Paper 2000-04

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Ion beam study of a possible extraterrestrial body signature in Libyan

desert glasses

Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B, Vol. 170 (1-2) (2000) pp. 187-192

Curzio Cipriani a, Marcello Corazza b, Gabriele Giuli b, Vanni Moggi Cecchi b, Giovanni Pratesi a

Paolo Rossi c and Ettore Vittone d

a Museo di Storia Naturale, Sezione Mineralogia, Università di Firenze, via La Pira 4, 50121 Firenze, Italy

b Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Firenze, via La Pira 4, 50121 Firenze, Italy

c Dipartimento di Fisica dell'Università and INFN, via Marzolo 8, 35131 Padova, Italy

d Dipartimento di Fisica Sperimentale dell'Università and INFN, via Giuria 1, 10125 Torino, Italy

Keywords: Libyan desert glass; Impactites; Micro-PIXE; Ionoluminescence; Cathodoluminescence



Ion beams have been employed to get micro-PIXE measurements and ionoluminescence analyses on a natural silica glass,

known as Libyan desert glass (LDG), representing a probable fusion product of desert sandstone due to the impact of an

extraterrestrial body. In particular some brown streaks, which are present in a few specimens and considered as traces of

the impactor, have been characterized. The presence of discrete bands with different luminescence intensity has been

revealed by both ionoluminescence and cathodoluminescence. Several hypotheses have been proposed in order to explain the

luminescence properties of this material. Finally, the usefulness of the synergic combination of ionoluminescence and

micro-PIXE, to characterize LDG, has been showed.