"Rare meteorite points to volcanism in early solar system"
Solar system evolution Volcanic activity was present on small asteroids in the first few million years after the solar system's birth, according to a new study.The results, reported in the journal PNAS, are based on an analysis of one of the most unique meteorites ever found.
"We found rocks were being produced by volcanism on small asteroids just six-and-a-half million years after the formation of the first solid material in the solar system," says Professor Addi Bischoffa of the University of Munster in Germany.
"I would have thought that these kinds of rocks could only have formed much later, on larger bodies like Earth.
"But to have this happening on asteroids so early is fantastic."
Bischoffa and colleagues examined samples of the Almahata Sitta meteorite, found in Sudan in 2008.
Using optical and electron microscopy, Bischoffa and colleagues found the meteorite contained silica-rich minerals that can only be produced by rapidly crystallised volcanic rock.
"Rapid crystallisation can be caused by an explosion or when lavas come out of the Earth and experience rapid cooling, and this must have happened on the parent body of this meteorite," says Bischoffa."
Thanks to ABC News for this interesting article. New World
Retrieved: 21st of Aug 2014 7:01 am Australian time