The study reveals the secrets of the origin of asteroids and meteorites. Most asteroids and meteorites formed as a result of the destruction of a small number of minor planets in the early Solar system, according to a new study. In this study it is shown that at least 85 percent of the 200,000 asteroids of the Main asteroid belt – the main source of meteorites found in Earth are fragments of five or six small planets.
The remaining 15 percent of space rocks may also take their origin from the same group of primary bodies of the Solar system, says Stanley Dermott (Dermott Stanley), the main author of the new research and the astronomer-theorist from the University of Florida, USA. This discovery is of great importance for the understanding of the materials that have shaped our own rocky planet, said Dermott.
These findings provide insight into the evolutionary history of asteroids and the materials from which they were formed – information that, according to Dermott, will be of great value in developing the means of protecting Earth and humanity from the threat of meteorites the size of the Statue of Liberty and asteroids whose energy exceeds the energy of the atomic bomb.
The team Dermott showed that the orbit type of an asteroid depends on its size. These findings show that differences in the composition of meteorites found in Earth, were the result of evolutionary changes that have occurred in several large bodies of the predecessors that existed more than 4 billion years ago.
A study published in the journal Nature Astronomy.