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Carbonaceous chondrite meteorites experienced fluid flow within the past million years

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Science  08 Jan 2021:
Vol. 371, Issue 6525, pp. 164-167
DOI: 10.1126/science.abc8116

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Recent fluid flow in ancient meteorites

Carbonaceous chondritic meteorites are thought to be fragments broken off parent bodies that orbit in the outer Solar System, largely unaltered since their formation. These meteorites contain evidence of reactions with liquid water that was thought to have been lost or completely frozen billions of years ago. Turner et al. examined uranium and thorium isotopes in several carbonaceous chondrites, finding nonequilibrium distributions that imply that uranium ions were transported by fluid flow. Because this signature disappears after several half-lives of the radioactive isotopes, the meteorites must have been exposed to liquid within the past million years. The authors suggest that ice may have melted during the impacts that ejected the meteorites from their parent bodies.

Science, this issue p. 164

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