Formation of Carbonates in the Tatahouine Meteorite

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Science  17 Apr 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5362, pp. 412-414
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5362.412

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The Tatahouine meteorite, in southern Tunisia, shows terrestrial contamination that developed during 63 years of exposure on Earth's surface. Samples collected on the day of the fall in 1931 contained fractures, with no secondary minerals, whereas samples collected in 1994 contain calcite aggregates (70 to 150 micrometers) and rod-shaped forms (100 to 600 nanometers in length and 70 to 80 nanometers in diameter) on the fractures. Carbon isotope analysis of the carbonates within the Tatahouine meteorite [δ13C = −2.0 per mil Pee Dee belemnite standard (PDB)] and the underlying ground (δ13C = −3.2 per mil PDB) confirm their terrestrial origin.

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