The Asteroid Vesta has a turbulent past, a new study by researchers from the University of Curtin highlights the first days of Vesta. A new study by researchers at the University of Curtin highlights the first days of Vesta, the second largest asteroid in the main belt and the fourth object that was discovered as such.
When NASA’s Dawn spacecraft flies to its next destination, it synthesizes some of the best ideas of the giant asteroid of a mosaic spacecraft. Don studied Vesta from July 2011 to September 2012. The huge mountain at the South Pole and twice the height of Mount Everest appears at the bottom of the image.
The set of three craters known as ‘snowmen’ can be seen from the upper left. Image from NASA / JPL-Caltech as NASA’s Dawn spacecraft leaves for its next destination. This mosaic synthesizes some of the best ideas that the giant asteroid Vesta had in the spacecraft.
Don studied Vesta from July 2011 to September 2012. The huge mountain at the South Pole and more than twice the height of Mount Everest is visible at the bottom of the image. The set of three craters known as ‘snowmen’ can be seen from the upper left.
Discovered by Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers on March 29, 1807, Vesta is the only asteroid of the visible main belt without eyes. It rotates once in 5.34 hours and orbits around the Sun in 3.63 years. It has an ellipsoidal shape with radial dimensions of 286 x 279 x 223 km.
Due to its large size, Vesta is considered a differentiated body with a nucleus and a mantle like our own planet. Collisions between asteroids in the belt allow them to drop their orbits and travel great distances in our solar system, possibly colliding with other planetary objects.
The lead author of the study, Professor Fred Jersdan, said: “Vesta is of great interest to scientists trying to learn more about what planets are made of and how they evolved. Vesta is the only predominantly intact asteroid that exhibits complete discrimination with a metal core.
A silicate mantle and a thin basaltic crust, and is also very small. In a sense, it is like a child planet, and therefore it is easier for scientists to understand than to say, a large, large and rocky planet. Vesta was visited by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft in 2011.
When it was observed that the asteroid had a more complex geological history than before. Hoping to understand more about the asteroid, Professor Jordan and his colleagues analyzed well-preserved specimens of volcanic meteorites found in Antarctica.
Which were identified as falling from Vesta to Earth. Using an argon-argon dating technique, we obtained a very precise age series for meteorites, which gave us four very important pieces of new information about the timeline in Vesta, explained Professor Jordan.
First, the data showed that Vesta was volcanically active for at least 30 million years after its original formation, which occurred 4,565 million years ago. While this may sound short, it is actually much longer than most predicted numerical models, and was unpredictable for such a small asteroid.
Since all the radioactive elements that provide heat, such as aluminum-26, would have completely decomposed at that time, our research suggests that the magma bags should have survived in the vesta.
And possibly slow cooling. The layer of asteroids was related to the partial magma that occurs. The study was co-author of Drs. The investigation also showed deadlines when large asteroid impacts ejected craters ten or more kilometers from the active crust of the Vista volcano, said Trudy Kennedy.
To put it in perspective, imagine destroying a large asteroid on the main volcanic island of Hawaii and digging a well 15 kilometers deep. Which gives you an idea of what a show in Vesta is in the early days of our solar system It had happened.
The scientists searched the data more to understand what was happening in the asteroid, how long it took for Vesta’s deep crust layer to cool. Some of these rocks were located too deep in the crust to be affected by asteroid impacts, and yet, being close to the mantle.
They were greatly affected by the protoplanet‘s natural heat gradient and metamorphosed. What makes it interesting is that our data corroborates the suggestion that the first flow of cracked lava in the Vesta was recently buried in its crust by lava flows, essentially placing them on top of each other.
To maintain. Modifying the rocks, they were cooked with the heat of the protoplanet mantle, Dr. Kennedy said. The team also concluded that the meteorites they analyzed were excavated in the Vesta 3.5 million years ago during a major impact and were sunk deeply into a debris pile asteroid.
Where they were later discovered. It was also saved from impact. An asteroid from a pile of rubble is formed when a group of emitted rocks assemble under its own gravity, creating an asteroid that essentially collides with a pile of rocks.
This is very exciting for us because our new data brings a lot of new information about the first 50 million years or the early history of Vesta. Which any future model must take into account, Kennedy said.
It also raises the point that if the volcano could last longer in the protoplanet, perhaps the volcano itself could be more energetic on primitive Earth than we currently think. The findings were published in the March 2020 issue of the Journal Science.