Chondrulelike Objects in Short-Period Comet 81P/Wild 2

+ See all authors and affiliations

Science  19 Sep 2008:
Vol. 321, Issue 5896, pp. 1664-1667
DOI: 10.1126/science.1160995

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text


The Stardust spacecraft returned cometary samples that contain crystalline material, but the origin of the material is not yet well understood. We found four crystalline particles from comet 81P/Wild 2 that were apparently formed by flash-melting at a high temperature and are texturally, mineralogically, and compositionally similar to chondrules. Chondrules are submillimeter particles that dominate chondrites and are believed to have formed in the inner solar nebula. The comet particles show oxygen isotope compositions similar to chondrules in carbonaceous chondrites that compose the middle-to-outer asteroid belt. The presence of the chondrulelike objects in the comet suggests that chondrules have been transported out to the cold outer solar nebula and spread widely over the early solar system.

View Full Text