High-precision noble gas analysis shows that solar wind particles from our primordial Sun were wrapped in the Earth’s core over 4.5 billion years ago. Researchers at the Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Heidelberg conclude that the particles have invaded the rocky mantle above for millions of years. Scientists have discovered noble solar gases in the iron meteorites they studied. Due to its chemical composition, such meteorites are often used as a natural model of the Earth’s metal core.
A rare class of iron meteorites accounts for only 5 percent of all known meteorites found on Earth. Most are fragments from the interior of a larger asteroid that formed a metal core during the first 1 to 2 million years of the solar system. The iron meteorite in Washington County, currently being studied at the Klaustila Institute for Cosmochemistry at the Institute of Earth Sciences, was discovered almost 100 years ago. Its name comes from the location of Colorado (USA) where it was discovered. It resembles a metal discus, is 6 cm thick and weighs about 6 cm. 5.7 kilograms, according to Dr. Mario Trielov, head of the Geospace Chemistry Research Group.
Researchers have finally been able to clearly prove the presence of the solar component in iron meteorites. They used a noble gas mass spectrometer to confirm that samples from meteorites in Washington County contained noble gases with helium and neon isotope ratios typical of the solar wind. According to Dr Manfred Vogt, a member of the Trieloff team, “measurements had to be very accurate and accurate to distinguish the characteristics of the Sun from noble gases and air pollution from major cosmic ray sources.” The team assumes that the solar wind particles of the primitive solar system were trapped by the precursors of the pro-asteroid in Washington County. The noble gas captured with the particles dissolved in the liquid metal that formed the core of the asteroid.
From their measurements, Heidelberg researchers could conclude by analogy that the center of the Earth may also contain such noble gas components. Yet another scientific observation supports this assumption. Professor Trieloff’s research group has long measured the solar noble gas isotopes of helium and neon in igneous rocks of oceanic islands such as Hawaii and Reunion. These magmatites derive from a special form of volcanic activity caused by mantle plumes that rise from thousands of kilometers deep in the Earth’s mantle. Their particularly high solar gas content makes them fundamentally different from the shallow mantle, as represented by the volcanic activity of the mid-ocean ridge. “I’ve always wondered why these different gas features are slowly present, despite the constant mantle convection,” said a Heidelberg researcher.
Their findings appear to confirm the assumption that the solar noble gases in the mantle plume originate from the planet’s core-thus meaning solar wind particles from the center of the Earth. “Only 1-2% of the metal, which has a composition similar to that of the Washington Country meteorite in the heart of the Earth, is sufficient to characterize the various gases in the mantle,” said Dr. Vogt. Therefore, the Earth’s core may play a previously underestimated positive role in the geochemical development of the Earth’s mantle.
This study was funded by the Klaus Chira Foundation. The results of complex, high-resolution noble gas measurements were published in the journal Communications Earth and Environment. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz also supported the project.
Heidelberg University: Solar Wind from the Center of the Earth-India Education | Latest Education News India | Global Education News
Source link Heidelberg University: Solar Wind from the Center of the Earth-India Education | Latest Education News India | Global Education News