Smelting of Fe-bearing glass during hypervelocity capture in aerogel
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CitationMarcus, M. A., Fakra, S., Westphal, A. J., Snead, C. J., Keller, L. P., Kearsley, A., & Burchell, M. J. (2008). Smelting of Fe‐bearing glass during hypervelocity capture in aerogel. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 43(1‐2), 87-96.
PublisherThe Meteoritical Society
JournalMeteoritics & Planetary Science
AbstractHypervelocity capture of material in aerogel can expose particles to high transient temperatures. We tested some of the possible effects of capture by using a light-gas gun to shoot particles of basalt glass into aerogel at 6.1 km s^(-1). Using synchrotron-based micro-X-ray absorption spectroscopy (micro-XAS), we find that the starting material, in which the Fe was trivalent, is chemically reduced to divalent. In addition, some fragments were chemically reduced so that they contained Fe0 in a form spectroscopically consistent with a mixture of two forms of iron carbide (cohenite and haxonite). The carbon presumably originated from organic impurities in the aerogel. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) imaging shows the presence of Fe-rich crystalline nanoparticles. A similar species has been found in actual Stardust material, suggesting that smelting effects occurred during capture and should be taken into account when interpreting data on Stardust samples.