University of Cambridge > > Department of Earth Sciences Seminars (downtown) > Just how weird is the solar system?

Just how weird is the solar system?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Oscar Branson.

This is a hybrid event. The talk will be given via Zoom (, and screened live in the Tilley Lecture Theatre.

In addition to the perhaps unusual presence of life, our solar system has two highly peculiar characteristics in its inorganic isotopic signature. The first is a marked abundance of the extremely neutron rich nuclide 48Ca relative to its slightly less neutron rich sibling 46Ca. Such relative isotopic abundances require a substantial input of eluvia from a rare type of super-nova, unexpected in a stellar nursery environment. Secondly, there is evidence that the solar system started life with sufficient abundance of short-lived 26Al (half life ~0.75Ma) to drive early planetary melting, but this requires alarmingly short transit times of material from the stellar source of 26Al to the proto-solar disk. Given these significant implications of these isotopic observations, it is critical to check that they are robust. Indeed, there are plausible alternative rationalisations of the data. In this talk I will recount attempts to place novel constraints on the validity of these striking isotopic signatures to investigate if we are truly odd or just mis-understood.

This talk is part of the Department of Earth Sciences Seminars (downtown) series.

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