Browsing by Subject "MINERALOGY"

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  • Moreau, Juulia-Gabrielle; Joeleht, Argo; Aruvali, Jaan; Heikkila, Mikko J.; Stojic, Aleksandra N.; Thomberg, Thomas; Plado, Juri; Hietala, Satu (2022)
    Stoichiometric troilite (FeS) is a common phase in differentiated and undifferentiated meteorites. It is the endmember of the iron sulfide system. Troilite is important for investigating shock metamorphism in meteorites and studying spectral properties and space weathering of planetary bodies. Thus, obtaining coarse-grained meteoritic troilite in quantities is beneficial for these fields. The previous synthesis of troilite was achieved by pyrite or pyrrhotite heating treatments or chemical syntheses. However, most of these works lacked a visual characterization of the step by step process and the final product, the production of large quantities, and they were not readily advertised to planetary scientists or the meteoritical research community. Here, we illustrate a two-step heat treatment of pyrite to synthesize troilite. Pyrite powder was decomposed to pyrrhotite at 1023-1073 K for 4-6 h in Ar; the run product was then retrieved and reheated for 1 h at 1498-1598 K in N-2 (gas). The minerals were analyzed with a scanning electron microscope, X-ray diffraction (XRD) at room temperature, and in situ high-temperature XRD. The primary observation of synthesis from pyrrhotite to troilite is the shift of a major diffraction peak from similar to 43.2 degrees 2 theta to similar to 43.8 degrees 2 theta. Troilite spectra matched an XRD analysis of natural meteoritic troilite. Slight contamination of Fe was observed during cooling to troilite, and alumina crucibles locally reacted with troilite. The habitus and size of troilite crystals allowed us to store it as large grains rather than powder; 27 g of pyrite yielded 17 g of stochiometric troilite.
  • Chrbolková, Kateřina; Brunetto, Rosario; Ďurech, Josef; Kohout, Tomáš; Mizohata, Kenichiro; Malý, Petr; Dědič, Václav; Lantz, Cateline; Penttilä, Antti; Trojánek, František; Maturilli, Alessandro (2021)
    Context. Space weathering is a process that changes the surface of airless planetary bodies. Prime space weathering agents are solar wind irradiation and micrometeoroid bombardment. These processes alter planetary reflectance spectra and often modify their compositional diagnostic features. Aims. In this work we focused on simulating and comparing the spectral changes caused by solar wind irradiation and by micrometeoroid bombardment to gain a better understanding of these individual space weathering processes. Methods. We used olivine and pyroxene pellets as proxies for planetary materials. To simulate solar wind irradiation we used hydrogen, helium, and argon ions with energies from 5 to 40 keV and fluences of up to 10(18) particles cm(-2). To simulate micrometeoroid bombardment we used individual femtosecond laser pulses. We analysed the corresponding evolution of different spectral parameters, which we determined by applying the Modified Gaussian Model, and we also conducted principal component analysis. Results. The original mineralogy of the surface influences the spectral evolution more than the weathering agent, as seen from the diverse evolution of the spectral slope of olivine and pyroxene upon irradiation. The spectral slope changes seen in olivine are consistent with observations of A-type asteroids, while the moderate to no slope changes observed in pyroxene are consistent with asteroid (4) Vesta. We also observed some differences in the spectral effects induced by the two weathering agents. Ions simulating solar wind have a smaller influence on longer wavelengths of the spectra than laser irradiation simulating micrometeoroid impacts. This is most likely due to the different penetration depths of ions and laser pulses. Our results suggest that in some instances it might be possible to distinguish between the contributions of the two agents on a weathered surface.
  • Kohout, T.; Petrova, E.; Yakovlev, G. A.; Grokhovsky, V.; Penttilä, A.; Maturilli, A.; Moreau, J-G; Berzin, S.; Wasiljeff, J.; Danilenko, I. A.; Zamyatin, D. A.; Muftakhetdinova, R. F.; Heikkilä, M. (2020)
    Context. Shock-induced changes in ordinary chondrite meteorites related to impacts or planetary collisions are known to be capable of altering their optical properties. Thus, one can hypothesize that a significant portion of the ordinary chondrite material may be hidden within the observed dark C/X asteroid population. Aims. The exact pressure-temperature conditions of the shock-induced darkening are not well constrained. Thus, we experimentally investigate the gradual changes in the chondrite material optical properties as a function of the shock pressure. Methods. A spherical shock experiment with Chelyabinsk LL5 was performed in order to study the changes in its optical properties. The spherical shock experiment geometry allows for a gradual increase of shock pressure from similar to 15 GPa at a rim toward hundreds of gigapascals in the center. Results. Four distinct zones were observed with an increasing shock load. The optical changes are minimal up to similar to 50 GPa. In the region of similar to 50-60 GPa, shock darkening occurs due to the troilite melt infusion into silicates. This process abruptly ceases at pressures of similar to 60 GPa due to an onset of silicate melting. At pressures higher than similar to 150 GPa, recrystallization occurs and is associated with a second-stage shock darkening due to fine troilite-metal eutectic grains. The shock darkening affects the ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared region while changes to the MIR spectrum are minimal. Conclusions. Shock darkening is caused by two distinct mechanisms with characteristic pressure regions, which are separated by an interval where the darkening ceases. This implies a reduced amount of shock-darkened material produced during the asteroid collisions.
  • Frattin, E.; Munoz, O.; Moreno, F.; Nava, J.; Escobar-Cerezo, J.; Gomez Martin, J. C.; Guirado, D.; Cellino, A.; Coll, P.; Raulin, F.; Bertini, I.; Cremonese, G.; Lazzarin, M.; Naletto, G.; La Forgia, F. (2019)
    We present experimental phase function and degree of linear polarization curves for seven samples of cometary dust analogues namely: ground pieces of Allende, DaG521, FRO95002, and FRO99040 meteorites, Mg-rich olivine and pyroxene, and a sample of organic tholins. The experimental curves have been obtained at the IAA Cosmic Dust Laboratory at a wavelength of 520 nm covering a phase angle range from 3 degrees to 175 degrees. We also provide values of the backscattering enhancement for our cometary analogue samples. The final goal of this work is to compare our experimental curves with observational data of comets and asteroids to better constrain the nature of cometary and asteroidal dust grains. All measured phase functions present the typical behaviour for mu m-sized cosmic dust grains. Direct comparison with data provided by the OSIRIS/Rosetta camera for comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko reveals significant differences and supports the idea of a coma dominated by big chunks, larger than one micrometer. The polarization curves are qualitatively similar to ground-based observations of comets and asteroids. The position of the inversion polarization angle seems to be dependent on the composition of the grains. We find opposite dependence of the maximum of the polarization curve for grains sizes in the Rayleigh-resonance and geometric optics domains, respectively.
  • Toliou, Athanasia; Granvik, Mikael; Tsirvoulis, Georgios (2021)
    The observed near-Earth asteroid (NEA) population contains very few objects with small perihelion distances, say, q less than or similar to 0.2 au. NEAs that currently have orbits with larger q might be hiding a past evolution during which they have approached closer to the Sun. We present a probabilistic assessment of the minimum q that an asteroid has reached during its orbital history. At the same time, we offer an estimate of the dwell time, that is, the time q has been in a specific range. We have re-analysed orbital integrations of test asteroids from the moment they enter the near-Earth region until they either collide with a major body or are thrown out from the inner Solar system. We considered a total disruption of asteroids at certain q as a function of absolute magnitude (H). We calculated the probability that an asteroid with given orbital elements and H has reached a q smaller than a given threshold value and its respective dwell time in that range. We have constructed a look-up table that can be used to study the past orbital and thermal evolution of asteroids as well as meteorite falls and their possible parent bodies. An application to 25 meteorite falls shows that carbonaceous chondrites typically have short dwell times at small q, whereas for ordinary chondrites it ranges from 10 000 to 500 000 yr. A dearth of meteorite falls with long dwell times and small minimum q supports a supercatastrophic disruption of asteroids at small q.
  • Escobar-Cerezo, J.; Palmer, C.; Munoz, O.; Moreno, F.; Penttilä, A.; Muinonen, K. (2017)
    The effect of internal inhomogeneities and surface roughness on the scattering behavior of large cosmic dust particles is studied by comparing model simulations with laboratory measurements. The present work shows the results of an attempt to model a dust sample measured in the laboratory with simulations performed by a ray-optics model code. We consider this dust sample as a good analogue for interplanetary and interstellar dust as it shares its refractive index with known materials in these media. Several sensitivity tests have been performed for both structural cases (internal inclusions and surface roughness). Three different samples have been selected to mimic inclusion/coating inhomogeneities: two measured scattering matrices of hematite and white clay, and a simulated matrix for water ice. These three matrices are selected to cover a wide range of imaginary refractive indices. The selection of these materials also seeks to study astrophysical environments of interest such as Mars, where hematite and clays have been detected, and comets. Based on the results of the sensitivity tests shown in this work, we perform calculations for a size distribution of a silicate-type host particle model with inclusions and surface roughness to reproduce the experimental measurements of a dust sample. The model fits the measurements quite well, proving that surface roughness and internal structure play a role in the scattering pattern of irregular cosmic dust particles.
  • Petrova, E. V.; Grokhovsky, V. I.; Kohout, T.; Muftakhetdinova, R. F.; Yakovlev, G. A. (2019)
    A spherical geometry shock experiment with the light-colored lithology material of the Chelyabinsk LL5 ordinary chondrite was carried out. The material was affected by shock and thermal metamorphism whose grade ranged from initial stage S3-4 to complete melting. The temperature and pressure were estimated at >2000 degrees C and >90 GPa. The textural shock effects were studied by optical and electron microscopy. A single experimental impact has produced the whole the range of shock pressures and temperatures and, correspondingly, four zones identified by petrographic analysis: (1) a melt zone, (2) a zone of melting silicates, (3) a black ring zone, and (4) a zone of weakly shocked initial material. The following textural features of the material were identified: displacement of the metal and troilite phases from the central melt zone; the development of a zone of mixed lithology (light-colored fragments in silicate melt); the origin of a dark-colored lithology ring; and the generation of radiating shock veinlets. The experimental sample shows four textural zones that correspond to the different lithology types of the Chelyabinsk LL5 meteorite found in fragments of the meteoritic shower in the collection at the Ural Federal University. Our results prove that shock wave loading experiment can be successfully applied in modeling of space shocks and can be used to experimentally model processes at the small bodies of the solar system.
  • Soini, A-J; Kukkonen, I. T.; Kohout, T.; Luttinen, A. (2020)
    We report direct measurements of thermal diffusivity and conductivity at room temperature for 38 meteorite samples of 36 different meteorites including mostly chondrites, and thus almost triple the number of meteorites for which thermal conductivity is directly measured. Additionally, we measured porosity for 34 of these samples. Thermal properties were measured using an optical infrared scanning method on samples of cm-sizes with a flat, sawn surface. A database compiled from our measurements and literature data suggests that thermal diffusivities and conductivities at room temperature vary largely among samples even of the same petrologic and chemical type and overlap among, for example, different ordinary chondrite classes. Measured conductivities of ordinary chondrites vary from 0.4 to 5.1 W m(-1) K-1. On average, enstatite chondrites show much higher values (2.33-5.51 W m(-1) K-1) and carbonaceous chondrites lower values (0.5-2.55 W m(-1) K-1). Mineral composition (silicates versus iron-nickel) and porosity control conductivity. Porosity shows (linear) negative correlation with conductivity. Variable conductivity is attributed to heterogeneity in mineral composition and porosity by intra- and intergranular voids and cracks, which are important in the scale of typical meteorite samples. The effect of porosity may be even more significant for thermal properties than that of the metal content in chondrites.