New discovery shatters previous beliefs about Earth's origin

New discovery shatters previous beliefs about Earth’s origin
Credit: University of Western Ontario

A new study led by Western University's all-star cosmochemist Audrey Bouvier proves that the Earth and other planetary objects formed in the early years of the Solar System share similar chemical origins – a finding at odds with accepted wisdom held by scientists for decades.

The findings were published today by the high-impact journal Nature.

Bouvier, the Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Planetary Materials and an Isotope Cosmochemistry professor in Western's Department of Earth Sciences, made the game-changing discovery in collaboration with Maud Boyet from the renowned Magmas and Volcanoes Laboratory at Blaise Pascal University in Clermont-Ferrand, France.

With data uncovered through thermal ionization mass spectrometry, Bouvier and Boyet demonstrated that the Earth and other extraterrestrial objects share the same initial levels of Neodymium-142 (142Nd) – one of seven isotopes found in the chemical element neodymium – which is widely distributed in the Earth's crust and most commonly used for magnets in commercial products like microphones and in-ear headphones.

In 2005, a small variation in 142Nd was detected between chondrites, which are stony meteorites considered essential building blocks of the Earth, and terrestrial rocks. These results were widely interpreted as an early differentiation of the interior of the Earth (including the crust and mantle) and these chondrites within the first 30 million years of its history.

New discovery shatters previous beliefs about Earth’s origin
Credit: University of Western Ontario

These new results from Bouvier and Boyet show that these differences in 142Nd were in fact already present during the growth of Earth and not introduced later, as was previously believed.

"How the Earth was formed and what type of were part of that formation are issues that have puzzled generations of scientists," says Bouvier, Curator of the Western Meteorite Collection and also a principal investigator at Western's Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration (CPSX). "And these new isotopic measurements of meteorites provide exciting answers to these questions about our origins and what made the Earth so special."

By using vastly improved measurement techniques, Bouvier and Boyet deduced that different meteoritical objects found in the Solar System incorporated the elements neodymium (Nd) and samarium (Sm) but with slightly different isotopic compositions. These variations in stable isotopes also show that the Solar System was not uniform during its earliest times and that materials formed from previous generations of stars were incorporated in various proportions into the of planets.


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More information: A. Bouvier et al. Primitive Solar System materials and Earth share a common initial 142Nd abundance, Nature (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nature19351
Journal information: Nature

Citation: New discovery shatters previous beliefs about Earth's origin (2016, September 14) retrieved 15 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-09-discovery-shatters-previous-beliefs-earth.html
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Sep 15, 2016

Not even 1% yet.


To be accurate, we don't actually know that either.

Sep 15, 2016
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Sep 15, 2016
On a site with 11 tracking cookies and a warning every page about ad blocking software? Never...

Phys1 5 /5 (2) 1 hour ago

Be humble and shut up for the next 2000 years, BartV.


FWIW, Bart Verheggen is a well known pseudoscience promoter, liar, religionist and a pariah in the Netherlands. I live in Leiden and have met him (unfortunately). He's one of these that you look at and say, "OK, I can see why someone would be so desperate to believe any fairy story that gives their life meaning". https://ourchangi...ess.com/

Sep 15, 2016
This 'slight difference' I theorize is due to the fact that Sol originally had the gas giants and outer planets, was itself a huge star which then imploded under a magnetic field --off loaded its charge to maintain balance with its environment---and acquired the rocky planets inside its former dimension. Viola, the system of Sol. Acquired at two different times, two different sets of planets.
The Moon was then birthed from Sol under similar circumstances but less charge allowing planetary survival.
The hesitation that science shows in embracing magnetic fields generated by electrical currents in space has more to do with confusing the issue as to be able to be 'first' to claim discovery when and if some actual particle--the missing Higgs--is proven to exist.

Sep 17, 2016
The truth is science is just our last best conclusion till we uncover something that puts our last conclusion to rest. Science is not fact but the collective conclusion till amended later. There is no 'settled science' nor will there ever be for as long as man walks the Earth.

Sep 17, 2016
The truth is science is just our last best conclusion till we uncover something that puts our last conclusion to rest. Science is not fact but the collective conclusion till amended later. There is no 'settled science' nor will there ever be for as long as man walks the Earth.


There is *lots* of settled science by now. It is also called the basis for "everyday physics", i.e. everything except exotic physics such as black holes.

"The Laws Underlying The Physics of Everyday Life Are Completely Understood ... Fifty years ago we more or less had it figured out, depending on how picky you want to be about the nuclear forces. But there's no question that the human goal of figuring out the basic rules by which the easily observable world works was one that was achieved once and for all in the twentieth century." [ http://blogs.disc...4X_CLTIU ]

Sep 17, 2016
This 'slight difference' I theorize is due to the fact that Sol originally had the gas giants and outer planets, was itself a huge star which then imploded under a magnetic field --off loaded its charge to maintain balance with its environment---and acquired the rocky planets inside its former dimension. Viola, the system of Sol. Acquired at two different times, two different sets of planets.
The Moon was then birthed from Sol under similar circumstances but less charge allowing planetary survival.
The hesitation that science shows in embracing magnetic fields generated by electrical currents in space has more to do with confusing the issue as to be able to be 'first' to claim discovery when and if some actual particle--the missing Higgs--is proven to exist
Velikovsky was right!

Uh, right?

Re the article I love it when things get upended-

Sep 19, 2016

The hesitation that science shows in embracing magnetic fields generated by electrical currents in space has more to do with confusing the issue as to be able to be 'first' to claim discovery when and if some actual particle--the missing Higgs--is proven to exist.


You forgot to mention Nicola Tesla and how Planet Nibiru, ah, and the Klingon Imperial Navy.

Sep 19, 2016
I was under the impression that it's been known for a long time that the solar system was created in an area rich in heavier elements found only in supernova debris, or absorbed same during it's formative years. Aren't those elements crucial to the development of higher forms of life, if not the lower ones, for that matter? Even regular ol' novae are needed for anything heavier than hydrogen or helium anyway, right? As my Dad used to say, if I knew what I was talking about I'd be dangerous...

Sep 19, 2016
I was under the impression that it's been known for a long time that the solar system was created in an area rich in heavier elements found only in supernova debris, or absorbed same during it's formative years. Aren't those elements crucial to the development of higher forms of life, if not the lower ones, for that matter? Even regular ol' novae are needed for anything heavier than hydrogen or helium anyway, right? As my Dad used to say, if I knew what I was talking about I'd be dangerous...
No, you have it right. This is discussing what occurred during the formation within the cloud of supernova debris after the collapse of the initial cloud and after (or just slightly before) the ignition of the protostar and probably during the Sun's T-Tauri phase.

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