[meteorite-list] Scientists decode magnetic message from ancient asteroid
From: Shawn Alan <shawnalan_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2015 18:42:59 -0700
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Scientists decode magnetic message from ancient asteroid
by Felix Balthasar, Jan 24, 2015
A team of scientists led by Dr. Richard Harrison of the University of
Cambridge, U. K., claimed to have decoded ancient recordings from
fragments of an asteroid dating to the start of our solar system.
According to the scientists, tiny "space magnets" in meteorites retain a
memory of birth as well as death of the asteroid's core. Using a
powerful X-ray microscope, dubbed synchrotron, they read the signals
created more than four-&-a-half billion years ago, soon after the solar
system came into existence.
They used an intense beam of X-rays to image the nanoscale magnetisation
of the meteoritic metal, which allowed them to capture the precise
moment when the core of that meteorite's parent asteroid froze, putting
an end to that meteorite's magnetic field.
The particular meteorites used for the study are known as pallasites,
which are primarily composed of iron and nickel, studded with
gem-quality silicate crystals.
Scientists believe that the magnetic signals written in the fragments of
space rock would give them a sneak preview of the fate of Earth's
magnetic core, which continues to freeze.
Received on Sun 25 Jan 2015 08:42:59 PM PST