According to a new study, researchers have discovered stardust inside the meteorite formed between 5 and 7 billion years ago. The latest discovery makes the material the oldest known material ever found on Earth. Moreover, the researchers claimed that the materials gave them ideas on how stars are formed in our galaxy.
In case you are wondering, the material was found inside a meteorite that has been under study for a long time. As for the material, it is called presolar grains-minerals which was formed even before our sun was born. As a result, the material is a solid sample of a ‘real stardust’.
Philipp Heck, a curator at the Field Museum and associate professor at the University of Chicago said, “This is one of the most exciting studies I’ve worked on. These are the oldest solid materials ever found, and they tell us about how stars formed in our galaxy.”
“We have more young grains that we expected. Our hypothesis is that the majority of those grains, which are 4.9 to 4.6 billion years old, formed in an episode of enhanced star formation. There was a time before the start of the Solar System when more stars formed than normal.”
As you can imagine, presolar grains are pretty rare considering they can be found in only about 5 percent of the meteorite that have fallen to Earth. Moreover, these grains are significantly small. For instance, researchers have said that a hundred of the biggest grains could fit in the period at the end of a sentence.