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Evidence of cross-cutting and redox reaction in Khatyrka meteorite reveals metallic-Al minerals formed in outer space

Lin, Chaney and Hollister, Lincoln S. and MacPherson, Glenn J. and Bindi, Luca and Ma, Chi and Andronicos, Christopher L. and Steinhardt, Paul J. (2017) Evidence of cross-cutting and redox reaction in Khatyrka meteorite reveals metallic-Al minerals formed in outer space. Scientific Reports, 7 . Art. No. 1637. ISSN 2045-2322. PMCID PMC5431614. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-01445-5.

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We report on a fragment of the quasicrystal-bearing CV3 carbonaceous chondrite Khatyrka recovered from fine-grained, clay-rich sediments in the Koryak Mountains, Chukotka (Russia). We show higher melting-point silicate glass cross-cutting lower melting-point Al-Cu-Fe alloys, as well as unambiguous evidence of a reduction-oxidation reaction history between Al-Cu-Fe alloys and silicate melt. The redox reactions involve reduction of FeO and SiO_2 to Fe and Fe-Si metal, and oxidation of metallic Al to Al_2O_3, occurring where silicate melt was in contact with Al-Cu-Fe alloys. In the reaction zone, there are metallic Fe and Fe-Si beads, aluminous spinel rinds on the Al-Cu-Fe alloys, and Al_2O_3 enrichment in the silicate melt surrounding the alloys. From this and other evidence, we demonstrate that Khatyrka must have experienced at least two distinct events: first, an event as early as 4.564 Ga in which the first Al-Cu-Fe alloys formed; and, second, a more recent impact-induced shock in space that led to transformations of and reactions between the alloys and the meteorite matrix. The new evidence firmly establishes that the Al-Cu-Fe alloys (including quasicrystals) formed in outer space in a complex, multi-stage process.

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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Bindi, Luca0000-0003-1168-7306
Ma, Chi0000-0002-1828-7033
Additional Information:© 2017 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit Received: 05 December 2016; Accepted: 22 March 2017; Published online: 09 May 2017. We have benefitted from the thorough review and constructive comments by Christopher Hamann, who has been a great help in improving our manuscript. We thank Paul Asimow for his comments on the manuscript and Andrew Higgins for discussions on thermite-related processes. L.S.H. is grateful to the Department of Geosciences of Princeton University for the continuing support, in retirement, of his participation in the quasicrystal project. G.J.M. was partially supported by the Small Grants program at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History. L.B. thanks the “Progetto di Ateneo 2015” issued by the Università di Firenze, Italy. The Caltech GPS Division Analytical Facility (where SEM, EBSD and EPMA analyses were carried out) is supported, in part, by NSF Grants EAR-0318518 and DMR-0080065. Author Contributions: L.B. found Grain 126A from material recovered in the 2011 Chukotka expedition. L.B. performed the X-ray compositional maps. C.L., G.J.M., and C.M. performed the SEM studies. C.L. and C.M. performed the EPMA studies. C.M. performed the EBSD studies. C.L., L.S.H., L.B., and P.J.S. wrote the paper. All the authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript. The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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Smithsonian InstitutionUNSPECIFIED
Università di FirenzeUNSPECIFIED
PubMed Central ID:PMC5431614
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170515-082229117
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:77439
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:15 May 2017 23:59
Last Modified:28 Mar 2022 21:57

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