and high-resolution X-ray tomography, in order to characterize bulk mineralogy and three-dimensional structures of individual particles. The analyses were performed at synchrotron facilities, KEK and SPring-8 in Japan. Twenty-eight particles from 5 to 25 μm in size, including 25 particles from Track 35 and 3 particles from Track 44, were first analyzed by X-ray diffraction and then 4 out of 28 particles were analyzed by X-ray tomography. All particles are classified into two groups based on silicate crystallinity: crystalline type and amorphous-rich type. The abundance of the former is approximately 10% of the particles investigated. Crystalline type shows very sharp reflections of olivine and low-Ca pyroxene, while amorphous-rich type shows no or very weak silicate reflections, suggesting that silicates are mostly amorphous. Broad reflections of Fe sulfides and Fe silicides are detected from most of amorphous-rich type particles. Subsequent tomography analysis revealed that the crystalline type is non-porous material consisting of coarse silicate crystals larger than 1 μm in size, while the amorphous-rich type is very porous aggregates with amorphous silicates and small Fe sulfide and Fe metallic grains. All characteristics of amorphous-rich type particles indicate that most of them are melted and rapidly solidified during capture in the silica aerogel. On the other hand, the crystalline type is indigenous cometary particle formed through high-temperature heating episodes that have taken place prior to formation of comet Wild 2. One of the crystalline-type particles (C2054,0,35,6,0) consists of Mg-rich olivine, pyroxene, and kamacite and exhibits porphyritic or poikilitic texture very similar to chondrules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-259
Number of pages13
JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
Volume43
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

    Fingerprint

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this