Star Wars Meteor Reveals Secrets of Our Early Solar System

A recent study of a rare meteorite called diogenite has provided important insights into the early solar system.

The study shed light on the June 27, 1931 “Tadaoun Meteorite,” named after the town in southern Tunisia, where local residents saw a fireball explode and hundreds of meteorite fragments fall.

A recent study led by Ben Ryder Stokes, a postdoctoral researcher on achondrite meteorites from the Open University (OU) in England, looked at 18 diogenite samples, including the Tataouine meteorite from 4 Vesta.

Scientists used argon-argon radiometric dating (a method of measuring radiation from the elements argon) to determine the meteorite's age.

It's based on looking at two different isotopes (versions of elements that have more or less particles called neutrons).

Certain argon isotopes in samples are known to increase at a known rate with age, which enables scientists to estimate a sample's age by comparing the ratio between two different isotopes.

Using an electron microscopy technique called electron backscatter diffraction, the team also evaluated the distortion caused by collisions, known as impact phenomena.

By combining age-determining techniques with microscopy technology, scientists were able to map the timing of impact events in Vesta 4 and the early solar system.

The study indicates that “4 Vesta” saw a series of impact events until a cataclysmic event occurred 3.4 billion years ago. (Russia Today)

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