Oldest thing found on Earth in a meteorite in Australia 1

Oldest thing found on Earth in a meteorite in Australia


Washington: Scientists said Monday that in 1969 a meteorite in a rural ball of Southeast Australia crashed into a fireball with the oldest material found on Earth. Star dust was formed billions of years before our solar system was formed.

The researchers say that the oldest of the 40 fine dust particles trapped in meteorite waste near Murchison, Victoria, dates from about 7 billion years ago, about 2.5 billion years before the formation of the sun, the earth and the solar system before.

In fact, all dust spots analyzed in the study are from pre-solar system formation, the so-called “pre-sunset”, of which 60% are between 4.6 and 4.9 billion years old, and the oldest 10% can be traced back to more than 5.6 billion years ago.

The time capsule represented by star dust can be traced back to before the solar system. The researchers said that the age distribution of the dust – where many grains are concentrated at specific time intervals – provides clues about the speed of star formation in the Milky Way, suggesting that star birth bursts instead of a constant speed.

“I am very enthusiastic,” said Philipp Heck, senior curator of the Field Museum in Chicago. He led the research, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Heck added, “Although I’ve been working on Murchison meteorite and pre-sun cereals for nearly 20 years, I am still fascinated by the history of the Milky Way where we can use rocks to study it.”

The grains are small and have a size of 2 to 30 microns. A micrometer is one thousandth of a millimeter or about 0.000039 inches.

Star dust is formed in matter ejected from stars and carried by stellar winds and blows in interstellar space. During the birth of the solar system, this matter was absorbed into all matter, including planets and the sun, but until now they still exist intact until the asteroids and comets.

By crushing pieces of rock and separating the components into a paste, the researchers found small particles in the meteorite, which were described as smelling of rotten peanut butter.

Scientists have developed a way to determine the age of star dust. Dust particles floating in space are bombarded by high-energy particles called cosmic rays. These rays break the atoms in the grain into pieces, such as carbon in helium.

These fragments accumulate over time and their productivity is fairly stable. The longer you are exposed to cosmic radiation, the more debris accumulates. Researchers counted the debris in the laboratory to calculate the age of the star dust.

Scientists have previously discovered pre-sun particles about 5.5 billion years ago in Murchison meteorite, the oldest solid matter on Earth to date. The oldest minerals formed on Earth were found in the rocks of Jack Hills, Australia. Jack Hills was formed 4.4 billion years ago, 100 million years after the formation of the Earth.

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