GEMS, hydrated chondritic IDPs, CI‐matrix material: Sources of water in 81P/comet Wild 2

1Frans J. M. Rietmeijer
Meteoritics & Planetary Science (in Press) Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1111/maps.13201]
1Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons

So far there is no conclusive evidence for water in the nucleus of 81P/comet Wild 2. Recently magnetite in collected Wild 2 samples was cited as proxy evidence for parent body aqueous alteration in this comet (Hicks et al. 2017). A potentional source for water of hydration would be layer silicates but unfortunately there is no record, neither texturally nor chemically, for hydrated layer silicates that survived hypervelocity impact in the Wild 2 samples. This paper reports large vesicles in the matrix of allocation C2044,2,41,2,5 from a volatile‐rich type B/C Stardust track. These vesicles were probably caused by boiling water that were generated when hydrated Wild 2 silicates impacted the near‐surface silica aerogel layer. Potential water sources were partially and fully hydrated GEMS (glass with embedded metal and sulfides) and CI carbonaceous chondrite materials among the earliest dusts that experienced hydration and icy‐body formation and long‐range transport and mixing with materials from across the solar system.

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