Separation of Q from carbon in CR meteorites during stepped combustion

Verchovsky, A. B.; Pearson, V. K.; Fisenko, A. V.; Semenova, L .F.; Sephton, M. A. and Wright, I. P. (2012). Separation of Q from carbon in CR meteorites during stepped combustion. In: 43rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, 19-23 Mar 2012, The Woodlands, TX, US.



Introduction: The nature of the planetary noble gas carrier (Q) in meteorites remains uncertain. It is known that it is likely to be carbonaceous, but represents only a small fraction of the total macromolecular material. Q is oxidisible with nitric and other oxidizing acids. It seems to be partly destroyed with pyridine and may have an organic structure. Previously, we have shown that during parent body thermal metamorphism Q is less affected than the majority of other carbonaceous materials. If organic matter is graphitized, as has happened in the enstatite chondrite parent bodies, Q remains unaffected. In the present study we have found that Q is also separable from the majority of carbon in type 2 and 3 CR chondrites during stepped combustion. It is possible that this is because Q has become encased within the matrix, in contrast to other carbon phases, during parent body metamorphism.

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