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Solar systemís youth

comets meteorites sun exoplanets planetary formation

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#1    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 06:45 PM

Solar systemís youth gives clues to planet search



Carnegie Institution of Washington said:

Washington, D.C.óComets and meteorites contain clues to our solar system's earliest days. But some of the findings are puzzle pieces that don't seem to fit well together. A new set of theoretical models from Carnegie's Alan Boss shows how an outburst event in the Sun's formative years could explain some of this disparate evidence. His work could have implications for the hunt for habitable planets outside of our solar system. It is published by The Astrophysical Journal.

One way to study the solar systemís formative period is to look for samples of small crystalline particles that were formed at high temperatures but now exist in icy comets. Another is to analyze the traces of isotopesóversions of elements with the same number of protons, but a different number of neutronsófound in primitive meteorites. These isotopes decay and turn into different, so-called daughter, elements. The initial abundances of these isotopes tell researchers where the isotopes may have come from, and can give clues as to how they traveled around the early solar system.

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