Mineralogy and petrology of comet 81P/wild 2 nucleus samples

Michael E. Zolensky, Thomas J. Zega, Hajime Yano, Sue Wirick, Andrew J. Westphal, Mike K. Weisberg, Iris Weber, Jack L. Warren, Michael A. Velbel, Akira Tsuchiyama, Peter Tsou, Alice Toppani, Naotaka Tomioka, Kazushige Tomeoka, Nick Teslich, Mitra Taheri, Jean Susini, Rhonda Stroud, Thomas Stephan, Frank J. StadermannChristopher J. Snead, Steven B. Simon, Alexandre Simionovici, Thomas H. See, François Robert, Frans J.M. Rietmeijer, William Rao, Murielle C. Perronnet, Dimitri A. Papanastassiou, Kyoko Okudaira, Kazumasa Ohsumi, Ichiro Ohnishi, Keiko Nakamura-Messenger, Tomoki Nakamura, Small Mostefaoui, Takashi Mikouchi, Anders Meibom, Graciela Matrajt, Matthew A. Marcus, Hugues Leroux, Laurence Lemelle, Loan Le, Antonio Lanzirotti, Falko Langenhorst, Alexander N. Krot, Lindsay P. Keller, Anton T. Kearsley, David Joswiak, Damien Jacob, Hope Ishii, Ralph Harvey, Kenji Hagiya, Lawrence Grossman, Jeffrey H. Grossman, Giles A. Graham, Matthieu Gounalle, Philippe Gillet, Matthew J. Genge, George Flynn, Tristan Ferroir, Stewart Fallon, Denton S. Ebel, Zu Rong Dai, Patrick Cordier, Benton Clark, Miaofang Chi, Anna L. Butterworth, Donald E. Brownlee, John C. Bridges, Sean Brennan, Adrian Brearley, John P. Bradley, Pierre Bleuet, Phil A. Bland, Ron Bastien

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Abstract

The bulk of the comet 81P/Wild 2 (hereafter Wild 2) samples returned to Earth by the Stardust spacecraft appear to be weakly constructed mixtures of nanometer-scale grains, with occasional much larger (over 1 micrometer) ferromagnesian silicates, Fe-Ni sulfides, Fe-Ni metal, and accessory phases. The very wide range of olivine and low-Ca pyroxene compositions in comet Wild 2 requires a wide range of formation conditions, probably reflecting very different formation locations in the protoplanetary disk. The restricted compositional ranges of Fe-Ni sulfides, the wide range for silicates, and the absence of hydrous phases indicate that comet Wild 2 experienced little or no aqueous alteration. Less abundant Wild 2 materials include a refractory particle, whose presence appears to require radial transport in the early protoplanetary disk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1735-1739
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume314
Issue number5806
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 2006

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    Zolensky, M. E., Zega, T. J., Yano, H., Wirick, S., Westphal, A. J., Weisberg, M. K., Weber, I., Warren, J. L., Velbel, M. A., Tsuchiyama, A., Tsou, P., Toppani, A., Tomioka, N., Tomeoka, K., Teslich, N., Taheri, M., Susini, J., Stroud, R., Stephan, T., ... Bastien, R. (2006). Mineralogy and petrology of comet 81P/wild 2 nucleus samples. Science, 314(5806), 1735-1739. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1135842