Scientists study iron vapor to understood Earth, moon formation

March 3, 2015 6:26 PM

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UC Davis scientists were assisted by researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory and Harvard University. To recreate the conditions of the early solar system, scientists used Sandia National Laboratory's Z-machine, largest X-ray generator in the world. More specifically, scientists slammed aluminum plates into iron samples at high speed, mimicking the condition of early Earth impacts and collisions.

The experiments proved that the pressures necessary for iron to vaporize aren't as intense as previously suspected. This mean more iron was likely spewed skyward than melted back into inner Earth.

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