By means of nanoscale surface observation, we have proposed a new approach for investigating fine crystals of cosmic materials to reveal their origin and growth conditions. Several different morphologies of polyhedral fine olivines with faceted faces have been found in Allende carbonaceous chondrite (4.5 byr in geochronological age). In the present work, molecular level topography of the faceted matrix olivine by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) has successfully been performed. The matrix olivine found to have preserved growth step pattern on its surface even though quite long time has passed since they formed in the early Solar System. The surface pattern suggests that the faceted matrix olivine could have been condensed from the gas phase, and possibly that these olivine crystals had continued to grow under a rapid cooling condition (0.1-1 K s-1). The estimated cooling rate agrees well with predictions based on hypothetical rapid heating and cooling events such as shock wave heating.
- Interplanetary dust
- Solar nebula