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Earth's volcanic rocks come from melted asteroids.
Many of the Earth's volcanic rocks might have come from melted asteroids, according to researchers from the UK's Open University. The scientists have discovered that many early asteroids were quite volcanic and would have had large magma oceans. These asteroids would have become layered with lighter rock forming near the surface while denser rocks were deeper inside. The Earth probably grew from the accumulation of these melted asteroids.
When the recent discovery of a planet orbiting Gliese 876 was announced by astronomers, much of the interest focused on how "Earthlike" it is. So, just how like our home planet is it? Well... not very. For starters, the planet orbits only.021 the distance from the Earth to the Sun, and whips around its star once every 2 days. It has 6-8 times the mass of the Earth, so the gravity would be crushing for any potential life, not to mention the terrible radiation exposure from being so close to its parent star.
Jets of material seem common in the Universe; blasting away from black holes, Neutron stars, the hearts of galaxies, and even newborn stars. Unfortunately, the source of these jets are usually obscured by thick dust. Astronomers using the submillimeter array have been able to peer through this dust and see right down the throat of a nearby jet in a young star system called Herbig-Haro 211. It will eventually become a low mass star similar to our Sun, and help explain the stages stars go through in early life.
Astronomers have built up a map of neutrinos that existed when the universe was very young, and have found that ripples in the distribution of these particles match predictions about the Standard Model of the Big Bang. Neutrinos are particles that are difficult to measure because they have little mass, and barely interact with anything else. The discovery was made by combining data from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.
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