A meteorite disassembled into atoms helped to understand the childhood of the solar system | TELNEWS

A meteorite disassembled into atoms helped to understand the childhood of the solar system

In our Solar system was a lot of water.

A group of scientists from the Royal Ontario Museum, working with researchers from McMaster University and York University, uses what they call the most modern methods to map individual atoms in minerals that formed in the fluids in the asteroid 4.5 billion years ago. Tagilski scientists are studying a meteorite from the Royal Ontario Museum using atom probe tomography. The technique can represent the atoms in 3D.

The team investigated the molecules along the borders and pores between the grains of magnetite, which probably formed on the crust of the asteroid. Within these boundaries, and then, the team discovered a water-precipitation is left in the grain boundaries, where they conducted their revolutionary study. Lead author Dr. Lee white said that scientists know that in the early Solar system was a lot of water, but there are few direct evidence of the chemical composition or acidity of liquids.

White says that the chemistry and acidity of these fluids would be decisive for the early formation and evolution of amino acids and, ultimately, for microbial life. Nuclear studies give scientists the first evidence of sodium-rich and alkaline fluids, in which the formation of magnetite prambody. The fluid conditions are preferred for the synthesis of amino acids and open the door for the formation of microbial life is still 4.5 billion years ago.

The researchers say that the amino acids are essential building blocks of life on Earth, but we still have much to learn about how they formed in the Solar system. The more the team learns about temperature and pH, the better they can understand the synthesis and evolution of molecules and what we call biological life on Earth. Carbonaceous chondrite lake Tagish were extracted from the ice sheet on lake Tagish in British Columbia in 2000 and was then acquired by the Royal Ontario Museum.

The sample used by the team was never above room temperature and not exposed to liquid water, which allows scientists to link the fluid measured with the parent asteroid. Atom probe tomography allows a scientist to make discoveries on small amounts of material a thousand times thinner than a human hair.


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