Chondritic anhydrous interplanetary dust particles (IDP's) are widely considered to be the most pristine samples available for the study of the early solar system because of their primitive mineralogy, chemistry, and isotopic characteristics. Previously, anhydrous IDP's were analyzed quantitatively for light elements and found that these particles have significantly higher bulk carbon abundances than known chondritic meteorites. A relationship between carbon abundance and silicate mineralogy was also identified which, in general, shows that particles dominated by pyroxenes have a higher carbon abundance than those dominated by olivines. Particles containing equal amounts of olivine and pyroxene show a range of carbon contents and can be grouped with either the pyroxene- or olivine-dominated particles based on their carbon abundance. It was suggested that high carbon pyroxene-rich IDP's are derived from cometary sources. Bulk compositions and mineralogy of our additional IDP's were determined; one particle has the highest carbon abundance reported in IDP's or any other chondritic material, with the possible exception of the carbon-rich Halley particles.
Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
- Pub Date:
- March 1993
- Interplanetary Dust;
- Light Elements;