Rare meteorites reveal a secret about Jupiter

Rare meteorites reveal a secret about Jupiter
Rare meteorites reveal a secret about Jupiter
Rare ancient meteorites have provided “insight” into how Jupiter formed and settled in its position as the fifth planet from the sun billions of years ago, according to scientists.

Scientists said the angry meteors hold clues about the chaotic way the gas giant appeared during a “massive solar system event,” according to findings published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

Ben Ryder Stokes, PhD student at the Open University, explained: “The formation and migration of gas giant planets, such as Jupiter, is critical to the evolution of planetary systems, yet the timing of these events in our solar system remains largely unconstrained. Angrite meteorites are some of the oldest materials in the inner solar system, and thus provide an exclusive window into the processes that occurred during that period.”

It is believed that over millions of years, Jupiter cruised toward the center of the solar system and back out again, at some point approaching Mars now. It is also believed that the planet’s journey deeply affected the solar system.

He also noted: “One of the most famous models for the formation of Jupiter is known as the Grand Tack Hypothesis. This hypothesis states that when Jupiter was initially formed, it was pulled towards the Sun by its gravity. However, when Saturn formed, it brought Jupiter back to its current position. in the solar system”.

He added, “It is believed that this entry and exit movement caused gravitational disturbances for asteroids and other bodies that formed near Jupiter, causing these bodies to collide with each other.”

The scientists examined Angrite meteorites collected by a joint Japanese and Belgian research expedition in Antarctica, as well as other meteorites found in northwest Africa.

“Angrite meteorites are ancient meteorites that formed at a similar time period to the proposed formation and migration of Jupiter some 4.5 billion years ago. Because of their antiquity, these meteorites are very important in testing this model,” Ryder Stokes said.

He continued: “This study indicates that these meteorites are the result of the collision of asteroids and objects with each other and possibly due to gravitational perturbations in the formation and movement of Jupiter. This, therefore, provides the first experimental evidence of this event, which had been modeled only before.”

An international team of scientists analyzed the chemical composition of the meteorites, focusing on oxygen isotopes – different forms of the same element.

The team said it had found, for the first time, two signatures of oxygen isotopes, indicating two different planetary origins in a single sample.

As part of the next steps, scientists are investigating the hydrogen content in the samples to understand more about how water is delivered to the inner solar system. (Arabic)