The oldest material on earth was older than the solar system


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In 1969, scientists observed a very unusual phenomenon over the Australian village of Murchison. Back then, a 100 kilogram meteorite exploded in the sky, the particles of which were scattered within a radius of several kilometers. Scientists managed to get around 52 kilograms of the space object, and in the 1990s microscopic particles of a mineral called silicon carbide were found in it. The researchers assumed that these are the so-called pre-solar grains – interstellar substances that formed long before the sun and earth appeared. At that time, they were unable to calculate the exact age of the materials found, but recently they finally succeeded. As scientists expected, they were dealing with the oldest materials that have ever appeared on our planet.

It looks like a fragment of the Murchison meteorite

The discovery of a group of scientists from the United States, Switzerland and Australia was described in a scientific publication entitled Proceedings by the National Academy of Sciences. By grinding the found samples of the Murchison meteorite, the researchers were able to extract 40 particles from pre-solar grains. It turned out to be a very difficult task to determine their age, but the scientists nevertheless did so using data at the time of exposure to cosmic rays. This term is used to understand the streams of high-energy particles that fly through our entire galaxy and penetrate solids. It is known that when interacting with these rays, new elements are formed in the pre-solar grains and the longer the interaction takes place, the more these substances are ultimately observed.

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Interesting fact: One of the fragments of the Murchison meteorite pierced the roof of one of the village houses

The oldest material in the world

Scientists examined data on the interaction of grains with cosmic rays and found that they formed 5 to 7 billion years ago. Based on the fact that our solar system was formed 4.6 billion years ago, it turns out that particles found by scientists formed long before the sun appeared. According to scientists, the materials currently found are the only evidence available to mankind for the existence of a time before the advent of the sun and earth.

Do you know which microbes only feed on fallen meteorites?

In general, such materials can be found in many meteorites that have fallen on our planet. Only now is it extremely difficult to recognize them because they are deeply embedded in space objects and have microscopic dimensions. The fact that scientists have managed to extract them from the Murchison meteorite has been a great success. By studying these particles, scientists can make various assumptions about the evolution of the universe and tell many interesting things about the formation of our planet.

Fragment of the Murchison meteorite in the museum

This is one of the most exciting studies I've worked on. These are the oldest solids ever found, and they can tell you how stars formed in our galaxy, ”said Philip Heck, one of the study's authors.

You can also read our material on the Murchison meteorite to see if Earth could have formed with the life that already existed on it. Who knows, maybe our planet was originally inhabited by living things and we just don't know anything about it?

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