News of the WeekPlanetary Science

Space Rock Hints at Early Asteroid Furnace

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  21 May 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5418, pp. 1246-1247
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5418.1246b

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

On page 1348, a team of planetary scientists offers the first hard evidence of what melted large asteroids in the early solar system. They report that a 4.57-billion-year-old meteorite--a fragment of an asteroid that developed a molten interior and crust in the early days of the solar system--bears the unmistakable signs of a radioactive heat source: The rock once contained enough of the radioactive isotope aluminum-26 to have melted.