The abundance and distribution of isotopes throughout the Solar System can be used to constrain the number and type of nucleosynthetic events that contributed material to the early nebula. Barium is particularly well suited to quantifying the degree of isotope heterogeneity in the Solar System because it comprises seven stable isotopes that were synthesized by three different nucleosynthetic processes (s-, r-, and p-processes), all of which contributed material to the Solar System. There is also potential contribution to 135Ba from short-lived radioisotope 135Cs, conclusive evidence for which is yet to be reported. Four Allende (CV3) Ca,Al-rich inclusions (CAI 1, CAI 2, CAI 4, CAI 5) and one Allende dark inclusion (DI) were analyzed for Ba isotope variability. Two CAIs (CAI 2 and CAI 5) display 135Ba excesses that are not accompanied by 137Ba anomalies. Calcium-aluminum-rich inclusion 1 displays a 135Ba excess that is possibly coupled with a 137Ba excess, and the remaining refractory inclusions (CAI 2 and DI) have terrestrial Ba isotope compositions. These Ba isotope data are presented in conjunction with published whole rock Ba isotope data from individual Allende CAIs. The enrichment in 135Ba and absence of coupled 137Ba excesses in CAI 2 and CAI 5 is interpreted to indicate that the anomalies are not purely nucleosynthetic in origin but also contain contributions (16-48ppm) from the decay of short-lived 135Cs. The majority of Allende CAIs studied to date may also have similar contributions from 135Cs on the basis of higher than expected 135Ba excesses if the Ba isotope anomalies were purely nucleosynthetic in origin. The 135Ba anomalies appear not to be coupled with superchondritic Cs/Ba, which may imply that the contribution to 135Ba did not occur via in situ decay of live 135Cs. However, it is feasible that the CAIs had a superchondritic Cs/Ba during decay of 135Cs, but Cs was subsequently removed from the system during aqueous alteration on the parent body. An alternative scenario is the potential existence of a transient high-temperature reservoir having superchondritic Cs/Ba in the early Solar System while 135Cs was extant, which enabled a radiogenic 135Ba signature to develop in some early condensates. The nucleosynthetic source of 135Cs can be determined by reconciling the predicted astrophysical 135Cs abundance with its measured abundance in meteorites. Further, the currently accepted initial 135Cs/133Cs of the Solar System, [135Cs/133Cs]0, may be underestimated because the spread of Cs/Ba among samples is small and the range of excess 135Ba is limited thus leading to inaccuracies when estimating [135Cs/133Cs]0. If the initial meteoritic abundance of 135Cs was indeed higher than is currently thought, the most probable stellar source of short-lived radioisotopes was a nearby core-collapse supernova and/or the Wolf-Rayet wind driven by its progenitor.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology