New Constraints on the Abundances of Silicate and Oxide Stardust from Supernovae in the Acfer 094 Meteorite

Peter Hoppe, Jan Leitner, and János Kodolányi

ApJ 808 L9. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/808/1/L9


We studied about 5000 μm2 of fine-grained matrix material in the Acfer 094 meteorite by high-resolution (nominal 50 nm) NanoSIMS ion imaging for the presence of O-rich presolar (stardust) grains. This approach permits identifying presolar grains down to <100 nm in size, compared to >150 nm in lower-resolution (nominal 100 nm) ion imaging surveys. The number density of identified presolar grains is a about a factor of two to three higher than what was found by lower-resolution ion imaging studies. The abundances of grains of O isotope Group 3 and 4 are higher than previously found. None of the presolar grains shows the strong enrichments in 16O expected from model predictions for the majority of supernova (SN) grains. Other potential O-rich SN grains, the Group 4 and some of the Group 3 grains, make up 33% by number and 19% by mass. This is clearly higher than the ~10% (by number) inferred before and the 5% (by mass) estimated by a model for stellar dust in the interstellar medium. Our work shows that O-rich SN grains might be more abundant among the population of presolar grains in primitive solar system materials than currently thought, even without the 16O-rich grains as predominantly expected from SN models.