Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science



Collaborative Specialization

Planetary Science and Exploration


Flemming, Roberta L


Understanding the early solar system requires studying early-formed materials. Calcium-Aluminium-Rich Inclusions (CAIs) are the oldest materials in the solar system. Spinel (MgAl2O4) is common in CAIs. Its cation distribution relates to formation, or most recent equilibration, temperature. This can be measured using 27Al Magic Angle Spinning (MAS) Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Calibration curves can be used to calculate temperature.

Micro X-ray Diffraction identified spinel-containing CAIs in four of seven meteorites tested. 27Al MAS NMR and 27Al Triple Quantum (3Q) MAS NMR was acquired at 21.1 Tesla. Temperature estimates were calculated for each CAI. Allende (≤273 K), NWA 2364 and NWA 6991 (~360-707 K) likely represent parent body processing. NWA 6603 (~1173-1675 K) likely represents nebular formation or processing.

This work demonstrates that this technique can be used to estimate nebular and parent body temperatures experienced by CAIs. This will help in understanding solar system formation and early planetary processes.

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