Title: Child’s Play- Fun and Games with Mud and Goo in the Early Solar System
Lecturer: Dr. Adrian Brearley, University of New Mexico
The carbonaceous chondrite meteorites contain a diverse array of early solar system materials. Among the most challenging of these materials to study is the very fine-grained, so called 'matrix' of these meteorites. In this presentation, I will discuss the evolution of our understanding of these fine-grained materials and what they tell us about early solar system processes. In particular, I will focus on the fine-grained silicate mineral component of pristine carbonaceous chondrite matrices - the 'mud' and its intimate relationship with organic carbonaceous matter, the 'goo', to illustrate new insights into the behavior of water and organic matter in the early solar system. The significant advances that have been made in studying these materials is also a remarkable demonstration of the development and application of state-of-the-art micro and nanoanalytical techniques to study extraterrestrial samples. These include the precious samples of carbonaceous asteroids that are on their way back to Earth carried by the JAXA Hayabusa 2 and NASA OSIRIS-Rex sample return missions.