Astronomical context of Solar System formation from molybdenum isotopes in meteorite inclusions

1,2Gregory A. Brennecka,2Christoph Burkhardt,2,3Gerrit Budde,1,4Thomas S. Kruijer,5Francis Nimmo,2Thorsten Kleine
Science 370, 837-840 Link to Article [DOI: 10.1126/science.aaz8482]
1Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, USA.
2Institut für Planetologie, University of Münster, Münster, Germany.
3Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA.
4Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science, Berlin, Germany.
5Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA, USA.
Reprinted with permission from AAAS

Calcium-aluminum–rich inclusions (CAIs) in meteorites are the first solids to have formed in the Solar System, defining the epoch of its birth on an absolute time scale. This provides a link between astronomical observations of star formation and cosmochemical studies of Solar System formation. We show that the distinct molybdenum isotopic compositions of CAIs cover almost the entire compositional range of material that formed in the protoplanetary disk. We propose that CAIs formed while the Sun was in transition from the protostellar to pre–main sequence (T Tauri) phase of star formation, placing Solar System formation within an astronomical context. Our results imply that the bulk of the material that formed the Sun and Solar System accreted within the CAI-forming epoch, which lasted less than 200,000 years.

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