Three-dimensional shapes and Fe contents of Stardust impact tracks: A track formation model and estimation of comet Wild 2 coma dust particle densities

Yosuke Iida, Akira Tsuchiyama, Toshihiko Kadono, Kanako Sakamoto, Tomoki Nakamura, Kentaro Uesugi, Tsukasa Nakano, Michael E. Zolensky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigated three-dimensional structures of comet Wild 2 coma particle impact tracks using synchrotron radiation (SR) X-ray microtomography at SPring-8 to elucidate the nature of comet Wild 2 coma dust particles captured in aerogel by understanding the capture process. All tracks have a similar entrance morphology, indicating a common track formation process near the entrance by impact shock propagation irrespective of impactor materials. Distributions of elements along the tracks were simultaneously measured using SR-XRF. Iron is distributed throughout the tracks, but it tends to concentrate in the terminal grains and at the bottoms of bulbs. Based on these results, we propose an impact track formation process. We estimate the densities of cometary dust particles based on the hypothesis that the kinetic energy of impacting dust particles is proportional to the track volume. The density of 148 cometary dust particles we investigated ranges from 0.80 to 5.96 g cm-3 with an average of 1.01 (±0.25) g cm-3. Moreover, we suggest that less fragile crystalline particles account for approximately 5 vol% (20 wt%) of impacting particles. This value of crystalline particles corresponds to that of chondrules and CAIs, which were transported from the inner region of the solar system to the outer comet-forming region. Our results also suggest the presence of volatile components, such as organic material and perhaps ice, in some bulbous tracks (type-C).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1302-1319
Number of pages18
JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
Volume45
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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