Research ArticlePLANETARY SCIENCE

Discovery of fossil asteroidal ice in primitive meteorite Acfer 094

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  20 Nov 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 11, eaax5078
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax5078

Abstract

Carbonaceous chondrites are meteorites believed to preserve our planet’s source materials, but the precise nature of these materials still remains uncertain. To uncover pristine planetary materials, we performed synchrotron radiation–based x-ray computed nanotomography of a primitive carbonaceous chondrite, Acfer 094, and found ultraporous lithology (UPL) widely distributed in a fine-grained matrix. UPLs are porous aggregates of amorphous and crystalline silicates, Fe─Ni sulfides, and organics. The porous texture must have been formed by removal of ice previously filling pore spaces, suggesting that UPLs represent fossils of primordial ice. The ice-bearing UPLs formed through sintering of fluffy icy dust aggregates around the H2O snow line in the solar nebula and were incorporated into the Acfer 094 parent body, providing new insight into asteroid formation by dust agglomeration.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Advances