Microstructural and Chemical Investigations of Presolar Silicates from Diverse Stellar EnvironmentsOPEN ACCESS 

Manish N. Sanghani, Luc Lajaunie, Kuljeet Kaur Marhas, William D. A. Rickard, Silver Sung-Yun Hsiao, Zan Peeters, Hsien Shang, Der-Chuen Lee, José. J. Calvino, and Martin Bizzarro

The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 925, Number 2


“We report the structural and chemical investigation of nine presolar silicate grains from the CH3/CBb3 chondrite Isheyevo and CR2 chondrite Northwest Africa (NWA) 801. Five of these grains belong to group 1, likely condensed in low- to intermediate-mass asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars, super-AGB stars, or core-collapse supernovae, while the remaining four grains belong to group 4 and have a supernova origin. The advanced transmission electron microscopy and associated electron spectroscopy analyses show a diverse range of chemical and structural compositions for presolar silicates. Two GEMS (glass with embedded metal and sulfide)-like silicates, each from different groups, condensed under nonequilibrium conditions in stellar outflows. Two nonstoichiometric silicates from group 1 have dissimilar formation and alteration histories. An amorphous silicate from group 1 with olivine-like [(Mg,Fe)2SiO4] composition likely formed as a crystalline olivine that subsequently amorphized in the interstellar medium. An oldhamite (CaS) grain within a stoichiometric enstatite (MgSiO3) from group 1 probably formed by heterogeneous condensation in circumstellar outflows. Of the two crystalline grains from group 4, one is an antigorite [(Mg,Fe)3Si2O5(OH)4], while the other is a nontronite [Na,Fe2(Si,Al)4O10(OH)2.nH2O], both formed as a crystalline forsterite and later altered to have hydrated silicate composition. A group-4 silicate has a chemical composition similar to a low Ca-pyroxene [(Ca,Mg)(Si,Al)2O6]. Our data imply that presolar grains from different groups can have a similar range of grain-formation conditions.”