Building Habitable Worlds: Clues From the Meteorite Record
Dr Ashley King
Dr Ashley King, Researcher Co-Investigator, The Department of Earth Sciences, Natural History Museum
The solar system was created from the collapse of an interstellar cloud of gas and dust ~4.6 billion years ago. But how did that gas and dust coalesce into the Sun and planets that we see today? And what processes and events led to formation of habitable planets like the Earth? Meteorites are rocky time capsules that probe the earliest stages of solar system formation and the evolution of planets.
Most meteorites come from asteroids that have remained dormant throughout their history and preserve the very dust that was once swirling around the newly forming Sun. In this talk, I will describe how the mineralogy and chemistry of meteorites is being used to constrain the first stages of accretion and the transport and mixing of volatile species in the protoplanetary disk. I will also discuss how the upcoming analysis of samples collected from the carbonaceous asteroids Ryugu and Bennu by JAXA’s Hayabusa2 and NASA’s OSIRIS-REx missions are set to transform our understanding of solar system formation.