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A study simulating the final stages of terrestrial planet formation shows that 'hit-and-run' encounters play a significant role in the acquisition of water by large protoplanets, like those that grew into Mars and Earth. The results will be presented by Christoph Burger at the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) 2018 in Berlin.
Four and a half billion years ago, the inner Solar System was a chaotic place with around 50-100 protoplanets ranging in size from the Moon to Mars that were prone to giant collisions. Bodies that formed within what is now the orbit of Mars contained no water as the conditions were too hot for volatile material, like water or methane, to condense. For water to make its way onto the developing terrestrial planets, water needed to be delivered from outside this region via a sequence of collisions.
Burger - Colleagues - University - Vienna - Tübingen
Burger and colleagues from the University of Vienna and Tübingen have used high-resolution simulations to track the fate of water and other materials through a series of different impact scenarios. Outcomes of collisions could include bodies sticking together, material being lost, or being redistributed between the two objects. The...
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