Debris from the object that created Earth falls in Northwest Africa

 Scientists have found a priceless treasure of the early solar system, hidden in an ancient meteorite that fell to Earth.



According to Science Alert, analysis by an international research team shows that meteorite NWA 14250 - found in Northwest Africa in 2018 - holds unparalleled secrets about the "infancy" of the Earth.


Because, inside it contains pieces of material from the protoplanetary disk of the solar system 4.5 billion years ago.


Electron microscope images show clusters of material from the protoplanetary disk mixed with other cometary materials - Photo: SCIENCE ADVANCES


Electron microscope images show clusters of material from the protoplanetary disk mixed with other cometary materials - Photo: SCIENCE ADVANCES


The protoplanetary disk is a giant disk-shaped object that surrounds the young star. Inside that disk are gas, dust, and debris, gradually condensing, giving birth to protoplanets and other "baby" objects.


The objects that first coalesced into the disk went through many collisions, breakups, and reunions, and eventually became planets, dwarf planets, and all the other things that together make up a complete star system.


Therefore, it can be said that the protoplanetary disk is the place where the Earth was conceived.


Isotopes inside clusters of material provide ancient traces of the formation of protoplanets 4.5 billion years ago - Photo: SCIENCE ADVANCES.


Isotopes inside clusters of material provide ancient traces of the formation of protoplanets 4.5 billion years ago - Photo: SCIENCE ADVANCES.


The research team led by space chemist Elishevah van Kooten of the University of Copenhagen (Denmark) used scanning electron microscopy and spectral analysis of NWA 14250.


This helps identify isotopes of various minerals found in clusters of material inside meteorites.


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They found that the minerals in some clusters were most likely of cometary origin. But there's more. Material from some clusters is very familiar - they resemble what is found in other meteorites beyond Neptune's orbit.


They are also similar to samples taken from the asteroid Ryugu, an object considered a "fossil" of the dawn of the solar system.


This discovery shows that not only are primitive materials preserved relatively common in the solar system, they also provide evidence that the composition of protoplanetary disks has been relatively uniform throughout their stellar lifetimes. we form.


The ubiquitous isotopic signature that today belongs to the comet-forming region at the edge of the solar system also reflects that this protoplanetary disk possesses an important planetary building block in the distant, near-margin region. system's boundaries.


The comet-forming region refers to the Oort Cloud, a cold belt of comets and asteroids that encircle our star system.


Previously, there were theories that the system's first protoplanets and planets - including Jupiter, the first planet to form - were born far from the Sun, then gradually moved into the Sun. inside. inside.


“This provides the opportunity to determine the nucleosynthetic fingerprint of the comet-forming region and, thus, shed light on the accretion history of the Sun's protoplanetary disk” - the authors concluded in the paper. published in the scientific journal Science Advances.

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