Fossil records of high level of 60Fe in chondrules from unequilibrated chondrites

Abstract : The short-lived now-extinct nuclide (SLN) 60Fe, which decays to 60Ni with a half-life of 2.62 Ma, is uniquely of stellar origin. Hence, its Solar System initial abundance yields information about the source of SLNs and the astrophysical environment in which the Solar System was born. Only a few chondrules (∼19) from unequilibrated ordinary chondrites have reported resolved 60Ni excesses using in situ secondary ion mass spectrometry implying 60Fe/56Fe > ~ 0.6 x 10-7 in the early Solar System, and among these very few (3) have higher excesses implying 60Fe/56Fe > ~ 7 x 10-7 (Mishra et al., 2010; Mishra and Goswami, 2014; Telus et al., 2012). At variance, multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer studies of bulk samples and mineral separates from differentiated meteorites, angrites, achondrites, and chondrules suggest a low abundance of 60Fe/56Fe of ~ 1.4 x 10-8 which would rule out the need for an external seeding of the early Solar with stellar 60Fe (Quitté et al., 2011; Tang and Dauphas, 2012). Two Semarkona chondrules and one Efremovka chondrule analyzed in the present study have mass fractionation corrected excess of up to ∼75 permil (‰) and give 60Fe isochrons with initial 60Fe/56Fe ratios of (7.8 ± 3.7) x 10-7, (3.8 ± 1.6) x 10-7 and (2.2 ± 1.1) x 10-7 (2σ) for Efremovka Ch 1, Semarkona Ch 12, and Semarkona Ch J5 respectively. The higher values of 60Fe/56Fe ratios seen in the chondrules of these least altered meteorites samples concur with and lend greater credence to the suggestion of a massive star as the source of 60Fe, and possibly of other short-lived nuclides, to the early Solar System. However, no definitive explanation (e.g. sample bias, effects of metamorphism, 60Fe heterogeneity) to the apparent disagreement with studies of bulk chondrules and chondrule fragments has been found.
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Ritesh Kumar Mishra, Marc Chaussidon. Fossil records of high level of 60Fe in chondrules from unequilibrated chondrites. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Elsevier, 2014, 398, pp.90 - 100. ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2014.04.032⟩. ⟨hal-01766058⟩

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