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Purdue Research Shows Some Meteorites Contain Planetary Residue

Meteorite.jpg
courtesy NASA
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http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/images/content/648235main_ACD12-0067-001.jpg

Scientists have long thought meteors may contain the early building blocks of planets in our solar system, but new research from Purdue University shows that it may be the other way around.

A team of scientists from Purdue and MIT looked at what are known as chondrules -- particles found in every meteorite that has landed on the earth that were once molten droplets.

Many scientists believed that the chondrules could have mixed with gases and dust to form the planets of our solar system, but that is not what was found by a team led by a former Purdue graduate student.

In fact, says Purdue professor Jay Melosh (mell-OSH), they’re more like a side effect – debris left over from other planets.

The researchers found that larger bodies, such as Earth‘s moon, have likely been around longer than the chondrules, though not much longer in the universal scheme of time.

The team concluded the collisions of debris that formed the planets caused some of the material to melt, and the chondrules that show up in meteorites were formed when that molten material cooled.

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