Australian Space Science Conference 2011
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Maria Lugaro

Radioactivity in the early Solar System

Maria Lugaro
Monash Centre for Astrophysics (MoCA), Monash University

Amanda Karakas
Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, ANU

Carolyn Doherty
Monash Centre for Astrophysics (MoCA), Monash University

Kurt Liffman
CSIRO/MSE

Sarah Maddison
Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing, Swinburne University

     Full text: Not available
     Last modified: July 27, 2011

Abstract
Laboratory measurements of primitive meteoritic material demonstrate that the early Solar System was rich in the abundances of radioactive nuclei and, in particular, of radioactive nuclei with relatively short half-lives, such as aluminium-26 (0.7 Myr), iron-60 (2.6 Myr), and even calcium-41 (0.1 Myr). Given their short half-lives these nuclei must have been produced either inside the early Solar System, via bombardment of material by fast particles coming from the young Sun, or by a nearby stellar source, such as a supernova or a giant star. I will present the pros and cons of the different scenarios proposed to date and discuss how this radioactivity represents a key to understanding the origin of the Solar System and how it contributed to the evolution of planetesimals.

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