NASA Mission Suggests Sun and Planets Formed Differently

Artist rendition of GENESIS satellite in orbit around Earth.Analysis from NASA’s Genesis mission indicates our sun and its inner planets may have formed differently than previously believed.

Slight differences exist in the types of oxygen and nitrogen present on the sun and planets. Although the differences are slight, they could help determine how our solar system evolved.

“The implication is that we did not form out of the same solar nebula materials that created the sun — just how and why remains to be discovered,” said Kevin McKeegan, a Genesis co-investigator from the University of California, Los Angeles and the lead author of one of two science papers published recently.

For current updates, go to the GENESIS mission website when you’re teaching either of the NES lessons Chemical Elements: GENESIS — What Are We Made Of? (Grades 5-8) or Graph Analysis: GENESIS — Exploring Data (Grades 10-12).