The popular theory of the Early Solar System was challenged by evidence from meteorites. The scientists believed that the inner Solar System had experienced a period of intense meteorite bombardment. But now the researchers found an evidence that that period was actually much later and in intensity it was not so strong and prolonged. New details discovered by the astronomers can generally change the theory of the evolution of our planet and the period of the origin of the life on it.
Nearly four billion years ago, the Solar System was extremely inhospitable. And although most of the space bodies familiar today had been already present in it, they looked different, especially the Blue Planet.
The research involving knowledge of the impact of meteorites and data from planetary geology suggested that a huge number of impacts with meteorites had to be experienced from the Mars-Jupiter asteroid belt around that time. The discovery turned out to be extremely important, since the period under consideration by the scientists is not only a part of the time interval when the Earth's surface acquired a recognizable shape. But also the time when the first forms of life were born on our planet.
Thanks to the precise details provided by the Earth's rocky history, the scientists were able to get answers to long-standing questions about the mechanisms that are responsible for life. They were also able to gather information for other areas of science studying the origin of life on the Earth.
Many asteroid rocks have a complex history. To study it, the researchers use special, very powerful microscopes. In fact, meteorites are the earliest history and the birth of planets and stars begins from it. Professor Yuji Sano of the Institute for Atmospheric and Oceanic Research, University of Tokyo says so. By studying the properties of the radioactive decay of meteorites that have fallen to the Earth, the scientists try to figure out where they came from and what was their composition.
As a part of the study, they studied meteorites from Vesta - that is the second largest asteroid after the dwarf planet Ceres. About 4.5 billion years ago, Vesta was hit by many meteorite impacts. But new studies showed that the powerful bombardment occurred at a different time, it was about 3.9 billion years ago. The evidence came from samples of meteorites brought by the Apollo astronauts from the lunar surface.
The results of the study indicate that early meteorite collisions with the Solar System peaked earlier, and their activity decreased over time, and the existing models created by the scientists do not accurately describe the catastrophic period of the chaos.