Thermal History of CBb Chondrules and Cooling Rate Distributions of Ejecta Plumes

R. H. Hewins1,2, C. Condie1,3, M. Morris4, M. L. A. Richardson5, N. Ouellette4, and M. Metcalf4
Astrophysical Journal Letters 855, L17 Link to Article [DOI: 10.3847/2041-8213/aab15b]
1EPS, Rutgers University, Piscataway NJ 08816, USA
2IMPMC, MNHN, UPMC, Sorbonne Universités, Paris F-75005, France
3Natural Science, Middlesex Community College, Edison, NJ 08818, USA
4Physics, SUNY at Cortland, NY 13045, USA
5Sub-department of Astrophysics, University of Oxford, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH, UK

It has been proposed that some meteorites, CB and CH chondrites, contain material formed as a result of a protoplanetary collision during accretion. Their melt droplets (chondrules) and FeNi metal are proposed to have formed by evaporation and condensation in the resulting impact plume. We observe that the skeletal olivine (SO) chondrules in CBb chondrites have a blebby texture and an enrichment in refractory elements not found in normal chondrules. Because the texture requires complete melting, their maximum liquidus temperature of 1928 K represents a minimum temperature for the putative plume. Dynamic crystallization experiments show that the SO texture can be created only by brief reheating episodes during crystallization, giving a partial dissolution of olivine. The ejecta plume formed in a smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulation served as the basis for 3D modeling with the adaptive mesh refinement code FLASH4.3. Tracer particles that move with the fluid cells are used to measure the in situ cooling rates. Their cooling rates are ~10,000 K hr−1 briefly at peak temperature and, in the densest regions of the plume, ~100 K hr−1 for 1400–1600 K. A small fraction of cells is seen to be heating at any one time, with heating spikes explained by the compression of parcels of gas in a heterogeneous patchy plume. These temperature fluctuations are comparable to those required in crystallization experiments. For the first time, we find an agreement between experiments and models that supports the plume model specifically for the formation of CBb chondrules.


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