Mars and Earth likely formed from the collision of moon-sized rocks

Mars and Earth likely formed from the collision of moon-sized rocks
Mars and Earth likely formed from the collision of moon-sized rocks
A new study has found that Earth and Mars likely arose from collisions between giant moon-sized rocks rather than small pebbles clumping together over time.

Previous research suggested that there may be two primary ways in which rocky planets such as . can be used the earth are being built. The classic model suggests that moon-to-Mars-sized rocks are termed planetary embryos once they regularly smash together inside Solar System, eventually congregate into full-size worlds. A more recent alternative concept envisions the drift of small pebbles from the outer solar system inward the sun, gradually accumulating to form rocky planets, a process believed to be necessary for the formation of the cores of giant planets such as Jupiter And Saturn.

To find out which model best explains how the solar system’s rocky planets form, scientists analyzed a total of about 0.77 ounces (22 grams) of material from 17 meteorites which originated from Mars. These rocks exploded off the Red Planet by the effects of antiquity asteroidsFinally, they find their way to Earth.

Belong to: How was the earth formed?

The researchers examined how these samples differed in their isotopic composition. Isotopes are forms of the same chemical element that differ only in the number of neutrons in their nuclei. For example, the nucleus of Uranium-234 has 142 neutrons while Uranium-238 has 146 neutrons.

Scientists have compared levels of the isotopes of titanium, zirconium, and molybdenum from Mars and Earth with those of different groups of meteorites from the inner and outer solar system. They found that the rocks of Earth and Mars are very similar to meteorites from the inner solar system, with only about 4% of their compositions resembling the material of the outer solar system. The large number of Martian meteorites they analyzed helped to overcome conflicting results seen in previous work that analyzed smaller numbers of these rocks.

Altogether, “we resolve conflicting interpretations of previous studies and show that Earth and Mars formed from materials that originated largely in the inner solar system,” lead study author Christoph Burckhardt, a planetary scientist at the University of Münster in Germany, told “Only a small percentage of the building blocks of these two planets originated outside Jupiter’s orbit. As such, we answer the fundamental question about the components of the Earth, and this allows [us] To address the more fundamental question of how the Earth was formed.”

Although gravel accumulation may play a major role in the formation of rocky planets around other stars, it is likely that a minor role in the formation of rocky planets in our solar system is Jupiter, which would have devoured much of the gravel and dust from the outer Sun system which usually drifts inward toward the sun.

“There is no doubt that Jupiter as the ‘king of the planets’ had an influence on what was happening in the inner solar system,” Burkhart said. “Without Jupiter, we might be sitting today on a super-Earth planet or a small Neptune.”

The new findings also suggest that both Earth and Mars likely incorporate material from a group of space rocks currently unknown to science, Burckhardt said, those that originate “most likely toward the Sun from Earth’s orbit.” “So the chase is on. Finding a sample with the expected properties among the ungrouped meteorites in our collections would be astonishing.”

Explain the scientists in detail Their findings Online on December 22 in Science Advances.

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