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Metastable carbon in two chondritic porous interplanetary dust particles

By F. J. M. Rietmeijer and Ian D. R. Mackinnon


An understanding of carbonaceous matter in primitive extraterrestrial materials is an essential component of studies on dust evolution in the interstellar medium and the early history of the Solar System. We have suggested previously that a record of graphitization is preserved in chondritic porous (CP) aggregates and carbonaceous chondrites1,2 and that the detailed mineralogy of CP aggregates can place boundary conditions on the nature of both physical and chemical processes which occurred at the time of their formation2,3. Here, we report further analytical electron microscope (AEM) studies on carbonaceous material in two CP aggregates which suggest that a record of hydrocarbon carbonization may also be preserved in these materials. This suggestion is, based upon the presence of well-ordered carbon-2H (lonsdaleite) in CP aggregates W7029*A and W7010*A2. This carbon is a metastable phase resulting from hydrous pyrolysis below 300-350°C and may be a precursor to poorly graphitized carbons (PGCs) in primitive extraterrestrial materials2. © 1987 Nature Publishing Group

Topics: 040302 Extraterrestrial Geology, 040306 Mineralogy and Crystallography, interplanetary dust, stratospheric dust collection, chondritic porous aggregates, metastable carbon, ordered carbon 2H, extraterrestrial materials, carbonaceous chondrites
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Year: 1987
DOI identifier: 10.1038/326162a0
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