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Scientists have just added a second dimension to the early chemistry of the Solar System

How our Solar System was formed and the planets too, is complex and difficult to understand. Not only did it occur some 4.5 billion years before anyone was around to observe it, but it also involves complicated computer simulations to reconstruct what might have occurred. Now researchers from Swinburne University of Technology and the University of Lyon have teamed up to generate a two-dimensional map of the dust chemistry that might have been in the solar nebula - the dust cloud that made the Solar System.

In order to understand this, let’s get back to fundamentals. The nebular hypothesis is the theory that the Solar System was made by the collapse of a huge molecular cloud. This cloud had the mass and size to yield vital molecules and dust, which then clumped and crashed together to ultimately produce the Solar System as we know today.

Previous research has concentrated on one-dimensional radial condensation structures, which only simulated one disc layer of the solar nebula at a time. So there is a room for error, and produces simulations that cannot sufficiently clarify the global chemistry of the molecular cloud.

Though, this recent paper describes a model that has two dimensions, permitting scientists to understand the chemistry behind the system, along with addressing the different zones of denser elements inside the solar nebula.

The inner Solar System was supposed to be too warm for volatile molecules for instance water and methane to condense. Instead planetesimals, or protoplanets nearby to our baby Sun would produce compounds with high melting points, for example, metals and rocky silicates.

Those in the outer Solar System are believed to have come from volatile molecules only in the chiller temperatures. It was supposed that the dust dispersal would display the same patterns.

Nevertheless, when the recent 2D maps were created by the scientists, it exposed that some high-temperature materials were spotted at large distances from the Sun, and volatile materials were actually inside the inner disk.

Lead researcher Francesco Pignatale, said "This makes it possible to find relatively high temperature regions at larger distances from the sun on the surface of the disk that are heated by the Sun’s rays. We also find colder regions in the inner disk closer to the Sun.  Here the high concentration of dust prevents the stellar radiation from efficiently heating the local environment."

This type of study provides us a better aspect at how our Solar System formed and the complications behind it. This study has been issued in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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