A new analysis of the mineral composition of meteorites suggests that theories concerning the development of the early solar system may need revision. Announcing their results today in the journal Science, researchers conclude that it took the earth only 20 million years to form from material floating around the early sun. Previous estimates, in contrast, had placed that figure at around 50 million years. The findings also re-open the debate over which types of supernovae could have produced our solar system.
Measuring the amounts of an isotope of the element niobium (niobium-92) and its daughter isotope zirconium-92 in two meteorite samples provided the researchers with a kind of radioactive chronometer capable of estimating the timing of events in the early solar system. The earlier calculation of 50 million years for the formation of the earth was obtained using the same technique. But this time, the experimenters made sure to avoid contamination of their samples. By paying greater attention to maintaining the purity of the samples, says study co-author Brigitte Zanda-Hewins of Rutgers University, the team was able to produce a more accurate estimate. Additionally, the new, lower figures for the abundance of niobium-92 (which is generated by supernovae) in the early solar system, Zanda-Hewins says, loosen the constraints on the types of supernovae that could have spawned the solar system. The floor is once again open for candidates
Greg Mone | Scientific American
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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