Creation and Distribution of CAIs in the Protoplanetary NebulaCaAl rich refractory mineral inclusions (CAIs) found at 1 - 10% mass fraction in primitive chondrites appear to be several million years older than the dominant (chondrule) components in the same parent bodies. A prevalent concern is that it is difficult to retain CAIs for this long against gas-drag-induced radial drift into the sun. We assess a hot inner (turbulent) nebula context for CAI formation, using analytical models of nebula evolution and particle diffusion. We show that outward radial diffusion in a weakly turbulent nebula can prevent significant numbers of CAI-size particles from being lost into the sun for times of 1 - 3 x 10(exp 6) years. To match the CAI abundances quantitatively, we advocate an enhancement of the inner hot nebula in silicate-forming material, due to rapid inward migration of very primitive, silicate and carbon rich, meter-sized objects. 'Combustion' of the carbon into CO would make the CAI formation environment more reduced than solar, as certain observations imply. Abundant CO might also play a role in mass-independent chemical fractionation of oxygen isotopes as seen in CAIs and associated primitive, high-temperature condensates.
Cuzzi, J. N. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Davis, S. S. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Dobrovolskis, A. R. (California Univ. Santa Cruz, CA, United States)