Gamma-ray Bursts and X-ray Melting of Material as a Potential Source of Chondrules and Planets

Abstract

The intense radiation from a gamma-ray burst (GRB) is shown to be capable of melting stony material at distances up to 300 light years which subsequently cool to form chondrules. These conditions were created in the laboratory for the first time when millimeter sized pellets were placed in a vacuum chamber in the white synchrotron beam at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF). The pellets were rapidly heated in the Xray and gamma-ray furnace to above 1400 C melted and cooled. This process heats from the inside unlike normal furnaces. The melted spherical samples were examined with a range of techniques and found to have microstructural properties similar to the chondrules that come from meteorites. This experiment demonstrates that GRBs can melt precursor material to form chondrules that may subsequently influence the formation of planets. This work extends the field of laboratory astrophysics to include high power synchrotron sources.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Duggan2004GammarayBA, title={Gamma-ray Bursts and X-ray Melting of Material as a Potential Source of Chondrules and Planets}, author={Paul M. Duggan and B Mcbreen and Alun J. Carr and Sheila McBreen and Elaine Winston and Lorraine Hanlon and Leo Metcalfe}, year={2004} }