Compositional evidence for chondrule origins of low-Ca pyroxenes in comet Wild 2 and a giant cluster IDP

D. J. Joswiak, D. E. Brownlee, A. J. Westphal, Z. Gainsforth, M. Zhang, N. T. Kita

MAPS, Version of Record online: 23 May 2024


“A literature compilation of 1136 low-Ca pyroxene compositions from chondrules from 12 primitive type 2–3 carbonaceous, ordinary and enstatite chondrite groups define unique regions on an Al2O3 and Cr2O3 diagram when compared to low-Ca pyroxenes from equilibrated type 4-6 chondrites. Measured compositions of 100 low-Ca pyroxenes from comet Wild 2 and a giant cluster IDP of probable cometary origin are similar to each other and fall in the type 2–3 chondrite chondrule region suggesting that most of the pyroxenes likely formed in the solar nebula like conventional chondrules. The data imply that most low Ca-pyroxenes from comet Wild 2 and the giant cluster IDP formed from igneous crystallization processes and did not experience significant thermal metamorphism, indicating that the low-Ca pyroxenes were unlikely incorporated into large parent bodies prior to accretion in their respective comet bodies. An intriguing group of nine low-Ca pyroxenes from comet Wild 2 with low Cr and Al that fall where type 4–6 chondrites are located are interpreted as products of condensation. The compositional data combined with previously measured oxygen isotopes on 17 low-Ca pyroxenes support earlier conclusions that comet samples have links with carbonaceous, ordinary, and possibly enstatite chondrite groups. Our results provide additional evidence that comets accreted materials from multiple chondrule reservoirs throughout the solar nebula.”