Meteorites show transport of material in early Solar System

Meteorites show transport of material in early solar system

New studies of an unique type of meteorite show that substance from near the Sun managed to reach out to the early solar system. This happened even as the planet Jupiter cleaned up a gap in the dust and gas disc from which the planets formed. The new study helps connect cosmochemistry, planetary sciences and astronomy; in order to provide a complete picture of the formation of planets.

The consensus theory about how planets form is that they accelerate from a dust and gas disc that revolves around a newly formed star. Evidence for the composition of this protoplanetary disc in our own solar system comes from Chondrites, a type of meteorite composed of smaller particles, or chondrules, collected together like a cosmic dust bunny.

Meteorites show transport of material in early solar system

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The results, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week, add to an enhanced understanding of how our Solar System and the planets formed around other stars.

The substance in Chondrites is extremely old, which represents remaining dust and debris from the very early solar system. Further evidence comes from Earth and Moon rocks and samples of cosmic dust and comet material collected by mission Stardust and other space probes.

One possibility is that there was still motion along the midplane of the disc, even though Jupiter should have stopped it. The other is that winds could have lifted particles over the Jupiter gap in the inner solar system.

The researchers can study and understand where and when these meteorites form by measuring the isotope ratios of elements such as oxygen, titanium and chromium in them.

Earlier work by Yin ‘s laboratory and others has shown that, by composition, meteorites fall into two broad groups. It is assumed that carbonaceous meteorites emerged in the outer solar system. Non-carbonaceous meteorites formed closer to the sun from the disc, where carbon and other volatile compounds were baked away.

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