Noble gas space exposure ages of individual interplanetary dust particles
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CitationKehm, K., Flynn, G. J., Sutton, S. R., & Hohenberg, C. M. (2006). Noble gas space exposure ages of individual interplanetary dust particles. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 41(8), 1199-1217.
PublisherThe Meteoritical Society
JournalMeteoritics & Planetary Science
AbstractThe He, Ne, and Ar compositions of 32 individual interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) were measured using low-blank laser probe gas extraction. These measurements reveal definitive evidence of space exposure. The Ne and Ar isotopic compositions in the IDPs are primarily a mixture between solar wind (SW) and an isotopically heavier component dubbed fractionated solar (FS), which could be implantation-fractionated solar wind or a distinct component of the solar corpuscular radiation previously identified as solar energetic particles (SEP). Space exposure ages based on the Ar content of individual IDPs are estimated for a subset of the grains that appear to have escaped significant volatile losses during atmosphere entry. Although model-dependent, most of the particles in this subset have ages that are roughly consistent with origin in the asteroid belt. A short (<1000 years) space exposure age is inferred for one particle, which is suggestive of cometary origin. Among the subset of grains that show some evidence for relatively high atmospheric entry heating, two possess elevated 21Ne/22Ne ratios generated by extended exposure to solar and galactic cosmic rays. The inferred cosmic ray exposure ages of these particles exceeds 107 years, which tends to rule out origin in the asteroid belt. A favorable possibility is that these 21Ne‐rich IDPs previously resided on a relatively stable regolith of an Edgeworth‐Kuiper belt or Oort cloud body and were introduced into the inner solar system by cometary activity. These results demonstrate the utility of noble gas measurements in constraining models for the origins of interplanetary dust particles.