Evidence for Very Early Planetesimal Formation and 26Al/27Al Heterogeneity in the Protoplanetary Disk

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We present a U-corrected Pb-Pb age of 4566.19 ± 0.20 Ma (1.11 ± 0.26 Myr after t 0) for the moderately volatile element rich, andesitic meteorite Erg Chech 002 (EC002). Our Al-Mg isochron defines a 26Al/27Al initial ratio of (8.65 ± 0.09) × 10−6 that corresponds to a 26Al/27Al ratio of 2.48 − 0.56 + 0.67 × 10−5 for the parent body precursor at the time of solar system formation. Whereas the published bulk chemistry and our high-precision Ca isotope measurement correspond to those for inner solar system materials, the 26Al/27Al ratio overlaps that for outer solar system CI chondrites. This indicates that the carriers and/or processes responsible for the nucleosynthetic isotope compositions for inner and outer disk materials are different than those controlling the heterogeneous distribution of 26Al. A low μ 26Mg* initial value of −6.1 ± 1.7 ppm infers a source region with a subchondritic Al/Mg ratio until 1.1 Myr after t 0 such that melt generation must have immediately preceded its crystallization. With 26Al as the main heating source, a modeled temperature-time path for a 100 km radius parent body with our inferred 26Al abundance suggests that accretion must have occurred before 0.5 Myr after t 0 to reach melting temperatures at appropriate depths within 1.1 Myr. This requires that the parent body formed very early within the protoplanetary disk, consistent with predictions of rapid formation of planetesimals by streaming instabilities within high-density dust filaments during the earliest phase of the protoplanetary disk. Finally, an absence of initial Pb in this otherwise moderately volatile-rich achondrite implies Pb was effectively sequestered to the Fe-Ni core.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL33
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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© 2023. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society.

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