Low 60Fe abundance in Semarkona and Sahara 99555

Haolan Tang, Nicolas Dauphas

The Astrophysical Journal, in press.

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Iron-60 (t1/2=2.62 Myr) is a short-lived nuclide that can help constrain the astrophysical context of solar system formation and date early solar system events. A high abundance of 60Fe (60Fe/56Fe= 4×10-7) was reported by in situ techniques in some chondrules from the LL3.00 Semarkona meteorite, which was taken as evidence that a supernova exploded in the vicinity of the birthplace of the Sun. However, our previous MC-ICPMS measurements of a wide range of meteoritic materials, including chondrules, showed that 60Fe was present in the early solar system at a much lower level (60Fe/56Fe=10-8). The reason for the discrepancy is unknown but only two Semarkona chondrules were measured by MC-ICPMS and these had Fe/Ni ratios below ~2x chondritic. Here, we show that the initial 60Fe/56Fe ratio in Semarkona chondrules with Fe/Ni ratios up to ~24x chondritic is 5.4×10-9. We also establish the initial 60Fe/56Fe ratio at the time of crystallization of the Sahara 99555 angrite, a chronological anchor, to be 1.97×10-9. These results demonstrate that the initial abundance of 60Fe at solar system birth was low, corresponding to an initial 60Fe/56Fe ratio of 1.01×10-8.