The University of Arizona

TOF-SIMS analysis of crater residues from Wild 2 cometary particles on Stardust aluminum foil

J. LEITNER, T. STEPHAN, A. T. KEARSLEY, F. HRZ, G. J. FLYNN, S. A. SANDFORD

Abstract


Impact residues of cometary particles on aluminum foils from the Stardust mission were investigated with TOF-SIMS for their elemental and organic composition. The residual matter from comet 81P/Wild 2 shows a wide compositional range, from nearly monomineralic grains to polymict aggregates. Despite the comparably small analyzed sample volume, the average element composition of the investigated residues is similar to bulk CI chondritic values. Analysis of organic components in impact residues is complicated, due to fragmentation and alteration of the compounds during the impact process and by the presence of contaminants on the aluminum foils. Nevertheless, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that are unambiguously associated with the impact residues were observed, and thus are most likely of cometary origin.

Keywords


TOF-SIMS;Stardust mission;cometary dust

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