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.

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 September 19, 2014 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 September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boeing, SpaceX to Send Astronauts to Space Station

Boeing, SpaceX to Send Astronauts to Space Station

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) — NASA selected Boeing and SpaceX on Tuesday to build America's next spacecraft to carry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) by 2017, opening the way to a new chapter in human spaceflight. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
East Coast Treated To Rare Meteor Sighting

East Coast Treated To Rare Meteor Sighting

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — Numerous residents along the East Coast reported seeing a bright meteor flash through the sky Sunday night. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Picks Boeing and SpaceX to Ferry Astronauts

NASA Picks Boeing and SpaceX to Ferry Astronauts

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — NASA is a giant step closer to launching Americans again from U.S. soil. It has announced it has picked Boeing and SpaceX to transport astronauts to the International Space Station in the next few years. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
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