The elusive 60Fe in the solar nebula

Frederic Moynier, Janne Blichert-Toft, Kun Wang, Gregory F. Herzog, Francis Albarede

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No 60Ni or 61Ni anomalies have been detected in troilite inclusions from Muonionalusta, a 4565.3 0.1 Ma old IVA iron meteorite, to the level of the analytical precision of 10 ppm. Because Muonionalusta troilite is very old, has a high Fe/Ni ratio, and is free of 61Ni anomalies, it is the ideal material in which to search for potential excesses of 60Ni produced by the decay of 60Fe (t 1/2 = 2.62 Ma). The 60Ni/58Ni and Fe/Ni ratios (up to 1680) measured here imply an upper limit for the initial 60Fe/ 56Fe for the Muonionalusta troilite of 3 × 10-9. Assuming that 60Fe was homogeneously distributed across the nebula, this result suggests that the solar system initial 60Fe/ 56Fe ratio was less than 5 × 10-9, which is lower than previously measured by at least a factor of 50.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number71
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 10 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • astrochemistry
  • minor planets, asteroids: general
  • nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, abundances
  • protoplanetary disks

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    Moynier, F., Blichert-Toft, J., Wang, K., Herzog, G. F., & Albarede, F. (2011). The elusive 60Fe in the solar nebula. Astrophysical Journal, 741(2), [71].