Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Earliest Meteorites Provide New Piece In Planetary Formation Puzzle

Date:
September 21, 2005
Source:
Imperial College London
Summary:
Researchers trying to understand how the planets formed have uncovered a new clue by analysing meteorites that are older than the Earth.

Researchers trying to understand how the planets formed have uncovereda new clue by analysing meteorites that are older than the earth.

The research shows that the process which depleted planets andmeteorites of so-called volatile elements such as zinc, lead andsodium, must have been one of the first things to happen in our nebula.

The implication of this clue is that 'volatile depletion' may be aninevitable part of planet formation - a feature not just of our SolarSystem, but of many other planetary systems too.

The researchers at Imperial College London reached their conclusionsafter analysing the composition of primitive meteorites, coal-likerocks that are older than the earth and which have barely changed sincethe Solar System was made up of fine dust and gas.

Their analysis, published today in the Proceedings of the NationalAcademy of Sciences, shows that all the components that make up theserocks are depleted of volatile elements. This means that volatileelement depletion must have occurred before the earliest solids hadformed.

Dr. Phil Bland, from Imperial's Department of Earth Science andEngineering, who led the research, explains: "Studying meteorites helpsus to understand the initial evolution of the early Solar System, itsenvironment, and what the material between stars is made of. Ourresults answer one of a huge number of questions we have about theprocesses that converted a nebula of fine dust and gas into planets."

For planetary scientists, the most valuable meteorites arethose that are found immediately after falling to earth, and so areonly minimally contaminated by the terrestrial environment. Theresearchers analysed around half of the approximately 45 primitivemeteorite falls in existence around the world.

All of the terrestrial planets in the Solar System as far outas Jupiter, including Earth, are depleted of volatile elements.Researchers have long known that this depletion must have been an earlyprocess, but it was unknown whether it occurred at the beginning of theformation of the Solar System, or a few million years later.

Dr. Phil Bland is a member of the Impacts and Astromaterials ResearchCentre (IARC), which combines planetary science researchers fromImperial College London and the Natural History Museum.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Imperial College London. "Earliest Meteorites Provide New Piece In Planetary Formation Puzzle." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050920082904.htm>.
Imperial College London. (2005, September 21). Earliest Meteorites Provide New Piece In Planetary Formation Puzzle. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050920082904.htm
Imperial College London. "Earliest Meteorites Provide New Piece In Planetary Formation Puzzle." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050920082904.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