The asteroid belt could actually be a giant cosmic refugee camp

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The study claims that C-type asteroids, which contain carbon, were blown out of gas giants while S-type asteroids, which contain silicates and are mainly found in the inner asteroid belt, originated from rocky planets. .

“Models of the formation of the solar system had assumed that the asteroid belt once contained a large amount of material which was then depleted,” says Sean Raymond of the University of Washington, lead author of the article, published in review. Scientists progress. “To give you a scale, these models had to remove about 99.9%, but not 100%, of the material that had started in the belt. Some models were successful, but it was a big challenge.

But what if it started out like nothing?

“Our approach in this article was to assume the exact opposite, that the tape started empty and then had to be filled later,” explains Raymond. “The answer is, from an empty belt, a belt that looks a lot like the current one is populated effortlessly. I didn’t expect it to work so easily, to be honest.

Now that this model has been proven successful, the next step will be to determine who is right. “One step will be to try to resolve the differences between the models to see if we can eliminate one,” explains Raymond. “At the same time, expanding our thinking to try to understand why the solar system is different from most extra-solar planetary systems.”


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