Extraterrestrial magnetite studied by Mössbauer spectroscopy
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The meteorite Orgueil is a carbonaceous chondrite of type CI. Carbonaceous chondrites contain Fe(III), Fe(II) and in some cases metallic iron, indicating that they are in a state far from thermodynamic equilibrium. In Orgueil about 40% of the iron is present in magnetite (Fe3O4). In this work a sample of magnetite grains extracted from Orgueil has been studied by Mössbauer spectroscopy. It has been found that the magnetic phase contains about 11% of maghemite and that the remaining magnetite has a vacancy concentration smaller than 0.006, corresponding to the formula Fe2.994O4.
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