A team of researchers has made a remarkable discovery while analyzing a meteor that crashed in an area in the south of Australia in 1969. The meteorite contains the oldest material found on our planet in the form of dust that formed long before our solar system.
The oldest dust grain found within the meteor formed more than seven billion years ago. Many studies agree that the solar system started to form almost 4.5 million years ago, and the time difference between the two events is quite impressive.
All the dust grain that were analyzed during the study predate the solar system and are called presolar grains. It is estimated that up to 60% of the grains formed 4.6 to 4.9 million years ago, while the oldest 10% are older than 5.6 billion years ago.
The distribution of the dust offered valuable research about the rate at which stars formed within the Milky Wat, with several grains forming agglomerations during a specific period. Several bursts may have taken place.
Ancient Material Was Found in a Meteor
Scientists have studied the Murchison meteorite for more than 20 years, and the rock continues to offer interesting information about the history of the Milky Way.
Stardust forms from the material that is ejected by stars and carried by solar winds into the void. During the early days of the solar system, stardust was an essential part of all objects as they started to form, including stars and planets. However, pristine samples can only be found in asteroids and comets.
Scientists crushed a few fragments taken from the meteorite and divided the components into a paste. With the help of an advanced method, the researchers were able to determine the age of the dust. As the grains float through space, they are bombarded by cosmic rays.
Cosmic rays will lead to the formation of atom fragments, and the number of fragments can be used to track down the age. The study was published in a scientific journal.