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FE-60 and the evolution of eucritesWe have recently presented evidence for the existence of live Fe-60 in the early solar system. This evidence comes from observations of 2.4 to 50 epsilon unit (1 part in 10(exp 4)) relative excesses of Ni-60 measured in samples from the eucrite Chervony Kut (CK). These isotopic excesses have been produced by the decay of the short-lived radionuclide Fe-60 (T(sub 1/2) = 1.5 Ma). Because CK originates from a planetesimal which was totally molten and its high Fe/Ni ratio is due to a planet-wide Fe-Ni fractionation during metal-silicate segregation, the presence of the Fe-60 decay product indicates the large scale abundance of Fe-60 in the early solar system and its presence during differentiation of this planetesimal. The observed variable Ni-60 excesses in different bulk samples and mineral separates from CK can only be understood if some Fe-60 was still alive at the time when basaltic magma had solidified on the eucrite parent body. The lack of a correlation between Ni-60 and the respective Fe/Ni ratios in different mineral fractions from CK indicates a metamorphic remobilization of Ni after essentially all Fe-60 has decayed. However, Ni-60 from three bulk samples from different locations within the meteorite appears to correlate reasonably well with the respective Fe/Ni ratios. If we regard this correlation as an isochron then its slope yields a Fe-60/Fe-56 ratio f (3.9 +/- 0.6) x 10(exp -9) and an initial Ni-60 of 3.2 plus or minus 0.9 epsilon units at the time of crystallization of CK. Estimates based on these values and a approximately 10 Ma time interval between CK solidification and formation of the earliest condensates in the solar system followed by rapid accretion of planetary bodies indicate that the decay of Fe-60 could produce sufficient heat to melt these planetesimals. If Al-26 was present on a planetary scale as Fe-60 and at abundances close to values observed in Allende inclusions then melting of small early formed planets is inevitable. As an attempt to further explore the Fe-60/Ni-60 isotope system as an early solar system chronometer we studied another noncumulate eucrite, Juvinas (JUV) (sample USNM 1051), which belongs to the same subgroup as CK.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Shukolyukov, A. (Scripps Institution of Oceanography La Jolla, CA, United States)
Lugmair, G. W. (Scripps Institution of Oceanography La Jolla, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-Fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 3: N-Z
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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