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Short-Lived Nuclides in Hibonite Grains from Murchison: Evidence for Solar System Evolution

Science  13 Dec 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5601, pp. 2182-2185
DOI: 10.1126/science.1078322

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Abstract

Records of now-extinct short-lived nuclides in meteorites provide information about the formation and evolution of the solar system. We have found excess 10B that we attribute to the decay of short-lived 10Be (half-life 1.5 million years) in hibonite grains from the Murchison meteorite. The grains show no evidence of decay of two other short-lived nuclides—26Al (half-life 700,000 years) and 41Ca (half-life 100,000 years)—that may be present in early solar system solids. One plausible source of the observed 10Be is energetic particle irradiation of material in the solar nebula. An effective irradiation dose of ∼2 × 1018 protons per square centimeter with a kinetic energy of ≥10 megaelectronvolts per atomic mass unit can explain our measurements. The presence of 10Be, coupled with the absence of 41Ca and 26Al, may rule out energetic particle irradiation as the primary source of41Ca and 26Al present in some early solar system solids and strengthens the case of a stellar source for41Ca and 26Al.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: goswami{at}prl.ernet.in

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