A chaotic solar system
The solar system today is home to large planets revolving steadily around the Sun in fixed orbits. The asteroid belt consists of hundreds of thousands of asteroids spread out so thinly that they rarely come in contact with each other. But billions of years ago, as the planets, moons and asteroids were forming, the solar system was more densely packed. Countless planetesimals circulated around the Sun in irregular orbits. These bodies often crashed into each other with dramatic results.
The meteorite Sierra Colorada has two distinctly colored regions, representing fragments of two different bodies. The fragments fused after two planetesimals collided in the early solar system.
Found May 7, 1995
Rio Negro Province, Argentina
Keywords: Meteorites, Astrophysics, Astronomy, Planets--Origin, Solar System--Origin, Astrogeology