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Mineralogy and petrology of comet 81P/wild 2 nucleus samples

Science

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DOI: 10.1126/science.1135842

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Abstract

The bulk of the comet 81P/Wild 2 (hereafter Wild 2) samples returned to Earth by the Stardust spacecraft appear to be weakly constructed mixtures of nanometer-scale grains, with occasional much larger (over 1 micrometer) ferromagnesian silicates, Fe-Ni sulfides, Fe-Ni metal, and accessory phases. The very wide range of olivine and low-Ca pyroxene compositions in comet Wild 2 requires a wide range of formation conditions, probably reflecting very different formation locations in the protoplanetary disk. The restricted compositional ranges of Fe-Ni sulfides, the wide range for silicates, and the absence of hydrous phases indicate that comet Wild 2 experienced little or no aqueous alteration. Less abundant Wild 2 materials include a refractory particle, whose presence appears to require radial transport in the early protoplanetary disk.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Mineralogy and petrology of comet 81P/wild 2 nucleus samples
Series title:
Science
DOI:
10.1126/science.1135842
Volume
314
Issue:
5806
Year Published:
2006
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Science
First page:
1735
Last page:
1739