The astronomy community is in shock and delight as a new discovery may completely change the current theory about the evolution of our solar system.
It is common knowledge that the sun is about 4.6 billion years old. At the time it was forming, it was surrounded by a cloud of dust and gas, which would ultimately become the building blocks for the billions of asteroids that circle the solar system today.
Current theories propose that two early types of solids were formed eons apart. However, astronomers from the University of Copenhagen have devised a new dating technique that puts this belief into question.
The two types of solids in question are chondrules and calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs), both of which are commonly found in meteorites. CAIs form when droplets of molten gas reach less than 1,880 degrees Fahrenheit. Chondrules, on the other hand, are formed when large collections of dust drop in temperatures below 1,340 degrees Fahrenheit.
The new model proposes that the spinning disk responsible for the creation of the sun, planets and moons had massive amounts of energy within it. This caused particles to flatten as the center of the disk was formed into the sun. As the material began condensing and collapsing, gigantic surges in energy caused a massive wave of heat that affected the state of the chondrules and CAIs.
The discovery could explain how all solids are formed within a protoplanetary disk. Previous models show that within our solar system, chondrules did not form for another two million years until after the formation of CAIs. This theory, however, puzzled astronomers as observation of other planetary systems suggest they were formed differently.
Old dating methods rely on the amount of aluminum found in meteorites. This method was flawed because not all forms of aluminum are distributed evenly within the solar system. Under the new dating system, meteorites are broken apart where the lead and uranium can be measured using spectrometers.