Diverse Assemblage of Presolar and Solar System Materials in Anhydrous Interplanetary Dust Particles: Coordinated NanoSIMS and TEM Analyses

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta (in Press) Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2022.09.005]
1Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science, NASA Johnson Space Center, 2101 NASA Parkway, Houston, TX 77058, USA
Copyright Elsevier

A coordinated TEM and NanoSIMS isotopic imaging study of microtome sections of three anhydrous interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) revealed a diverse collection of primitive materials having disparate origins and histories. Presolar silicate grains that likely originated in asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars were present in each IDP at abundances ranging from 140 (+320/-120) ppm to 2000 (+4600/-1700) ppm. A unique compound presolar grain was identified that consisted of a crystalline spinel core and amorphous silicate mantle having heterogeneous Fe content. This compound grain traces the changing conditions in the circumstellar region during condensation and is the first identified presolar spinel in an IDP. A presolar SiC grain, also rare in IDPs, was found to be enriched in 13C, 14N, and 28Si, consistent with mainstream SiC that originated in ∼solar metallicity AGB stars. We determine presolar spinel and presolar SiC abundances of 760 (+1700/-630) ppm and 190 (+440/-160) ppm, respectively, in the individual IDPs.

Two elongate whisker-like enstatite grains and one platy enstatite were found to have near-terrestrial O isotopic compositions (δ18O = -17 – 18 ‰) and show chemical evidence of equilibrium condensation from a high temperature gas. Two highly 16O-rich silicates with near-solar O isotopic compositions (δ18O = -79 ‰ and -83 ‰) were also identified and may represent the primordial dust reservoir. These silicates were crystalline equilibrated aggregates. The wide range of isotopic compositions observed in these silicate grains suggests they condensed from isotopically diverse reservoirs in the protoplanetary disk in different locations and/or times. The 16O-rich grains likely condensed in the inner solar system and were subsequently transported to the outer solar system, while grains having terrestrial O isotopic compositions likely condensed from the gas phase in the terrestrial planet forming region or beyond.

The IDPs showed bulk 15N enrichments (δ15N = 15 – 129 ‰) and contained 15N-rich hotspots up to 1150 ‰, consistent with the presence of molecular cloud material. IDPs U2015D21 and W7013E17 had bulk O isotopic compositions that were offset from the carbonaceous chondrite anhydrous minerals line by ∼10 ‰ to more 17O-rich compositions. This 17O enrichment cannot be explained by the observed abundance of 17O-rich presolar grains in these particles and the source remains unknown. IDP W7027E6 had an unusual isotopically heavy bulk O isotopic composition (δ17,18O = 39 ‰, Δ17O = 19 ‰). W7027E6 lacked hydrous phases and was therefore not likely altered by isotopically heavy primordial water. We propose that the high temperature mineral assemblage in W7027E6 condensed in the inner solar system from an 16O-poor reservoir that existed prior to O isotope homogenization in the early nebula and was subsequently transported to the outer solar system.


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