Current thinking about how rocky planets such as the Earth and Mars acquire volatile elements such as hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and noble gases is not supported by a new study. The work is published in a journal.
Sandrine Péron is a researcher in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California, Davis.
Because the planet is a ball of molten rock at this point, the elements are dissolved into the ocean and then come back into the atmosphere. More volatile materials are delivered by chondritic meteorites.
Scientists think that the volatile elements in the interior of the planet should reflect the composition of the solar nebula, or a mixture of solar and meteorite volatiles. The ratios of noble gases can be distinguished from solar and chondritic sources.
The Earth took 50 to 100 million years to form, while Mars formed in about 4 million years after the birth of the solar system.
Péron said that they could reconstruct the history of volatile delivery in the first million years of the solar system.
There is meteorite from Mars.
meteorites come from Mars The surface rocks have been exposed to the atmosphere of Mars. It is thought that the interior of the planet is represented by the meteorite that fell to Earth in north-eastern France in 1814.
Using a new method set up at the UC Davis Noble Gas Laboratory, the researchers were able to determine the origin of elements in the meteorite.
Péron said that because of their low abundance, it's difficult to measure them.
The solar nebula is not related to the chondritic meteorites. That means that meteorites were delivering volatile elements to the planet much earlier than had been thought.
Péron said that the atmosphere on Mars is solar and that the interior composition is mostly chondritic. It's very different.
The results show that Mars' atmosphere could not have been formed by outgassing from the mantle. The atmosphere from the solar nebula must have been acquired after the ocean cooled.
According to the new results, Mars' growth was completed before the sun's radiation dissipated. The atmosphere on Mars should have been blown off by the irradiation.
In order for that to happen, Mars would have to have been cold. There are some interesting questions about the origin and composition of Mars' early atmosphere after our study pointed to the chondritic gases in the Martian interior.
Péron and Mukhopadhyay hope that their study will lead to further research on the topic.More information: Sandrine Péron, Krypton in the Chassigny meteorite shows Mars accreted chondritic volatiles before nebular gases, Science (2022). DOI: 10.1126/science.abk1175. www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abk1175 Journal information: Science