Discovery of abundant in situ silicate and spinel grains from red giant stars in a primtive meteorite

The Astrophysical Journal (Impact Factor: 6.73). 01/2004; DOI: 10.1086/424842
Source: OAI

ABSTRACT We report the discovery of 12 in situ presolar silicate and spinel grains, 140-590 nm in size, in the Acfer 094 meteorite. These grains represent a matrix-normalized abundance of presolar O-rich dust of 170 parts per million. Among the 10 silicate grains are three olivines, four pyroxenes, and three grains with glasslike composition. Eleven grains have large excesses in 17O with 17O/16O ratios of up to 2.9 times the solar ratio and slightly lower than or close-to-solar 18O/16O ratios. These grains most likely formed in 1.5-1.65 Msolar red giant branch (RGB) or asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars with close-to-solar metallicity. One pyroxene grain has close-to-solar 17O/16O and 18O/16O of 3.8 times solar. Silicon- and Fe-isotopic ratios of this grain are suggestive of the formation in an RGB or AGB star, probably with higher-than-solar metallicity. 29Si/28Si and 30Si/28Si ratios of the silicate grains vary by ~16%, are positively correlated with one another, and fall to the 30Si-poor side of the Si mainstream line characteristic for presolar SiC from AGB stars. This gives independent confirmation for the view that the Si mainstream line reflects the Galactic chemical evolution of the Si isotopes, except for a small shift due to dredge-up of matter from the He shell in AGB stars.

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    ABSTRACT: Accidental discovery of a presolar Fe-rich olivine in a study of micro-CAIs.
    Lunar and Planetary Science ConferenceLunar and Planetary Science Conference; 01/2005
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    ABSTRACT: Micron-sized stardust grains that originated in ancient stars are recovered from meteorites and analysed using high-resolution mass spectrometry. The most widely studied type of stardust is silicon carbide (SiC). Thousands of these grains have been analysed with high precision for their Si isotopic composition. Here we show that the distribution of the Si isotopic composition of the vast majority of stardust SiC grains carry the imprints of a spread in the age-metallicity distribution of their parent stars and of a power-law increase of the relative formation efficiency of SiC dust with the metallicity. This result offers a solution for the long-standing problem of silicon in stardust SiC grains, confirms the necessity of coupling chemistry and dynamics in simulations of the chemical evolution of our Galaxy, and constrains the modelling of dust condensation in stellar winds as function of the metallicity.
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 04/2013; 768(1). · 6.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Presolar silicate and oxide grains from primitive meteorites are recognized as "stardust" on the basis of their extremely anomalous O isotopic compositions. We report data on 48 O-anomalous grains that were identified in grain size separates of the ungrouped carbonaceous chondrite Acfer 094. A majority of these grains exhibit high 17O/16O isotopic ratios along with solar to sub-solar 18O/16O ratios and may have originated in low-mass stars with close-to-solar metallicity. Four silicate grains that contain 18O enrichments were also measured for their Si isotopes. A comparison of their O and Si isotopic compositions with model predictions indicates that these 18O-rich grains may have formed in supernova ejecta. Four of the O-anomalous grains are oxides while the remaining 44 are silicates, based on elemental compositions determined by Auger spectroscopy. The presolar oxides include a TiO2 grain and a grain with spinel stoichiometry. The silicate grains largely exhibit ferromagnesian compositions, although a few grains also contain small amounts of Ca and/or Al. Stoichiometric silicates were further classified as either olivine-like or pyroxene-like, and in this study pyroxene-like grains are more abundant than olivine-like ones. The majority of silicates contain more Fe than Mg, including a few grains with Fe-rich end-member compositions. Spectroscopic observations indicate the presence of Mg-rich silicates in the atmospheres of stars and the interstellar medium. Mg-rich minerals such as forsterite and enstatite form by equilibrium condensation in stellar environments. However, non-equilibrium condensation can result in higher Fe contents and the occurrence of such processes in the outflows of stars may account for the Fe-rich grains. Alternatively, secondary processes may play a role in producing the Fe enrichments observed in the presolar silicate grains identified in the matrix of Acfer 094.
    The Astrophysical Journal 04/2010; 714(2):1624. · 6.73 Impact Factor

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