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Heating experiments of the Tagish Lake meteorite: Investigation of the effects of short‐term heating on chondritic organics

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We present in this study the effects of short-term heating on organics in the Tagish Lake meteorite and how the difference in the heating conditions can modify the organic matter (OM) in a way that complicates the interpretation of a parent body's heating extent with common cosmothermometers. The kinetics of short-term heating and its influence on the organic structure are not well understood, and any study of OM is further complicated by the complex alteration processes of the thermally metamorphosed carbonaceous chondrites—potential analogues of the target asteroid Ryugu of the Hayabusa2 mission—which had experienced posthydration, short-duration local heating. In an attempt to understand the effects of short-term heating on chondritic OM, we investigated the change in the OM contents of the experimentally heated Tagish Lake meteorite samples using Raman spectroscopy, scanning transmission X-ray microscopy utilizing X-ray absorption near edge structure spectroscopy, and ultraperformance liquid chromatography fluorescence detection and quadrupole time of flight hybrid mass spectrometry. Our experiment suggests that graphitization of OM did not take place despite the samples being heated to 900 °C for 96 h, as the OM maturity trend was influenced by the heating conditions, kinetics, and the nature of the OM precursor, such as the presence of abundant oxygenated moieties. Although both the intensity of the 1s−σ* exciton cannot be used to accurately interpret the peak metamorphic temperature of the experimentally heated Tagish Lake sample, the Raman graphite band widths of the heated products significantly differ from that of chondritic OM modified by long-term internal heating.

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