A noble record

Verchovsky, Sasha and Sephton, Mark (2005). A noble record. Astronomy & Geophysics, 46(2) pp. 12–14.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-4004.2005.46212.x


Meteorites contain unusual mixtures of noble gases that reflect contributions from several extraterrestrial environments. Processes that predate the formation of the solar system – such as condensation in stellar atmospheres and violent supernovae explosions – have introduced noble gases into interstellar grains that include diamonds, silicon carbide and graphite. The solar wind has implanted solar mixtures of gas into the surfaces of asteroids from which meteorites originate. An enigmatic carrier of planetary noble gases remains unidentified. Cosmogenic and radiogenic noble gases reveal the timing of events during solar system formation and the eventual break-up of the asteroidal meteorite parent body.

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