Synchrotron Fe-K X-ray absorption spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy have been used to investigate the mineralogy and Fe-redox variations in the space-weathered (SW) rims of asteroidal samples. This study focuses on the FIB lift-out sections from five Itokawa grains, returned by the Hayabusa spacecraft, including samples RB-QD04-0063, RB-QD04-0080, RB-CV-0011, RB-CV-0089, and RB-CV-0148. Each of the samples featured partially amorphized SW rims, caused by irradiation damage from implanted low mass solar wind ions, and the impacting of micrometeorites. Using bright-field and HAADF-STEM imaging, vesicular blistering and nanophase Fe metal (npFe0) particles were observed within grain rims, and solar flare tracks were observed in the substrate host grain, confirming the presence of SW zones. We use Fe-K XANES mapping to investigate Fe-redox changes between the host mineral and the SW zones. All SW zones measured show some increases in the ferric-ferrous ratio (Fe3+/ΣFe) relative to their respective host grains, likely the result of the implanted solar wind H+ ions reacting with the segregated ferrous Fe in the surface material.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Space and Planetary Science