Scientists discover ancient interstellar dust that formed the Earth and solar system
Scientists may have revolutionized the understanding of how all planetary systems.

Leah Williams | 4 hours ago

Scientists have discovered remnants of the original interstellar dust that formed the Earth and the solar systembillions of years ago, according to a new study facilitated by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Lead authorHope Ishiiof theUniversity of Hawaii at Manoa contributed a statement within the study, saying, "The discovery is the "surviving pre-solar interstellar dust that formed the very building blocks of planets and stars."

Researchers collected the ancient dust from Earth's upper atmosphere, where it was likely deposited from comets.As comets pass near the sun, they release dust that can reach Earth's orbit and settle through the atmosphere, where it can be collected and later studied with electron microscopes.

"These interplanetary dust particles survived from the time before the formation of the planetary bodies in the solar system, and provide insight into the chemistry of those ancient building blocks," said study co-authorJames Clistonof theLawrence Berkeley National Laboratoryin California.

The study discovered true attributes regarding the "dust" as tiny glassy grains called GEMS, or glass embedded with metal and sulfides. PNAS explained that GEMS are generallyless than 1/100th the thickness of a human hair strand.

AstrophysicistEthan Siegelsaid, "Our naive picture of a disk that gets very hot, fragments, and cools to then form planets may be hopelessly oversimplified. Instead, we've learned that it may actually be cold, outer material that holds the key to our planetary backyard."

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