Origin of Graphitic Carbon and Pentlandite in Matrix Olivines in the Allende Meteorite

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Science  27 Aug 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5432, pp. 1380-1382
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5432.1380

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Matrix olivines in the Allende carbonaceous chondrite are believed to have formed by condensation processes in the primitive solar nebula. However, transmission electron microscope observations of numerous matrix olivines show that they contain abundant, previously unrecognized, nanometer-sized inclusions of pentlandite and poorly graphitized carbon. Neither of these phases would have been stable at the high-temperature conditions required to condense iron-rich olivine in the solar nebula. The presence of these inclusions is consistent with formation of the olivines by parent body processes that involved overgrowth of fine-grained organic materials and sulfides in the precursor matrix materials.

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