Monday, March 28, 2011

The rocks in the beginnings of the solar system

The scientific knowledge about our solar system can still be characterized as the minuscule of the knowledge that will be available to our future generations in far future but current science is at least setting proper foundations on which future science can build and improve human knowledge about universe.

The latest interesting news about our solar system was the result of researchers from Imperial College London and other international institutions, and according to their research it looks like in the beginnings of our solar system the earliest rocks were more like cotton candy than the hard rock that we know today.

The first rocks were porous and fragile, and the thing that transformed these porous materials into todays hard rocks was extreme turbulence. After the hard rocks were created this paved the way for the formation of Earth-like planets.

Dr Phil Bland from the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London said : "Our study makes us even more convinced than before that the early carbonaceous chondrite rocks were shaped by the turbulent nebula through which they travelled billions of years ago, in much the same way that pebbles in a river are altered when subjected to high turbulence in the water. Our research suggests that the turbulence caused these early particles to compact and harden over time to form the first tiny rocks."

This conclusion was the result of extremely detailed analysis of an asteroid fragment known as a carbonaceous chondrite meteorite, which came from the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars. This asteroid originates from the early Solar system characterized by the collision of microscopic dust particles which afterwards coalesced around larger grain particles called chondrules.

The researchers believe that this new discovery is very important step in expanding the scientific horizons regarding the formation of rocky planets and moons.