Research lends strength to the idea that CV chondrite meteorites could originate from the primitive crusts of partially differentiated bodies in the early Solar System. Carbonaceous chondrite meteorites are typically considered to be samples of bodies in the Solar System that never experienced melting. However, CV chondrites show traits that go against this line of thought, namely natural remanent magnetization (NRM) that is unidirectional and appears to have occurred after accretion.

One theory for this NRM that does not require differentiation in the parent body of the meteorites is that exposure to solar wind was responsible for magnetization. The new study presents analytical arguments, numerical simulations, and astronomical observations that suggest this solar wind scenario is unlikely.

The study, “Were chondrites magnetized by the early solar wind?,” was published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters. This work was supported by the Emerging Worlds Program. The NASA Astrobiology Program provides resources for Emerging Worlds and other Research and Analysis programs within the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) that solicit proposals relevant to astrobiology research.