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Photochemical Mass-Independent Sulfur Isotopes in Achondritic Meteorites

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Science  12 Aug 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5737, pp. 1062-1065
DOI: 10.1126/science.1112954

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Abstract

Sulfides from four achondrite meteorite groups are enriched in 33S (up to 0.040 per mil) as compared with primitive chondrites and terrestrial standards. Stellar nucleosynthesis and cosmic ray spallation are ruled out as causes of the anomaly, but photochemical reactions in the early solar nebula could produce the isotopic composition. The large 33S excess present in oldhamite from the Norton County aubrite (0.161 per mil) suggests that refractory sulfide minerals condensed from a nebular gas with an enhanced carbon-oxygen ratio, but otherwise solar composition is the carrier. The presence of a mass-independent sulfur effect in meteorites argues for a similar process that could account for oxygen isotopic anomalies observed in refractory inclusions in primitive chondrites.

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