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Fine-grained material of 81P/Wild 2 in interaction with the Stardust aerogel

Abstract : The deceleration tracks in the Stardust aerogel display a wide range of morphologies, which reveal a large diversity of incoming particles from comet 81P/Wild 2. If the large and dense mineral grains survived the extreme conditions of hypervelocity capture, this was not the case for the fine‐grained material that is found strongly damaged within the aerogel. Due to their low mechanical strength, these assemblages were disaggregated, dispersed, and flash melted in the aerogel in walls of bulbous deceleration tracks. Their petrologic and mineralogical properties are found significantly modified by the flash heating of the capture. Originating from a quenched melt mixture of comet material and aerogel, the representative microstructure consists of silica‐rich glassy clumps containing Fe‐Ni‐S inclusions, vesicles and “dust‐rich” patches, the latter being remnants of individual silicate components of the impacting aggregate. The average composition of these melted particle fragments is close to the chondritic CI composition. They might originate from ultrafine‐grained primitive components comparable to those found in chondritic porous IDPs. Capture effects in aerogel and associated sample biases are discussed in terms of size, chemical and mineralogical properties of the grains. These properties are essential for the grain survival in the extremely hot environment of hypervelocity impact capture in aerogel, and thus for inferring the correct properties of Wild 2 material.
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Soumis le : jeudi 11 février 2021 - 10:42:00
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Hugues Leroux. Fine-grained material of 81P/Wild 2 in interaction with the Stardust aerogel. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, Wiley, 2012, Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 47, pp.613-622. ⟨10.1111/j.1945-5100.2011.01309.x⟩. ⟨hal-03138448⟩



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