add
add

Menu

The migration of the planets from asteroids told


New research on the objects orbiting in the main asteroid belt shows a wide variability in their composition and size, a sign of the great planetary upheavals during the first billion years of the Solar System. The study is published in Nature.
The turbulent history of the chaotic evolution of the Solar System has left traces revealing the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, according to a new study, published yesterday in Nature, in which Francesca DeMeo (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) and Benoit Carry (Paris Observatory) have mapped the composition and distribution of main belt asteroids.

67943_web

Credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA)

The incredible variability of size and composition of the belt asteroids is not a surprise. For the past ten years, several studies have refuted the previous hypothesis that wanted celestial objects in the asteroid belt have formed on site and they were the remains of a planet never born, failed because of the strong gravity of nearby Jupiter.
The broad spectrum emerging from the mapping of the asteroids implies instead that their current spatial distribution is the result of the migration of planets during the first billion years of the solar system. A period of great agitation, during which, according to modern physics models, the giant planets went migrating to the inner solar system and outside before finding peace and settle in present orbits. During these upheavals have shaken the planets and asteroids moved “like flakes in a glass ball with snow,” said DeMeo.
We have the exemplary case of Jupiter. The distribution and composition of the asteroids in the belt suggest in fact that during its migration the gas giant has approached the Sun to reach the orbit of Mars today. Doing so would have wiped out the asteroid belt almost completely, leaving only one-tenth of one percent of its original population. Then reversing the route to the outer solar system Jupiter would have repopulated the belt with new material. The main asteroid belt would contain so now basically samples from the entire solar system.
DeMeo and Carry browsing in their recent article advances in the discovery and catalogue the rocks of the belt. But the mapping of the asteroids also suggests some new and interesting line of investigation. Such as the evolution of the systems of extrasolar planets, in connection with the history of the Earth. The water of our oceans could in fact just come from asteroid impacts occurred in the period of strong agitation of the migration of the planets. If it were, there would be a condition more to put on the suitability of exoplanets, or just the accidental impact of a sufficiently large number of asteroids, and Earth-like worlds could then be rarer than we think.
Despite all the studies, analyzes and mappings, much remains to be discovered about these celestial bodies and their internal structure. Waiting to send the first man on an asteroid, NASA look with high expectations approaching the probe Dawn to Ceres, the asteroid more massive band, where, according to a recent study, there should be at least a bit of water .

Related Posts

  • The Dark Side of the universeThe Dark Side of the universe It was recently launched in the heart of the Gran Sasso National Laboratory, managed by the National Institute of Nuclear Physics, the […]
  • Black Hole SunBlack Hole Sun One of the most mind-blowing and elusive phenomenons which never stops fascinating us, is the existence of black holes. What are they? How […]
  • The probe Voyager 1 travels far away in the universeThe probe Voyager 1 travels far away in the universe After many false alarms and postponements, finally the awaited moment has arrived.  The NASA spacecraft Voyager 1 is officially the first […]
  • Sky SpiralSky Spiral Today we’re going to talk about our galactic home: the Milky Way. Although we’ve covered the matter partially by presenting the planets […]
  • “Orion DT” by David Tolliday“Orion DT” by David Tolliday In the words of the astrophotographer: “This image of the Orion and the Running Man Nebulae was taken on my first night of […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *