Ultraviolet highlights the origin of the solar system


The Butterfly Nebula is an example of a star-forming region in the Tarantula Nebula. The white scale bar is 2 light years or about 120,000 AU (astronomical units). A luminous central star, insulated from dust, modulates the oxygen isotopes in the nebula by photodisection of carbon monoxide. This is another example of an environment in which oxygen isotopes can be modified into a molecular cloud prior to the creation of planetary systems. Sincerely: ASA and ESA

To discover the origins of our solar system, an international team of researchers, including Arizona State University planetary scientist and cosmologist James Lyons, compared the structure of the Sun to the composition of the oldest materials in our solar system. System: Refractory inclusion in unconventional meteorites.


By analyzing the varieties of oxygen isotopes (some extra neutrons of an element) of these refractory inclusions, the research team determined that differences in structure between the Sun, planets, and other solar system materials were inherited from the protosolar molecular cloud. Even before the solar system. The results of his study have recently been published Science advance.

“It has recently been demonstrated that variations in the isotopic compositions of many elements in our solar system were inherited from the protosolar molecular cloud,” said lead author Alexander Krote of the University of Hawaii. “Our study shows that oxygen is no exception.”

Molecular Cloud or Solar Nebula?

When scientists compare oxygen isotopes 16, 17 and 18, they observe significant differences between the Earth and the Sun. It is believed to be caused by the processing of carbon monoxide by ultraviolet light, which is broken down to a major change in the oxygen isotope ratio in water. Planets are formed from dust that inherits altered oxygen isotope ratios through interactions with water.

Scientists do not know whether ultraviolet processing took place in the collapsed parent molecular cloud to form the proto-solar system, or later in the gas and dust clouds that formed the planets, called the Solar Nebula.

Ultraviolet highlights the origin of the solar system

An example of a star-forming region in the Carina Nebula in NGC 3324, in which neighboring large stars both shape the nebula’s shape and alter the distribution of oxygen isotopes by photodisection of carbon monoxide with ultraviolet light. The results presented here favor the transformation of oxygen isotopes into molecular cloud environments. The white scale bar is 5 light years or 300,000 AU (astronomical units, the distance between the Earth and the Sun). Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team

To determine this, the research team replaced the most ancient component of meteorites, known as calcium-aluminum inclusions (CAIs). He performed an ion microprobe, electron backscatter images, and X-ray elemental analysis at the University of Hawaii’s Institute of Geophysics and Planetology for CAI analysis. They then incorporated a second isotope system (aluminum and magnesium isotopes) to constrain the age of CAI, making the first connection — between oxygen isotope abundance and mass 26 aluminum isotopes.

From these aluminum and magnesium isotopes, they concluded that CAI was formed approximately 10,000 to 20,000 years after the collapse of the original molecular cloud.

“It is very early in the history of the solar system,” said Leon, an associate research professor at ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, so early that there would not be enough time to replace the oxygen isotopes in the solar nebula. . ”

Ultraviolet highlights the origin of the solar system

Artist proton and solar nebula rendering. Oxygen isotopes can also be altered in this atmosphere by ultraviolet light (gold arrows). Short-lived radiogenic isotopes of aluminum (maroon wavy arrows) may also have been injected into the solar nebula. Insets show electron backscatter images from the two extracts of calcium-aluminum analyzed for this study, and the approximate location at which these high temperatures condense. The new results presented here indicate that the transformation of oxygen isotopes occurred mainly in the parent molecular cloud, rather than in the solar nebula. Earth and everything on Earth have acquired an oxygen isotope composition produced from the molecular cloud that formed the solar system. The white scale bar is three AU (astronomical unit). Sincerely: NASA JPL-Caltech / Lyons / ASU

Although more measurements and modeling work are required to fully assess the implications of these findings, they have a list of available organic compounds during the solar system and later implications for planetary and asteroid formation.

“Any constraint on the amount of ultraviolet processing of materials in a solar nebula or parent molecular cloud is necessary to understand the list of organic compounds that lead to life on Earth,” said Lyons.


Meteorites show material transport in the early solar system


more information:
Alexander N. Crot et al., Oxygen isotopic heterogeneity in the early solar system, inherited from the protozoal molecular rocket cloud, Science advance (2020). DOI: 10.1126 / Sciadv.aay2724

Provided by Arizona State University

Quotes: Sheds light on the origins of the ultraviolet solar system (2020, 20 October) Retrieved 20 October 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020-10-ultraviolet-solar.html

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