Jan 27, 2023

Solar system formed from ‘poorly mixed cake batter,’ isotope research shows

Posted by in categories: chemistry, space

Earth’s potassium arrived by meteoritic delivery service finds new research led by Carnegie’s Nicole Nie and Da Wang. Their work, published in Science, shows that some primitive meteorites contain a different mix of potassium isotopes than those found in other, more-chemically processed meteorites. These results can help elucidate the processes that shaped our solar system and determined the composition of its planets.

“The found in enable stars to manufacture elements using ,” explained Nie, a former Carnegie postdoc now at Caltech. “Each stellar generation seeds the raw material from which subsequent generations are born and we can trace the history of this material across time.”

Some of the material produced in the interiors of stars can be ejected out into space, where it accumulates as a cloud of gas and dust. More than 4.5 billion years ago, one such cloud collapsed in on itself to form our sun.

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