Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Martian Meteorite Measurements Give Information On Planet Evolution

Date:
October 25, 2004
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Scientists in the department of Geology and Geophysics at Yale University have devised a method to precisely date the timing and temperature of a meteorite impact on Mars that led to ejection of a piece of the planet into space and its eventual impact on Earth.

New Haven, Conn. -- Scientists in the department of Geology and Geophysics at Yale University have devised a method to precisely date the timing and temperature of a meteorite impact on Mars that led to ejection of a piece of the planet into space and its eventual impact on Earth.

Related Articles


Meteorites are the main source of mass exchange between planets and carry with them characteristic clues about the nature and history of the planets or planetesimals where they originated, the impacts that dislodged them, and the time they spent in space.

Kyoungwon Kyle Min, postdoctoral fellow in geology, reported an innovation for determining the timing and temperatures of ancient impacts that liberate meteorites from extraterrestrial bodies such as Mars.

To measure both the age and thermal history of the piece of Martian rock, Min assayed the natural radioactive decay of uranium and thorium to the gas helium in these meteorites, and combined it with knowledge of how temperature affects helium loss over time. This (U-Th)/He dating method, used on single grains of minerals in the "Los Angeles" Martian meteorite gave a far more accurate picture than the conventional method of analyzing chunks of meteorite. The "helium age" of about three million years corresponds with the estimated cosmogenic space exposure age.

According to co-author Assistant Professor Peter W. Reiners, "The three million-year age of this meteorite is also important because other meteorites we're working on, including some Martian ones, are several hundred million to billions of years older. These methods allow us to better understand both the timing and dynamics of ancient impacts on other planets, and how these events relate to interplanetary material transfer."

Scientists have long looked at meteorites to answer the question of whether there is now, or once was, life on Mars. They now can compare data from meteorites with the observations of space vehicles to learn more about past activities on the surface of Mars.

###

Stefan Nicolescu and James Greenwood from Yale University co-authored the study supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Citation: Geology: 32, 677-680 (2004)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Martian Meteorite Measurements Give Information On Planet Evolution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041025120457.htm>.
Yale University. (2004, October 25). Martian Meteorite Measurements Give Information On Planet Evolution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041025120457.htm
Yale University. "Martian Meteorite Measurements Give Information On Planet Evolution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041025120457.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Monday, March 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

What NASA Wants To Learn From Its 'Year In Space' Tests

What NASA Wants To Learn From Its 'Year In Space' Tests

Newsy (Mar. 28, 2015) Astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will spend a year in space running tests on human physiology and psychology. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crew Starts One-Year Space Mission

Crew Starts One-Year Space Mission

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 28, 2015) Russian-U.S. crew arrives safely at the International Space Station for the start of a ground-breaking year-long stay. Paul Chapman reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why So Many People Think NASA's Asteroid Mission Is A Waste

Why So Many People Think NASA's Asteroid Mission Is A Waste

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) The Asteroid Retrieval Mission announced this week bears little resemblance to its grand beginnings. Even NASA scientists are asking, "Why bother?" Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Station Crew Docks Safely

Space Station Crew Docks Safely

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 27, 2015) NASA TV footage shows the successful docking of a Russian Soyuz craft to the International Space Station for a year-long mission. Rough cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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