Transmission electron microscopy of a hydrated interplanetary dust particle indicates that it consists largely of a poorly crystalline phyllosilicate containing Fe, Mg and Al with an interlayer spacing of 10 to 12 Å and so is distinct from the major phyllosilicate in CI and CM carbonaceous chondrites. The silicate is probably an Fe- and Mg-rich smectite or mica. Submicron, spherical to euhedral pyrrhotite and pentlandite are prominent. Unusual, low-Ni ( < 3 at.% Ni) pentlandite is also common and typically occurs as rectangular platelets. Unlike many chondritic interplanetary dust particles, olivine is rare and pyroxene was not observed. Other less abundant phases are magnetite, chromite, and an unidentified phase containing Fe, Mg, Si, Ca, and Mn. This particle differs from a hydrated micrometeorite described previously by Brownlee , indicating there are mineralogically different subsets of hydrated interplanetary dust particles. Despite gross similarities in mineralogy between the particle and the carbonaceous chondrites, they show appreciable differences in detail.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science