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December 12, 2010

New study shows earthly gold came from 'alien' bombardment

Researchers from the University of Maryland, College Park, the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California have come to a common ground for an explanation on why we have iron-loving elements, such as gold, platinum, and palladium on earth. While studying other planets will iron cores (Earth has an iron core), the researchers found that iron-loving elements should be pulled to the planet's core during planetary formation so essentially, none of these iron-loving elements should be in the crust of the planet.

Since Earth has a decent amount of these iron-loving elements in the crust, scientist have been searching for reasons as to why that occurred. Scientists suggested that something must have happened to bring new iron-loving elements to Earth after completion of the separation of the metallic core and silicate mantle. They concluded that these elements were brought to Earth by impacts during the final phase of planet formation in our solar system. The scientists then used models to see what sized objects would meet the criteria.

They concluded that the largest Earth impactor was 1,500 to 2,000 miles (2,400 to 3,200 kilometers) in diameter, while those hitting the Moon were only 150 to 200 miles (250 to 300 km) across. Notice that the size of the impactors that were hitting the Earth are roughly the size of Pluto.


Posted by kalajk at December 12, 2010 03:28 PM


For some reason, it is cutting off the last part of the URL when I post it in the original entry so I am going to post it here.


Posted by: kalajk at December 12, 2010 03:57 PM

I wonder if they will ever be able to prove such a claim. It is interesting to think about where our elements come from. It is also interesting to think about where the source of the material could specifically be.

Posted by: atkrupk at December 12, 2010 09:27 PM

Actually, I remember reading about how craters from meteor impacts are extremely rich in gold, especially the crater that survives to this day of the meteor impact that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs.

So, I don't think it is a strange claim at all...

Posted by: dkaknjo at December 15, 2010 01:43 PM

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