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Messenger Research Group

We apply the JSC NanoSIMS 50L ion microprobe to study the isotopic and chemical compositions a primitive astromaterials, including comet dust returned by the Stardust spacecraft, interplanetary dust particles, presolar grains, primitive meteorites, and lunar samples. Our research often involves coordinated analyses of samples by NanoSIMS, TEM, and organic analyses by ultra-L2MS. The NanoSIMS is particularly adept at high spatial resolution (~100 nm) isotopic imaging - a capability that led to the discovery of silicate stardust grains in meteorites and IDPs.

Messenger Research

We are developing the NanoSIMS to enable new types of applications and research. Some recent examples include high precision/high spatial resolution O isotopic imaging of CAIs and high spatial resolution rare Earth element measurements.

Researchers Laboratories
Research Highlights & Publications

Nguyen A. N., Keller L. P., and Messenger S. (2016) Mineralogy of presolar silicate and oxide grains of diverse stellar origins. The Astrophysical Journal, 818, 51-67.

Nguyen A. N. and Messenger S. (2014) Resolving the stellar sources of isotopically rare presolar silicate grains through Mg and Fe isotopic analyses. The Astrophysical Journal, 784, 149-163.

Nakamura-Messenger K., Keller L. P., Clemett S. J., Messenger S., Ito M. (2011) "nm-scale anatomy of entire stardust tracks" Meteoritics and Planetary Science, in pressIto M., Messenger S. (2008) "Isotopic imaging of refractory inclusions in meteorites with the NanoSIMS 50L," Applied Surface Science 255, 1446-1450

Nakamura-Messenger, K., S. Messenger, L. P. Keller, S. J. Clemett and M. E. Zolensky (2006) Organic globules in the Tagish Lake meteorite: Remnants of the protosolar disk. Science 314, 1439-1442

Messenger S., Keller L.P., Lauretta D.S. (2005) Supernova olivine from cometary dust. Science 309, 737-741

Keller, L.P., Messenger, S., Flynn, G.J., Clemett, S.J., and Wirick, S. (2004) "The nature of molecular cloud material in interplanetary dust," Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 68, 2577

Messenger S., Keller LP, Stadermann FJ, Walker RM and Zinner E. (2003) "Samples of stars older than the Sun: silicate grains in interplanetary dust particles," Science 300, 105-108