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
New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers
21.04.2017 | California Institute of Technology
Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy
21.04.2017 | Stockholm University
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
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21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy