Many aspects of planet formation are controlled by the amount of gas remaining in the natal protoplanetary disks (PPDs). Infrared observations show that PPDs undergo a transition stage at several megayears, during which gas densities are reduced. Our Solar System would have experienced such a stage. However, there is currently no data that provides insight into this crucial time in our PPD's evolution. We show that the Isheyevo meteorite contains the first definitive evidence for a transition disk stage in our Solar System. Isheyevo belongs to a class of metal-rich meteorites whose components have been dated at almost 5 Myr after formation of Ca, Al-rich inclusions, and exhibits unique sedimentary layers that imply formation through gentle sedimentation. We show that such layering can occur via the gentle sweep-up of material found in the impact plume resulting from the collision of two planetesimals. Such sweep-up requires gas densities consistent with observed transition disks (10-12-10-11 g cm-3). As such, Isheyevo presents the first evidence of our own transition disk and provides new constraints on the evolution of our solar nebula.
- meteorites meteors meteoroids
- planet-disk interactions
- planets and satellites: formation
- protoplanetary disks
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science