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Volatility of Sodium in Carbonaceous Chondrites at Temperatures Consistent with Low-perihelion Asteroids

Masiero, Joseph R. and Davidsson, Björn J. R. and Liu, Yang and Moore, Kelsey and Tuite, Michael (2021) Volatility of Sodium in Carbonaceous Chondrites at Temperatures Consistent with Low-perihelion Asteroids. Planetary Science Journal, 2 (4). Art. No. 165. ISSN 2632-3338. doi:10.3847/psj/ac0d02.

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Solar system bodies with surface and subsurface volatiles will show observational evidence of activity when they reach a temperature where those volatiles change from solid to gas and are released. This is most frequently seen in comets, where activity is driven by the sublimation of water, carbon dioxide, or carbon monoxide ices. However, some bodies (notably the asteroid (3200) Phaethon) show initiation of activity at very small heliocentric distances, long after they have reached the sublimation temperatures of these ices. We investigate whether the sodium present in the mineral matrix could act as the volatile element responsible for this activity. We conduct theoretical modeling which indicates that sodium has the potential to sublimate in the conditions that Phaethon experiences, depending on the mineral phase it is held in. To test this, we then exposed samples of the carbonaceous chondrite Allende to varying heating events, similar to what would be experienced by low-perihelion asteroids. We measured the change in sodium present in each sample and find that the highest temperature samples show a significant loss of sodium from specific mineral phases over a single heating event, comparable to a day on the surface of Phaethon. Under specific thermal histories possible for Phaethon, this outgassing could be sufficient to explain this object's observed activity. This effect would also be expected to be observed for other low-perihelion asteroids as well and may act as a critical step in the process of disrupting small low-albedo asteroids.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Masiero, Joseph R.0000-0003-2638-720X
Tuite, Michael0000-0002-7352-4556
Alternate Title:Volatility of Sodium in Carbonaceous Chondrites at Temperatures Consistent with Low-Perihelia Asteroids
Additional Information:© 2021. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Received 2020 December 3; revised 2021 June 10; accepted 2021 June 11; published 2021 August 16. The authors thank Vishnu Reddy for assistance in acquiring the meteorite samples used for this work. The authors also thank the anonymous referees, who provided suggestions that improved this work. This research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (80NM0018D004). Funding for this work was provided by a JPL Lew Allen award.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Asteroids; Near-Earth objects; Comet volatiles
Issue or Number:4
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Asteroids (72); Near-Earth objects (1092); Comet volatiles (2162)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210914-225353566
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Official Citation:Joseph R. Masiero et al 2021 Planet. Sci. J. 2 165
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:110882
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:15 Sep 2021 16:52
Last Modified:15 Sep 2021 16:52

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