A Carbonate-Rich, Hydrated, Interplanetary Dust Particle: Possible Residue from Protostellar Clouds

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Science  28 Mar 1986:
Vol. 231, Issue 4745, pp. 1544-1546
DOI: 10.1126/science.231.4745.1544


Transmission electron microscopy of a hydrated interplanetary dust particle (IDP) indicates that it contains abundant magnesium-iron carbonates, primarily breunnerite and magnesian siderite. This IDP displays a strong absorption band at 6.8 micrometers in its infrared spectrum, similar to that in certain protostellar spectra. The carbonates probably account for the 6.8-micrometer band in the IDP spectrum, suggesting that carbonate also may occur in interstellar dust and be the source of the controversial 6.8-micrometer feature from the protostellar spectra.