Scientists have said on January 13 that a meteorite that crashed into the rural region of southeastern Australia in a fireball in 1969 contained the oldest material ever found on Earth. A new analysis of the meteorite revealed stardust that formed between five to seven billion years ago. Scientists have revealed that it is known to be the oldest solid material ever found on Earth. According to the researchers, the 40 tiny dust grains were trapped inside the meteorite fragments which was retrieved around the town of Murchison in Victoria.
Its state is dated from about 7 billion years ago, about 2.5 billion years before the sun, Earth and the rest of the solar system formed. The dust grains analyzed in the research were formed before the solar system's formation which is also known as “presolar grains”. The small grains varied in sizes measuring from 2 to 30 micrometers in size. The researchers identified the tiny grains inside the meteorite by crushing fragments of rock and then separated the component parts and described it smelling like rotten peanut butter. They have come up with a method to determine stardust's age. Dust grains floating through space get collided by high energy particles called cosmic rays. The rays break the grains into fragments.
Meanwhile, NASA scientists have found the presence of sugar in the meteorites that crashed into the Earth’s surface billions of years ago. According to the researchers, the latest findings can help look for more evidence of life in asteroids and justify that they help life ingredients. According to the statement released by NASA on November 20, a team of scientists has been able to discover ‘bio-essential’ sugars in the meteorites, which consists of other biologically important compounds. According to the theory of NASA scientists, the chemical reactions which occur within the asteroids can help in forming elements that are essential for sustaining life.