Initial 26Al/27Al in carbonaceous-chondrite chondrules: Too little 26Al to melt asteroids

Takuya Kunihiro, Alan E. Rubin, Kevin D. McKeegan, John T. Wasson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)


We report 26Mg excesses correlated with Al/Mg ratios in five chondrules from the primitive CO3.0 chondrite Yamato 81020 that yield a mean initial 26Al/27Al ratio of only (3.8 ± 0.7) × 10-6, about half that of ordinary chondrite (OC) chondrules. Even if asteroids formed immediately after chondrule formation, this ratio and the mean Al content of CO chondrites is only capable of raising the temperature of a well-insulated CO asteroid to 940 K, which is more than 560 K too low to produce differentiation. The same ratio combined with the higher Al content of CV chondrites results in a CV asteroid temperature of 1100 K. We calculate that the mean initial 26Al/27Al ratio of about 7.4 × 10-6 found in LL chondrules is only able to produce small amounts of melting, too little to produce differentiation. These results cast serious doubt on the viability of 26Al as the heat source responsible for asteroid differentiation. Inclusion of 60Fe raises temperatures about 160 K, but this increment is not enough to cause differentiation, even of an LL-chondrite asteroid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2947-2957
Number of pages11
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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