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Contribution of Ryugu-like material to Earth’s volatile inventory by Cu and Zn isotopic analysis

Abstract

Initial analyses showed that asteroid Ryugu’s composition is close to CI (Ivuna-like) carbonaceous chondrites (CCs) – the chemically most primitive meteorites, characterized by near-solar abundances for most elements. However, some isotopic signatures (for example, Ti, Cr) overlap with other CC groups, so the details of the link between Ryugu and the CI chondrites are not yet fully clear. Here we show that Ryugu and CI chondrites have the same zinc and copper isotopic composition. As the various chondrite groups have very distinct Zn and Cu isotopic signatures, our results point at a common genetic heritage between Ryugu and CI chondrites, ruling out any affinity with other CC groups. Since Ryugu’s pristine samples match the solar elemental composition for many elements, their Zn and Cu isotopic compositions likely represent the best estimates of the solar composition. Earth’s mass-independent Zn isotopic composition is intermediate between Ryugu/CC and non-carbonaceous chondrites (NCs), suggesting a contribution of Ryugu-like material to Earth’s budgets of Zn and other moderately volatile elements.

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Fig. 1: Zinc and copper elemental and isotopic compositions for Ryugu and carbonaceous chondrite samples.
Fig. 2: δ66Zn versus δ65Cu for Ryugu samples and carbonaceous chondrites.
Fig. 3: δ66Zn (this study) versus ε54Cr (refs. 5,30,53,54,55) for Ryugu samples and carbonaceous chondrites.
Fig. 4: Variations of ε66Zn among different groups of meteorites.

Data availability

All data referred to in this article can be found in the tables or source data. Source data are provided with this paper.

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Acknowledgements

This work was partly supported by the IPGP analytical platform PARI, Region Ile-de-France SESAME grant no. 12015908, and DIM ACAV+, the European Research Council grant agreement no. 101001282 (METAL) (F.M.), the UnivEarthS Labex programme (grant nos. ANR-10-LABX-0023 and ANR-11-IDEX-0005-02) (F.M.), JSPS Kaken-hi grants (S. Tachibana, H. Yurimoto and T. Yokoyama) and the CNES.

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Contributions

F.M., M.P. and T. Yokoyama designed the project. H. Yurimoto and T. Yokoyama coordinated the isotopic analyses of the samples among members of the Hayabusa2-initial-analysis chemistry team. M.P. and T. Yokoyama processed the samples and separated the Zn and Cu from the matrix. M.P. measured the Zn and Cu isotopic compositions. M.P. and F.M. wrote the first draft of the manuscript, with contributions from T. Yokoyama, W.D., Y. Hu, Y.A., J.A., C.M.O’D.A., S.A., Y.A., K.B., M.B., A.B., R.W.C., M.C., B.-G.C., N.D., A.M.D., T.D.R., W.F., R.F., I.G., M.K.H., Y. Hibiya, H. Hidaka, H. Homma, P. H., G.R.H., K.I., T.I., T.R.I., A.I., M.I., S.I., N.K., N.T.K., K.K., T.K., S.K., A.N.K., M.-C.L., Y.M., K.D.M., M.M., K.M., I.N., K.N., D.N., A.N.N., L.N., M.O., A.P., C.P., L.P., L.Q., S.S.R., N.S., M.S., L.T., H.T., K.T., Y. Terada, T.U., S.W., M.W., R.J.W., K. Yamashita, Q.-Z.Y., S.Y., E.D.Y., H. Yui, A.-C.Z., T. Nakamura, H.N., T. Noguchi, R.O., K.S., H. Yabuta, M.A., A.M., A.N., M.N., T.O., T. Yada, K. Yogata, S.N., T.S., S. Tanaka, F.T., Y. Tsuda, S.-I.W., M.Y., S. Tachibana and H. Yurimoto.

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Correspondence to Marine Paquet or Frederic Moynier.

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Nature Astronomy thanks Herbert Palme, Katharina Lodders and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Supplementary Table 1. Sample weights.

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Paquet, M., Moynier, F., Yokoyama, T. et al. Contribution of Ryugu-like material to Earth’s volatile inventory by Cu and Zn isotopic analysis. Nat Astron (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41550-022-01846-1

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