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Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination VII: Synchrotron X-ray fluorescence analysis of six Stardust interstellar candidates measured with the Advanced Photon Source 2-ID-D microprobe

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons101012

Hoppe,  Peter
Particle Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons101020

Huth,  Joachim
Particle Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons101103

Leitner,  Jan
Particle Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Flynn, G. J., Sutton, S. R., Lai, B., Wirick, S., Allen, C., Anderson, D., et al. (2014). Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination VII: Synchrotron X-ray fluorescence analysis of six Stardust interstellar candidates measured with the Advanced Photon Source 2-ID-D microprobe. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 49(9), 1626-1644. doi:10.1111/maps.12144.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0025-6911-7
Abstract
The NASA Stardust spacecraft exposed an aerogel collector to the interstellar dust passing through the solar system. We performed X-ray fluorescence element mapping and abundance measurements, for elements 19 <= Z <= 30, on six "interstellar candidates," potential interstellar impacts identified by Stardust@Home and extracted for analyses in picokeystones. One, I1044,3,33, showed no element hot-spots within the designated search area. However, we identified a nearby surface feature, consistent with the impact of a weak, high-speed particle having an approximately chondritic (CI) element abundance pattern, except for factor-of-ten enrichments in K and Zn and an S depletion. This hot-spot, containing approximately 10 fg of Fe, corresponds to an approximately 350 nm chondritic particle, small enough to be missed by Stardust@Home, indicating that other techniques may be necessary to identify all interstellar candidates. Only one interstellar candidate, I1004,1,2, showed a track. The terminal particle has large enrichments in S, Ti, Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu, and Zn relative to Fe-normalized CI values. It has high Al/Fe, but does not match the Ni/Fe range measured for samples of Al-deck material from the Stardust sample return capsule, which was within the field-of-view of the interstellar collector. A third interstellar candidate, I1075,1,25, showed an Al-rich surface feature that has a composition generally consistent with the Al-deck material, suggesting that it is a secondary particle. The other three interstellar candidates, I1001,1,16, I1001,2,17, and I1044,2,32, showed no impact features or tracks, but allowed assessment of submicron contamination in this aerogel, including Fe hot-spots having CI-like Ni/Fe ratios, complicating the search for CI-like interstellar/interplanetary dust.