Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences
State University of New York
University of Tennessee
Saint Petersburg State University
University of Maryland
The 2018 MISIP internship program focused on carbonaceous chondrites. Carbonaceous chondrites are characterized by abundant carbon up to 3 wt% and unmelted-and-pristine nature. To seek for the materials without later stage modification, Hayabusa 2 targets the C-type asteroid “Ryugu” that is considered to be the parent body of the carbonaceous chondrite.
The carbonaceous chondrites are mechanical mixture of objects with different origin, and its major constituent is ‘matrix’ consisting of micro-grains with typical size to be less than 1 µm. The modal abundances of the matrix vary from 5% to 99% and random micro sampling of asteroid will likely result in collection of the matrix materials. Because of its gain size, major and trace elements distribution preserved on the grains in the matrix should reflect not only nebular condensation process but also asteroidal fluid-related process that are unique to each carbonaceous chondrite.
How one can reconstruct the original asteroid by increasing the quantity of materials to be analyzed? Sensitivity, precision, and resolution of analytical techniques are not constant against the quantity. During this program, the whole-rock carbonaceous-chondrites serve as parent bodies. The matrix materials correspond to sub sample of the bodies. What is the minimum quantity of the matrix materials to identify from which carbonaceous chondrites the materials are coming from? Three carbonaceous chondrites will be studied focusing geochemical description of both whole rock and the matrix materials using destructive and non-destructive techniques. Students will simulate an initial analysis of the materials returned from Ryugu. During the program, you have chances to analyze carbonaceous chondrites by several techniques that include SEM, EPMA, SIMS, LA-ICPMS, ICPMS, TIMS, and TEM.
This internship felt like getting lost in an island at first, but as they days passed by, huge amounts of treasure(knowledge) were found every where we looked. The knowledge and practical skills we gained in a matter of six weeks were equivalent to studying a geology course for a whole semester or even more. Although this program is academic and scientific, the professors and lab instructors made it so much more entertaining, enjoyable and definitely less stressful. I am absolutely hononred and humbled to have had the chance to be a part of this internship, explore a field of science that was very new to me and make new friends from all over the world.
By taking part in this internship I was able to gain so much research experience using different types of instrumentation and research techniques. The amount of analysis done in such a short time was amazing, and allowed me to gain a wide new skill set. From working in the clean room and preparing our samples for ICP-MS, SIMS, and LA-ICP-MS, to SEM imaging of chondrules, and creating EPMA phase maps; the experience gained in six short weeks was incredible. This internship was my first experience working with meteorites, and it allowed me to realizes my love of science extends far beyond the reaches of our planet. In addition to the scientific research, being able to live in Japan and work with scientists from around the world was an amazing and humbling experience and I am so thankful that I was able to participate.
I feel like I can hardly describe the greatness of my experience with MISIP. We were provided with state of the art technology, an impressive sample set, and excellent mentorship. I would recommend this internship (and already have recommended it) to any student interested in planetary materials.