CARBONACEOUS chondrites provide valuable information as they are the least altered examples of early Solar System material1. The matrix constitutes a major proportion of carbonaceous chondrites. Despite many past attempts, unambiguous identification of the minerals in the matrix has not been totally successful2. This is mainly due to the extremely fine-grained nature of the matrix phases. Recently, progress in the characterisation of these phases has been made by electron diffraction studies3,4. We present here the direct observation, by high resolution imaging, of phases in carbonaceous chondrite matrices. We used ion-thinned sections from the Murchison C2(M) meteorite for transmission electron microscopy. The Murchison matrix contains both ordered and disordered inter-growths of serpentine-like and brucite-like layers. Such mixed-layer structures are new types of layer silicates.
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