Preliminary results of the analyses of five carbonaceous materials (particle size of approximately 50 μm) from the Hayabusa spacecraft sample catcher, including their texture, chemistry, and chemical/isotopic compositions, are summarized. The carbonaceous particles underwent sequential analysis using a series of microanalytical instruments located at several research institutes and universities. Collected particles were initially classified into four categories: two categories containing extraterrestrial silicate particles, one category containing metal and quartz particles consistent with contamination from the sample catcher or sample manipulation tools, and a final category containing carbonaceous particles. Analysis of this final category was the main focus of this study. Through examination of the carbonaceous materials, the appropriate analytical processes for sample transportation and handling were optimized to minimize sample damage and terrestrial contamination. Particles were investigated by transmission electron microscopy/scanning transmission electron microscopy, and Ca-carbonate inclusions were found in one particle. In a different particle, a heterogeneous distribution of silicon in a uniform C, N, and O matrix was found. Though further analysis is required for a strict determination of particle origin, the differences in the microstructure and elemental distribution of the carbonaceous particles suggest multiple origins.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Space and Planetary Science