A seed of solar forsterite and possible new evolutional scenario of cosmic silicates

Yuki Kimura, Joseph A. Nuth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Laboratory experiments suggest that magnesium silicide (Mg2Si) grains could be produced in the hydrogen dominant gas outflow from evolved stars in addition to amorphous oxide minerals. If the magnesium silicide grains were incorporated into the primitive solar nebula, the magnesium silicide would easily become forsterite (Mg2SiO4) by oxidation as it reacted with the relatively oxygen-rich, solar composition gas. This hypothesis can explain the existence of abundant forsterite grains with solar oxygen composition in meteorites, i.e., magnesium silicide could be the precursor of much of the forsterite found in our solar system. In addition, if a significant fraction of the solar forsterite is derived from magnesium silicide, it could explain the apparent low abundance of presolar forsterite. Furthermore, the lower degree of crystallinity observed in silicates formed in outflows of lower mass-loss-rate stars might be caused by the formation of magnesium silicide in this relatively hydrogen-rich environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L10-L13
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 2
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Dust, extinction
  • Infrared: solar system
  • Infrared: stars
  • Methods: laboratory
  • Solar system: general
  • Stars: AGB and post-AGB

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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