The mixtures of oxygen isotopes in the Earth, Mars, and the asteroids differ slightly. If we knew why they differ we could learn more about the origin of asteroids and planets and the formation of the solar system. My colleague Sasha Krot and I describe one solution to part of this puzzle. We show how particles in primitive meteorites could have formed from gas and dust close to the Sun. This causes the particles to acquire different mixtures of oxygen isotopes from diverse stars that were ancestors to our own. Planets and asteroids inherited slightly different mixtures of oxygen atoms because they formed from materials like those in primitive meteorites.
Planetary Science Research Discoveries Report
- Pub Date:
- December 2001
- oxygen isotopes;