Photo: United States Department of Energy Fragment of the Murchison meteorite

Experts are studying the contents of the fragments of a meteorite that fell in Australia have found the oldest known traces of cosmic dust in the Solar system.

Traces of the most ancient on the moment of matter in the Solar system was discovered in one of the fragments of the Murchison meteorite. Cosmic dust about seven billion years, writes the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The meteorite fell in 1969 in South Australia near the town of Murchison, in whose honor and named the heavenly stranger.

“We can say that we hold in our hands the petrified remains of stars. These particles of Stardust were imprisoned inside a meteorite billions of years ago. This made them perfect time capsules, in which are preserved traces of an era that ended before the birth of the Solar system,” – said associate Professor, University of Chicago Philipp heck, who participated in the study.

Heck and his colleagues became interested in the grains of silicon carbide, high-melting compounds of carbon and silicon, which are components of the meteorite.

Scientists measured their age, based on the ratio of shares of neon-21 and helium-3. Experts have fed a few dozen large grains of interstellar matter, let them through the particle accelerator and precisely calculated their share.

It turned out that most of them was formed about 4.6-4.9 billion years ago. This suggests that before the emergence of the Solar system was a powerful flash of star formation in the neighborhood with the “germ” of our star.

The same event occurred about seven billion years ago.

“Previously it was thought that stars formed in the milky Way with approximately constant speed. Thanks to this meteorite and the dust grains, we have obtained the first direct evidence that this was not the case. Seven billion years ago, in the galaxy the event occurred, greatly speeding up the formation of new bodies”, – said the heck.

Recall that in China scientists have discovered a meteorite crater with a diameter of 1850 metres and a depth of 150 meters.

Also wrote that in Paris for the auction exposed a meteorite weighing 364 lbs. He fell to the Ground in the late nineteenth century. The cost is from €80 thousand to €120 thousand

News from