Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mars formed more quickly than usual in nature planets

The planet Mars acquired its mass in a very short period of time , from smaller bodies (between 10 and 100 kilometers in diameter) that were in the solar protoplanetary disk, according to a study published in the latest issue of the journal Nature.

The research, led by Nicolas Dauphas of the University of Chicago , and Ali Pourmand, the University of Miami , provides clues to clarify the geological origin of Mars and its subsequent evolution as well as the reason for its small size, almost half that of the Earth.

From the isotopic data of hafnium, tungsten and thorium found in Martian meteorites, and Pourmand Dauphas his study estimated that Mars acquired its mass at high speed, reaching half its size in just 1.8 million years.

It concluded that Mars was developed between two and four million years after the birth of our solar system, much faster than the Earth, which took between 50 and 100 million years to reach its maximum size.

The terrestrial planets , those who, unlike the gas giants have a solid surface, is formed from collisions of large "planetary embryos" with a diameter of between 1,000 and 5,000 kilometers.

Although current models that reproduce the formation of rocky planets can explain the mass and dynamics of bodies like Earth and Venus, do not account for the small size of Mars.

One of the possibilities that science deck is that Mars was one of those embryos that, after escaping from collisions with other larger bodies, accumulate mass from other small bodies. To confirm this hypothesis , it is necessary to accurately determine the time taken to reach Mars in its present mass, a measure which has so far yielded conflicting results.

The study of Dauphas and Pourmand, which states that the red planet mass accumulated at high speed, supports the theory "embryonic" in their training. The research also indicates that Mars formed before the gas to dissipate the cloud of hydrogen, helium and dust that gave birth to the Solar System, at a time in which the planetesimals (solid objects in protoplanetary disks, about 100 kilometers diameter) were still in training.


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