Image: Janaína N. Ávila
Scientists at the University of Chicago in the United States found the oldest solid matter on the Earth, whose age exceeds the age of the Solar system a few million years. This publication reports Science Alert.
The researchers used scanning electron microscopy and mass spectrometry to study the grains of SIC extracted from the Murchison field reservoir meteorite. This celestial body fell in Australia in September 1969. A stone weighing more than 10 kilograms exploded in the atmosphere, scattering multiple fragments.
At 40 grains was defined by the presence of the isotopes helium-3 and neon-21, which was recovered age of the substance. It turned out that silicon carbide was formed about 4.6-5.5 billion years ago, the age of the Solar system is about 4.6 billion years. According to the hypothesis of scientists, the majority of the grains were formed in the period of intensive birth of new stars, which occurred seven billion years ago.
Grains of silicon carbide in the space usually deteriorate with time (e.g., shock waves from supernova), but in this case they can stick together in clumps to protect them from extreme exposure.
Video, photo All from Russia.