Meteorite study reveals clues to overheated and violent early solar system

Researchers at the University of California who study meteorites have revealed new, violent pieces of the puzzle of the early days of our solar system.

A new paper on meteorites claims scientists have discovered pieces of the puzzle about how the solar system was formed. Asteroids and meteorites have gained more and more attention in recent years. Asteroid missions and meteorite studies have long attempted to solve the great questions of life.

Asteroids and meteorites are remnants of the early days of our solar system. They are also believed to seed the planets with ocean water and organic matter. NASA recently launched the Lucy mission on a collection of rocks known as Trojan asteroids. NASA calls these rocks time capsules that hold the key to unlocking the origins of our system.


Related: NASA’s ‘Eyes on Asteroids’ Lets You See Exactly How Close They Get

A new study by scientists from the University of Chicago studied meteoritic materials and concluded that they revealed the conditions of the early solar system and how it was formed. Scientists specifically focused on tiny glass beads that haunted every scientist who examined a meteorite through a microscope. The study indicates that the pearls were formed by a combination of extreme heat and rapidly falling temperatures.

A snapshot of our solar system billions of years ago

NASA scientists remember a meteorite at the pole.
Photo via NASA. NASA scientists remember a meteorite in the pole.

Nicole Xike Nie, lead author of the study, said: “Meteorites are snapshots that can reveal the conditions this early dust went through, which has implications for the evolution of Earth and other planets.According to the study, billions of years ago, when the solar system was forming, the planets were overheated and dust was flying all over the place, clustering together and forming new celestial bodies. As the meteoritic materials flew near the large, extremely hot planets, they were shocked and melted down. Later, as they moved away into cooler parts of space, temperatures dropped at rapid rates of up to 500 degrees Celsius per hour, vaporizing, condensing and melting the tiny glass marbles.

Scientists at the University of Chicago described these extreme heating and cooling events as “sudden and violent.”Small glass beads are known as chondrules and theories used to believe they were formed by collisions or lighting. This new evidence tips the scales towards shock waves. The shockwave phenomenon could also provide an answer to another unsolved mystery. Scientists know that the Earth contains less volatile elements like potassium and rubidium than it supposed to have. The deficit in volatile elements on Earth “could be explained by a complex chain of heating and cooling, but no one knows the exact sequence“, Says the study. This new snapshot of big burning planets and deep cold space reveals a celestial factory that, like forging a sword, orbit to orbit, forged our solar system.

Next: How NASA’s Sentry-II System Will Protect Earth From Asteroid Impacts

Source: Daily science

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