Ancient meteorite Acfer 094, which stores information about the time of the formation of the Solar system, was discovered in 1990 in the desert of Algeria. During the new study, the debris, the scientists found a small cavity, which was once ice crystals.
Researchers are not known when Acfer 094 fell to the Ground, but they know his age. The new analysis showed that the meteorite came to our planet from the outer regions of the Solar system, reports Science Alert.
Over the past thirty years, the meteorite was examined from all sides, but the team of scientists led by planetary scientists Megumi Matsumoto from Kyoto University was able to take a new look at the find. To do this, they combined techniques of microscopy, spectroscopy and sample collection.
A fragment of Acfer 094 meteorite found in Algeria / suara.com
High resolution allowed to consider the high porosity of the chip, which had previously gone unnoticed. The pore diameter is about 11 micrometers (slightly more red blood cells). In addition, scientists have found meteorite traces of the interaction of water with minerals. Hence the researchers concluded that these small pores were once ice crystals.
This small fragment preserves valuable geological information about the formation of the Solar system
How to form the meteorite
Mineral traces was much more than the scientists expected from the amount of ice in a porous material. So they began to look for other sources of minerals.
For this, the authors modeled the meteorite, which probably broke the shard. According to the model, this cosmic body was formed from dust on the edge of the Solar system. At first it consisted of silicate particles covered with water ice. But later, thick dust began to cover the ice and hardening on the surface and inside. At the end of the formed body with a massive ice core and mantle without ice.
Data analysis chip Acfer 094 / Matsumoto
After the asteroid crossed the line of snow, ice, freeze-dried, especially in the nucleus. This has changed the structure of the asteroid, leaving an empty pore and trace mineral interactions with water. After that, the asteroid somehow collapsed, and a fragment of Acfer 094 was in the Algerian desert.
Traces of water ice were found in asteroids, but left open the question of how the ice they got. This study has provided scientists with a possible explanation.
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