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Fast delivery of meteorites to Earth after a major asteroid collision

Heck, PR; Schmitz, Birger LU ; Baur, H; Halliday, AN and Wieler, R (2004) In Nature 430(6997). p.323-325
Abstract
Very large collisions in the asteroid belt could lead temporarily to a substantial increase in the rate of impacts of meteorites on Earth. Orbital simulations predict that fragments from such events may arrive considerably faster than the typical transit times of meteorites falling today, because in some large impacts part of the debris is transferred directly into a resonant orbit with Jupiter(1,2). Such an efficient meteorite delivery track, however, has not been verified. Here we report high-sensitivity measurements of noble gases produced by cosmic rays in chromite grains from a unique suite of fossil meteorites(3) preserved in similar to480 million year old sediments. The transfer times deduced from the noble gases are as short as... (More)
Very large collisions in the asteroid belt could lead temporarily to a substantial increase in the rate of impacts of meteorites on Earth. Orbital simulations predict that fragments from such events may arrive considerably faster than the typical transit times of meteorites falling today, because in some large impacts part of the debris is transferred directly into a resonant orbit with Jupiter(1,2). Such an efficient meteorite delivery track, however, has not been verified. Here we report high-sensitivity measurements of noble gases produced by cosmic rays in chromite grains from a unique suite of fossil meteorites(3) preserved in similar to480 million year old sediments. The transfer times deduced from the noble gases are as short as similar to10(5) years, and they increase with stratigraphic height in agreement with the estimated duration of sedimentation. These data provide powerful evidence that this unusual meteorite occurrence was the result of a long-lasting rain of meteorites following the destruction of an asteroid, and show that at least one strong resonance in the main asteroid belt can deliver material into the inner Solar System within the short timescales suggested by dynamical models. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Nature
volume
430
issue
6997
pages
323 - 325
publisher
Nature Publishing Group
external identifiers
  • pmid:15254530
  • wos:000222631200033
  • scopus:3142725570
ISSN
0028-0836
DOI
10.1038/nature02736
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7417f2ac-9c65-4c3b-8e25-d401f250b1e1 (old id 273756)
date added to LUP
2007-10-22 14:58:18
date last changed
2017-12-17 03:26:12
@article{7417f2ac-9c65-4c3b-8e25-d401f250b1e1,
  abstract     = {Very large collisions in the asteroid belt could lead temporarily to a substantial increase in the rate of impacts of meteorites on Earth. Orbital simulations predict that fragments from such events may arrive considerably faster than the typical transit times of meteorites falling today, because in some large impacts part of the debris is transferred directly into a resonant orbit with Jupiter(1,2). Such an efficient meteorite delivery track, however, has not been verified. Here we report high-sensitivity measurements of noble gases produced by cosmic rays in chromite grains from a unique suite of fossil meteorites(3) preserved in similar to480 million year old sediments. The transfer times deduced from the noble gases are as short as similar to10(5) years, and they increase with stratigraphic height in agreement with the estimated duration of sedimentation. These data provide powerful evidence that this unusual meteorite occurrence was the result of a long-lasting rain of meteorites following the destruction of an asteroid, and show that at least one strong resonance in the main asteroid belt can deliver material into the inner Solar System within the short timescales suggested by dynamical models.},
  author       = {Heck, PR and Schmitz, Birger and Baur, H and Halliday, AN and Wieler, R},
  issn         = {0028-0836},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6997},
  pages        = {323--325},
  publisher    = {Nature Publishing Group},
  series       = {Nature},
  title        = {Fast delivery of meteorites to Earth after a major asteroid collision},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature02736},
  volume       = {430},
  year         = {2004},
}