Dating antarcic meteorites

However, while meteorite falls should be distributed almost uniformly across the Earth’s surface, meteorite collection data (see Table 1) reveals that the proportion of iron-based meteorites (iron meteorites and stony-iron meteorites) recovered from Antarctica, 0.7%, is significantly lower than the proportion recovered after witnessed falls (see Supplementary Note 2) from the rest of the World, 5.5%—a statistical difference at over the 99.9% confidence level.This comparison suggests that one or more physical mechanisms are resulting in an apparent shortfall of iron-based meteorite falls in Antarctica.

Much of what transpired during the solar system's formation is lost to time.Going off of such snapshots of infant systems, astronomers gauged the lifetime of the early solar nebula at 1 to 10 million years.The recent MIT study, published in the February 9th Science, refines these estimates, putting the end of the solar nebula at 3 to 4 million years.Also, the rocks' magnetism was frozen-in during their formation, giving researchers a record of what the magnetic field was like at the time.The team tested the angrites using a precision magnetometer at the MIT Paleomagnetism Laboratory and found remnant magnetism so weak, it could have only been produced in an extremely weak magnetic field of no more than 0.6 microteslas about 3.8 million years after the solar system's formation.

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