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Isotope mapping of inclusions in meteorite

NanoSIMS, isotopic mapping
Isotopic mapping of a carbonaceous inclusion in a primitive meteorite

An unusual 100-micrometer diameter extremely carbon-rich clast (shown in SEM image above) in a carbonaceous chondrite meteorite was studied by NanoSIMS imaging (RGB image mosaics below), revealing variations in H, N, and O isotopes. These and other observations suggest the clast originated in the far outer solar system and got mixed inward to the asteroid forming region, providing information about the earliest stages of planet formation.

Recorded on CAMECA NanoSIMS 50L at Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington DC, United States. Image courtesy of L. R. Nittler.
L. R. Nittler et al. A cometary building block in a primitive asteroidal meteorite. Nature Astronomy, 3, 659–666 (2019).

Winning image for the month of June 2020