Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Discovery of ’young’ material in meterorites defies linear theory of solar system’s origin

19.08.2005


From order to disorder: A monkey wrench in solar system evolution?



A U of T scientist has found unexpectedly ‘young’ material in meteorites – a discovery that breaks open current theory on the earliest events of the solar system.

A paper published today in the August issue of Nature reports that the youngest known chondrules – the small grains of mineral that make up certain meteorites – have been identified in the meteorites known as Gujba and Hammadah al Hamra.


Researchers who have studied chondrules generally agree that most were formed as a sudden, repetitive heat, likely from a shock wave, condensed the nebula of dust floating around the early Sun. Thinking that an analysis of the chondrules in Gujba and Hammadah al Hamra would be appropriate for accurately dating this process, U of T geologist Yuri Amelin, together with lead author Alexander Krot of the University of Hawaii, studied the chondrules’ mineralogical structure and determined their isotopic age. “It soon became clear that these particular chondrules were not of a nebular origin,” says Amelin. “And the ages were quite different from what was expected. It was exciting.”

Amelin explains that not only were these chondrules not formed by a shock wave, but rather emerged much later than other chondrules. “They actually post-date the oldest asteroids,” he says. “We think these chondrules were formed by a giant plume of vapour produced when two planetary embryos, somewhere between moon-size and Mars-size, collided.”

What does this mean in the grand scheme of things? The evolution of the solar system has traditionally been seen as a linear process, through which gases around the early sun gradually cooled to form small particles that eventually clumped into asteroids and planets. Now there is evidence of chondrules forming at two very distinct times, and evidence that embryo planets already existed when chondrules were still forming. “It moves our understanding from order to disorder,” Amelin admits. “But I’m sure that as new data is collected, a new order will emerge.”

Financial support for this project was provided by NASA and the Canadian Space Agency.

Sonnet L’Abbe | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utoronto.ca

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht A new dead zone in the Indian Ocean could impact future marine nutrient balance
06.12.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für marine Mikrobiologie

nachricht NASA's AIM observes early noctilucent ice clouds over Antarctica
05.12.2016 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Speed data for the brain’s navigation system

06.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

What happens in the cell nucleus after fertilization

06.12.2016 | Life Sciences

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>