Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Meteorite May Be Primitive Solar System Material, Say Science Authors

Date:
October 13, 2000
Source:
American Association For The Advancement Of Science
Summary:
A fragile, charcoal-like meteorite that plummeted on to a frozen Canadian lake last January may represent the most primitive solar system material yet studied, according to new research reported in the 13 October issue of the international journal Science.

A fragile, charcoal-like meteorite that plummeted on to a frozen Canadian lake last January may represent the most primitive solar system material yet studied, according to new research reported in the 13 October issue of the international journal Science.

The Tagish Lake meteorite is a carbonaceous chondrite, a rare class of ancient meteorite that includes water-altered minerals and organic compounds. Carbonaceous chondrites make up only two percent of all meteorite finds.

Analysis of the meteorite's mineral composition and oxygen and carbon isotopes reported by Peter G. Brown at The University of Western Ontario, Canada and colleagues suggests that Tagish Lake may represent a new class of carbonaceous chondrites, more primitive than any yet found.

Using numerous eyewitness accounts, photographs, videos, and satellite data of the meteorite's fiery and dramatic entrance into Earth's atmosphere, the researchers also calculated Tagish Lake's origin, its path through space, and its average velocity. Brown and colleagues suggest that the meteorite came from the middle of the asteroid belt with an orbit intersecting the Earth's orbit. The asteroid belt is located between Mars and Jupiter.

Fragments of the Tagish Lake meteorite should aid scientists in their reconstruction of the early solar system environment, particularly the types and amounts of elements present in the original solar nebula.

Carbon analysis of the meteorite indicates that some of the carbon is contained in nanodiamonds, tiny particles of interstellar dust that were swirled into the solar nebula prior to the formation of the solar system. Tagish Lake may be richer in interstellar grains than any meteorite yet studied, according to the Scienceresearchers.

The first recovered pieces of Tagish Lake meteorite were recovered and remain frozen, which will help researchers examine the full range of volatiles and organic compounds on a primitive meteorite for the first time. These organic materials may yield clues regarding the original building blocks of life on Earth.

In a related Perspective article also published in Science, Jeffrey N. Grossmann of the U.S. Geological Survey says that Tagish Lake is the most significant recovered meteorite fall since the well-known Allende meteorite from Mexico and Murchison meteorite from Australia, both recovered in 1969.

Co-author Alan R. Hildebrand of the University of Calgary, Canada says that the best indication of the significance of the Tagish Lake recovery may be the receipt of dozens of requests from meteorite researchers around the world to study the new fall.

The other members of the research team are M. Mazur, T. Rubak-Mazur, M. Glatiotis, and J. A. Bird at University of Calgary, Canada; M. E. Zolensky at NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston; M. Grady at The Natural History Museum, London, U.K.; R. N. Clayton and T. K. Mayeda at University of Chicago; E. Tagliaferri at ET Space Systems, Camarillo, CA; R. Spalding, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque; N. D. McRae, M. D. Campbell, R. Carpenter, H. Gingerich, E. Greiner, P. JA McCausland, and H. Plotkin at University of Western Ontario, Canada; E. L. Hoffman at Activation Laboratories Ltd., Ancaster, Canada; D. Mittlefehldt at Lockheed Engineering and Science Co., Houston; and J. F. Wacker at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Association For The Advancement Of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Association For The Advancement Of Science. "Meteorite May Be Primitive Solar System Material, Say Science Authors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 October 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/10/001013074740.htm>.
American Association For The Advancement Of Science. (2000, October 13). Meteorite May Be Primitive Solar System Material, Say Science Authors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/10/001013074740.htm
American Association For The Advancement Of Science. "Meteorite May Be Primitive Solar System Material, Say Science Authors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/10/001013074740.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) Russian cosmonauts say they've found evidence of sea plankton on the International Space Station's windows. NASA is a little more skeptical. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space to Ground: Hello Georges

Space to Ground: Hello Georges

NASA (Aug. 18, 2014) Europe's ATV-5 delivers new science and the crew tests smart SPHERES. Questions or comments? Use #spacetoground to talk to us. Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) The Chasqui I, hand-delivered into orbit by a Russian cosmonaut, is one of hundreds of small satellites set to go up in the next few years. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, August 15, 2014

This Week @ NASA, August 15, 2014

NASA (Aug. 15, 2014) Carbon Observatory’s First Data, ATV-5 Delivers Cargo, Cygnus Departs Station and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins