Cosmic particles survived at least 4.6 billion years and traveled incredible distances
An international team of scientists have discovered on Earth is unique particles of interstellar dust.
Scientists say that these particles collected from the upper atmosphere of the Earth, older than our Solar system.
These cosmic particles have survived at least 4.6 billion years and traveled incredible distances, according to a new study of their chemical composition. These small particles of interstellar dust can tell us how the planets formed and the stars.
The dust from which the Solar system formed, comets are now scattered throughout its extent. Using infrared and electron microscopes, the team analyzed the chemical composition of dust particles. The analysis showed that this dust contains structures, called GEMS, and representing a glass with inclusions of metals and sulphides in which there is almost no carbon.
“Our observations show that these exotic grains are presolar interstellar dust, which forms the building blocks of planets and stars. We have at their fingertips were the starting materials for the formation of planets. It captures and allows us to better understand the processes of change in space,” says lead researcher hope Ishii of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
The results showed that the grain GEMS originally appeared in an environment that was cold and rich in radiation. Even a small amount of heat was sufficient to break ties in the beans.
“The presence of certain types of organic carbon both in internal and in external parts of the particles suggests that the formation process occurs entirely at low temperatures. Therefore, these particles of interplanetary dust have been preserved since before the formation of the planetary bodies in the Solar system. They provide an understanding of the chemistry of these ancient building blocks,” says one of the researchers, Jim Ciston of the National laboratory Lawrence Berkeley.
In addition, some of these formations contain unusual in terms of the isotopic composition of the silicate components that could be formed only in the vicinity of other stars and this means that they contain preserved samples of interstellar matter.