Meteorites have inherited nucleosynthetic anomalies of potassium-40 produced in supernovae

1Nicole X. Nie,1,2Da Wang,1Zachary A. Torrano,1Richard W. Carlson,1Conel M. O’D. Alexander,1Anat Shahar
Science 379, 6630 Link to Article [DOI: 10.1126/science.abn178]
1Earth and Planets Laboratory, Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington, DC 20015, USA.
2International Center for Planetary Science, College of Earth Sciences, Chengdu University of Technology, 610059 Chengdu, China.
Reprinted with permission from AAAS

Meteorites record processes that occurred before and during the formation of the Solar System in the form of nucleosynthetic anomalies: isotopic compositions that differ from the Solar System patterns. Nucleosynthetic anomalies are rarely seen in volatile elements such as potassium at bulk meteorite scale. We measured potassium isotope ratios in 32 meteorites and identified nucleosynthetic anomalies in the isotope potassium-40. The anomalies are larger and more variable in carbonaceous chondrite (CC) meteorites than in noncarbonaceous (NC) meteorites, indicating that CCs inherited more material produced in supernova nucleosynthesis. The potassium-40 anomaly of Earth is close to that of the NCs, implying that Earth’s potassium was mostly delivered by NCs.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s