Dust Particles Older Than the Solar System Discovered

Patti MayonnaiseMarch 11, 2016762 Views
Image via IFLscience.com Image via IFLscience.com

Dust particles from a meteorite shower have been tested and the results showed that it is possible the particles were formed as a result of a star that exploded before the Sun existed.

The composition of these dust particles may point to the present temperature at the time the star exploded. A Michigan State University PhD student has repeatedly tried to isolate the dust particles to figure out what conditions were present that led to their formation.

The PhD student has speculated that a nova was the place where the dust particles were formed. The dust particles found on Earth have mixed together and dissolved. As a result, it has been impossible to define their identity in ancient times. Evidence has been found that proves that before the solar system existed, dust particles fell in Earth’s upper atmosphere.

Some of the dust particles found in the Earth’s meteorites have isotope ratios that have different properties than other dust particles within the solar system. This suggests that those dust particles were formed in an unknown location. The PhD student in question took the isotope ratios and compared them to the dust particles one would expect to have been nova produced.

A Physical Review Letters study in which the PhD student, along with his colleagues, conducted experiments using elements that produce Silicone-30, which was found in the dust particles discovered. As a result they produced Phospherous-30, which experienced Beta decay.

They went on to create a reaction in which P-30, instead of decaying, turned into Sulfur-31. The frequency of the decay points to the amount of Silicon-30 that should have been discovered in any particles that were formed within nova.

The conclusion of this study was that the information discovered can help scientists study explosions in more depth than ever before.

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