Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




EXO WORLDS
Meteorites weren't exactly the building blocks of young planets
by Brooks Hays
Boston (UPI) Jan 15, 2015


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

That meteorites and their collisions with early planetary masses played a predominant role in the formation of the early universe is a narrative popular among astronomers and the average high school science class.

But new research suggests the contributions of meteorites in forming Earth and its planetary neighbors was minimal. These ancient hunks of rock hurling haphazardly through an infant solar system were more a byproduct than building blocks, researchers at MIT say.

Previously, scientists have posited chondrules as the key ingredient in planet formation. Chondrules are the droplets of molten rock produced by high energy impacts between two sizable pieces of space rock -- asteroid hitting astroid, planet hitting planetesimal, meteorite hitting protoplanet.

Scientists at MIT and Purdue ran computer simulations to crunch the numbers on the formation of the early solar system. The models suggest that by the time space rocks big and fast enough for their collisions to create chondrules showed up on the scene, planetary embryos the size of the moon (the real building blocks) were already well-formed.

"This tells us that meteorites aren't actually representative of the material that formed planets -- they're these smaller fractions of material that are the byproduct of planet formation," study author Brandon Johnson, a postdoc in MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, explained in a recent press release. "But it also tells us the early solar system was more violent than we expected: You had these massive sprays of molten material getting ejected out from these really big impacts. It's an extreme process."

What's more, the simulations showed each meteorite impact turned only a small portion of their solid materials into chondrule. Small droplets and violently exploded rock may have been ubiquitous, but it was relatively minor in volume as compared to already forming planets.

In other words, chondrules may have been the spices that flavored young planets, but they certainly weren't the main ingredient.

"This would be a major shift in how people think about our solar system," said Fred Ciesla, a planetary scientist at the University of Chicago who wasn't involved with the study. "If this finding is correct, then it would suggest that chondrites are not good analogs for the building blocks of the Earth and other planets."

"Meteorites as a whole are still important clues about what processes occurred during the formation of the solar system, but which ones are the best analogs for what the planets were made out of would change," he added.

The new study was published this week in the journal Nature.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Lands Beyond Beyond - extra solar planets - news and science
Life Beyond Earth






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





EXO WORLDS
NameExoWorlds contest opens
Paris, France (SPX) Jan 14, 2015
The first ever contest allowing members of the public to name ExoWorlds begins its first round today, offering the registered clubs and non-profit organisations the chance to nominate their favourite systems to take through to the next rounds. As previously announced, the IAU is organising a worldwide contest to give popular names to selected exoplanets along with their host stars, among a ... read more


EXO WORLDS
Service Module of Chinese Probe Enters Lunar Orbit

Service module of China's lunar orbiter enters 127-minute orbit

Chinese spacecraft to return to moon's orbit

Russian Company Proposes to Build Lunar Base

EXO WORLDS
Lost and found in space: Beagle 2 seen on Mars 11 years on

Students to Send Life to Mars Onboard Mars One Lander in 2018

UA-led HiRISE camera spots long-lost space probe on Mars

Team Working on Strategy to Fix Flash Memory Issue

EXO WORLDS
US venture capital funding near dot-com boom levels

Singer Sarah Brightman delays space tourist training

European spaceplane is "powered up" for its Feb 11 launch

U.S. food headed for ISS stalled in Russian customs

EXO WORLDS
China launches the FY-2 08 meteorological satellite successfully

China's Long March puts satellite in orbit on 200th launch

Countdown to China's new space programs begins

China develops new rocket for manned moon mission: media

EXO WORLDS
Astronauts' year-long mission will test limits

Astronauts prepare for year-long stay on space station

Russian Cargo Spacecraft to Supply ISS With Black Caviar

Astronauts take shelter after alarm at space station

EXO WORLDS
Google aboard as Musk's SpaceX gets $1 bn in funding

Client Pauses Launch of Proton Rocket Carrying British Satellite

Russian firm seals $1 billion deal to supply US rocket engines

Soyuz Installed at Baikonur, Expected to Launch Wednesday

EXO WORLDS
Planetary building blocks evolved from porous to hard objects

Telescope To Seek Dust Where Other Earths May Lie

Three-Planet System Holds Clues to Atmospheres of Earth-size Worlds

Three nearly Earth-size planets found orbiting nearby star

EXO WORLDS
Satellite telemetry tracks bearded vultures

Developing New Materials For Energy Transduction

Scientists build rice grain-sized laser powered by quantum dots

Japan researchers target 3D-printed body parts




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.