Terminal particle from Stardust track 130: Probable Al-rich chondrule fragment from comet Wild 2

D. J. Joswiak, D. Nakashima, D. E. Brownlee, G. Matrajt, T. Ushikubo, N. T. Kita, S. Messenger, M. Ito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


A 4×6μm terminal particle from Stardust track 130, named Bidi, is composed of a refractory assemblage of Fo97 olivine, Al- and Ti-bearing clinopyroxene and anorthite feldspar (An97). Mineralogically, Bidi resembles a number of components found in primitive chondritic meteorites including Al-rich chondrules, plagioclase-bearing type I ferromagnesian chondrules and amoeboid olivine aggregates (AOAs). Measured widths of augite/pigeonite lamellae in the clinopyroxene indicate fast cooling rates suggesting that Bidi is more likely to be a chondrule fragment than an AOA. Bulk element concentrations, including an Al2O3 content of 10.2wt%, further suggests that Bidi is more akin to Al-rich rather than ferromagnesian chondrules. This is supported by high anorthite content of the plagioclase feldspar, overall bulk composition and petrogenetic analysis using a cosmochemical Al2O3-Ca2SiO4-Mg2SiO4 phase diagram. Measured minor element abundances of individual minerals in Bidi generally support an Al-rich chondrule origin but are not definitive between any of the object types. Oxygen isotope ratios obtained from olivine (+minor high-Ca pyroxene)fall between the TF and CCAM lines and overlap similar minerals from chondrules in primitive chondrites but are generally distinct from pristine AOA minerals. Oxygen isotope ratios are similar to some minerals from both Al-rich and type I ferromagnesian chondrules in unequilibrated carbonaceous, enstatite and ordinary chondrites. Although no single piece of evidence uniquely identifies Bidi as a particular object type, the preponderance of data, including mineral assemblage, bulk composition, mineral chemistry, inferred cooling rates and oxygen isotope ratios, suggest that Bidi is more closely matched to Al-rich chondrules than AOAs or plagioclase-bearing type I ferromagnesian chondrules and likely originated in a chondrule-forming region in the inner solar system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-298
Number of pages22
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Nov 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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