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Published February 4, 1988 | public
Journal Article

'Domestic' origin of opaque assemblages in refractory inclusions in meteorites


Experimental studies indicate that opaque assemblages rich in refractory siderophile elements were formed within host calcium- and aluminium-rich inclusions (CAIs) by exsolution, oxidation and sulphidization of homogeneous alloys, rather than by aggregation of materials in the solar nebula before the formation of CAIs. These opaque assemblages are thus not the oldest known solid materials, as was once thought, and they do not constrain processes in the early solar nebula before CAI formation. Instead, the assemblages record the changing oxygen fugacity experienced by CAIs during slow cooling in nebular and/or planetary environments.

Additional Information

© 1988 Nature Publishing Group. Received 19 October, accepted 24 December 1987. We acknowledge the careful analytical and petrographic studies of "Fremdlinge" by J. T. Armstrong and A. El Goresy which set the framework for this study. We thank G. R. Rossman for making his laboratory available to us and H. Palme, K. Keil and the U. S. Museum of Natural History for loaning us the meteorite specimens used in this study, and H. Palme for careful review. Funding was provided by grants from NASA and NSF, and by Caltech's Caroline Dobbins Fellowship to J.D.B., G.J.W. and I.D.H. are the Lunatic Asylum of the Charles Arms Laboratory (No. 4537/591)

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