About 4.5 billion years ago our planet and solar system completed the formation process and took final shape. This process took just 200,000 years. The discovery belongs to a team of scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) who studied molybdenum isotopes found in meteorites to calculate the duration of the process.
The substance that makes up the sun and the rest of the system was formed as a result of the collapse of a very large gas and dust cloud 4.5 billion years ago. By observing stellar systems similar to the solar system, scientists have found that it took about 1-2 million years for cloud collapse and star formation, but this is the first study to specifically study the duration of the origin of our solar system.
According to LLNL cosmochemist and lead author of the study, published in the journal Science, Greg Beneka, the duration of the formation of the solar system has not been determined. “This study shows that the collapse of the cloud, which later led to the formation of the solar system, occurred very quickly, in just 200,000 years. Compared to the emergence of man, it would be the same as the gestation period lasting 12 hours instead of 9 months. This process developed very quickly.” , Notes Beneca.
The earliest known solids in the solar system are calcium and aluminum-rich compounds (CAIs). Their samples provide direct information about the formation of the solar system. These compounds with the smallest diameters (from micrometers to centimeters) found in meteorites were formed in high temperature environments (over 1,300 Kelvin), presumably near the young sun. Then, they moved to the place where carbonate chondrite meteorites were formed, and where they were discovered today. Most of the CAI originated 4.567 billion years ago and this process lasted from about 400,000 to 200,000 years.
The LLNL team studied the composition and chemical isotopes of molybdenum dispersed in various CAIs taken from carbonate chondrites, including Allende (the largest carbonate chondrite found on Earth). CAI molybdenum isotope-containing compounds have been found to contain a range of substances that have formed not in any small volume of space but throughout the protoplanetary disk. Therefore, their formation must have taken exactly the time it took for the cloud to collapse.
Since the known time of formation of the stellar system (1-2 million years) is much longer than the period of formation of the CAI, the team was able to determine at what astronomical phase of the formation of the solar system and, consequently, how fast the formation of those substances. Of which the solar system today consists.