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Jan 29, 2020

‘Curious and curiouser!’ Meteorite chunk contains unexpected evidence of presolar grains

Posted by in categories: materials, space travel

An unusual chunk in a meteorite may contain a surprising bit of space history, based on new research from Washington University in St. Louis.

Presolar —tiny bits of solid interstellar material formed before the sun was born—are sometimes found in primitive meteorites. But a new analysis reveals evidence of presolar grains in part of a where they are not expected to be found.

“What is surprising is the fact that presolar grains are present,” said Olga Pravdivtseva, research associate professor of physics in Arts & Sciences and lead author of a new paper in Nature Astronomy. “Following our current understanding of solar system formation, presolar grains could not survive in the environment where these inclusions are formed.”

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