Titanium isotopic compositions of rare presolar SiC grain types from the Murchison meteorite

Ann N. Nguyen, Larry R. Nittler, Conel M.O’D. Alexander, Peter Hoppe

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 27 February 2017


“We report the Ti isotopic compositions of 8 mainstream, 22 Y, 9 Z, and 26 AB presolar SiC grains from two SiC-rich residues of the Murchison CM2 meteorite together with Si, C and Mg-Al isotopic data for the same grains. Mainstream, Y and Z grains are believed to originate in asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars of varying metallicities, but the stellar sources of AB grains are poorly understood. We find that the 46,47,49Ti/48Ti ratios are correlated with 29Si/28Si for all of the grain types, indicating these ratios are mainly dominated by Galactic chemical evolution (GCE). The mainstream, Y and Z grains all show enrichments in 50Ti from neutron capture nucleosynthesis. However, AGB models predict smaller excesses in 50Ti (and 49Ti) than are observed in these grains. For Z grains and especially for Y grains, the enhancement of 50Ti is greater than the enhancement in 30Si, indicating that the 13C neutron source produced a greater total fluence of neutrons than the 22Ne source in the low metallicity parent AGB stars. The Z grains plot below the mainstream correlation lines at more 48Ti- and 28Si-rich compositions in plots of 46,47,49Ti/48Ti vs. 29Si/28Si. On the other hand, the Y grains plot close to the mainstream correlation line. This could imply that the Ti isotopes evolved non-linearly at metallicities below ∼1/3 solar. The AB grains in this study have Ti isotopic compositions that fall along correlation lines defined by the mainstream grains, suggesting origins in close to solar metallicity stars. However, these grains fall below the mainstream correlation lines in plots of 46,49,50Ti/48Ti vs. 29Si/28Si and do not show enhancements in 50Ti, indicating that their parent stars did not undergo significant s-process nucleosynthesis. These data support origins of AB grains in J-type C stars rather than born-again AGB stars that undergo s-process nucleosynthesis. AB grains that do not have 50Ti excesses may provide the best measure of Si and Ti isotope GCE since their parent stars were less affected by s-process nucleosynthesis than the mainstream grains.”