A meteorite subverts the theory of the formation of Mars

Une météorite martienne remet en question le modèle de formation de Mars et peut-être plus généralement des planètes rocheuses. © Nasa, JPL, Caltech, T. Pyle

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[EN VIDÉO] The planets in the Solar System were born out of disaster
The Earth and other planets orbiting the Sun were born randomly turbulent from continuous collisions. This is what this episode of the Keys to the Universe series offered by the Discovery Science Channel describes.

It makes possible the study of meteorites found on Earth Understand the formation of our planet and its sisters Mercury, Venus and Mars. The original remnants of the origin Solar SystemMeteorites help scientists define their true structure in particular Rock planets Especially nature Origin of volatile elements Entering the structure of rocks and participating in our formation Atmosphere.

Formation of Rock Planets: Nebula or Contrites?

Currently, the current theory regarding the formation of rocky planets suggests that these unstable elements were already penetrated by young planets formed in the solar nebula. At this time, the earth but others Rock planets That too was just rocks Integration. Such as unstable componentsHydrogenIn CarbonI’OxygenI’Nitrogen And many more Look Rarely, so absorbed and dissolved in the ocean Magma Possessing their surface. Then, by the way Volcano With subsequent intensification, these gases formed an atmosphere. Subjected to prolonged and intense bombardment by so-called “young planets”. Contracts », Also participated in the contribution of volatile elements. The idea is that the volatile elements of meteorites contributed the most to the formation of the atmosphere, at least the Earth’s atmosphere.

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It follows from this hypothesis that the structure of the primitive solar nebula or the structure of the nebula-meteorite mixture is mainly found at the level of the innermost layers of the Earth. Deeper parts of the mantle are more likely to be protected by this chemical signature. The superficial layers have been subjected to intense melting for billions of years Degassing. However, a new study suggests that this is not the case.

A meteorite attesting to the internal structure of Mars

Meteorites that fall to Earth can come from many sources, including the surface of other rocky planets in the world. Solar System. At the beginning of life, strong impacts hit the planets, throwing fragments of the planets into space, which still collide frequently with neighboring planets. This is how the fragments of Mars rocks were found on Earth. However, one of these meteorites has a special value to scientists, because it comes from the inside of Mars, not from the surface, which is a very rare fact. That’s about it Meteorite De Chassini, discovered in France in 1815.

A team of researchers studied the structure of this meteorite and especially the origin of its volatile elements. Analysis of the isotopic ratios of krypton usually helps to identify the solar or chondritic origin of volatile elements. The results of the study of the Chassiny meteorite are, to say the least, amazing.

Indeed, isotopic analysis shows that the volatile elements contained in it are not from the assimilation of the components of the solar nebula as we thought, but from the synthesis of the chondritic material. This suggests that at the time of the formation of the planet from the solar nebula, the contracts would have contributed to the contribution of volatile substances much earlier than we thought.

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The situation may be completely opposite, the internal structure of the planet is related to the chondrites, the solar nebula to the atmosphere.

The atmosphere of Mars would have formed very quickly

Article now appearing in review ScienceIn any case, this indicates that the atmosphere of Mars cannot be formed by degassing alone. Coat, Then there must be a chondritic composition. By combining the elements of the solar nebula, the planet may have acquired its atmosphere much earlier, before the ocean of magma cooled. It should be noted that in 4 million years, Mars solidified very quickly This period is discussedUnlike Earth, it took 50 to 100 million years to cool.

These new results suggest that the growth of Mars could have ended before the solar nebula disintegrated under the influence of radiation from the young. In Sole.

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