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Mars and Earth: Where do the building materials for the inner planets come from

Mars and Earth: Where do the building materials for the inner planets come from

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To find out where the building material for Mars and Earth came from, a research team explores the meteorite – making an amazing discovery.

Munster – How did the planets Mars and Earth form? There are two popular theories about this. Someone thinks that the planets formed from the dust that orbited the sun about 4.6 billion years before our solar system was born. Over time, the dust together formed larger and larger lumps, which at one point were the size of our moon. The inner rocky planets of our solar system – Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars – emerged from collisions with these objects.

Another theory is that the building materials of the inner planets come from a different direction: from the outer solar system. Thus, small dust particles from the outside of the solar system attack large particles that have already formed on the way to the sun, where they accumulate and grow to their current size. Each of these theories stems from computer simulations and model calculations – but which of them is correct? Where do the building materials that make up the Earth and Mars come from? Westfilische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU) Münster, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur (Nice, France), California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, USA), the Museum f Natr Naturkunde (Berlin) and Free University researchers were busy and found the answer Published in “Scientific Advances” That.

Where does the building material for Mars and Earth come from?

“We wanted to find out if the building materials for Earth and Mars came from the outer or inner solar system,” explains the first author, Christoph Burkard. Contact from University of Munster. For this purpose, an international research team handled the isotopes of the rare metals titanium, zirconium and molybdenum. These metals are found in small traces in the outer layers of Earth and Mars. One basic assumption is that these and other metal isotopes are not evenly distributed in the early solar system. The decisive factor for the frequency of the metal is the distance from the sun, which is why researchers believe that the frequency of the metals provides information about where a planet’s building material originated in the early solar system.

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But how did researchers find out what “building material” was found in the inner and outer solar system? In particular, they used meteorites, which are largely unchanged material from the beginning of our solar system. Two different types of meteorites helped them:

  • Coliseum Contrite: Formed beyond Jupiter’s orbit – that is, in the outer solar system – and only then moved to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
  • Non-carbonated chondrites: Formed in the inner solar system.

Mars Asteroid Exploration Team – Where Does the Construction Material Come From?

According to experts, the composition of the Earth’s outer rock layers and two types of meteorites have already been studied. To determine the occurrence of titanium, zirconium and molybdenum on Mars, they examined samples from 17 Martian meteorites. In computer simulations, it was found that the outer rock layers of Earth and Mars are slightly more common with carbonaceous chondrites from the outer solar system.

Their share in the original building materials of Earth and Mars is only four percent. “If the predecessors of Earth and Mars had collected dust grains mainly from the outer solar system, this value would have been almost ten times higher,” said Professor Dr. Thorsten Klein of the University of Munster. “We cannot confirm this theory of the formation of inner planets.”

An unknown object is involved in the formation of Mars and Earth

But the research team made another observation during their investigation: even non-carbonaceous chondrites from the inner solar system did not exactly match the composition of Mars and Earth. Apparently, other, unknown building materials are involved in the formation of the planets. “This third type of construction material must have appeared inside the solar system. This can be inferred from the isotopic composition, which our calculations indicate, ”explains Christoph Burkard. It is a “lost building material” from close proximity to the sun, which is almost completely absorbed by the inner planets and therefore does not appear in meteorites, Klein explains. Today you will not have direct access to the items.

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Mars and Earth: The building material comes from the inner solar system

Although the last discovery surprised experts, they come up with a clear answer to the question of where the building material for Earth and Mars comes from: “It is good that Earth and Mars have objects that are mainly in the inner solar system.

Jupiter may have played a role in this development, Bergard suspects in relation to the Space.com portal. “As the ‘King of the Planets’ there is no doubt what happened in Jupiter’s inner solar system.” In fact, the giant gas planet can produce most of the dust and rocks that are commonly found. Moving towards the sun attached itself. “Without Jupiter we could be sitting on a Super Earth or a mini-Neptune today,” Burkard believes. (Tab)

Recently, researchers discovered how Mars is structured inside and below the surface of Mars.