We are slowly inching our way toward piecing together the puzzle of the universe's origins. Scientists have been making a lot of headway as of late regarding the beginning.
There was DNA found in stardust. And now, a comet's building blocks have been found in a meteorite. The placement of the material was intriguing. Apart from it being inside a meteorite, comets are usually formed in the outer reaches of our Solar System.
For a comet material to find its way into a meteorite that eventually landed on Earth is groundbreaking.
A particularly primitive class of meteorites called carbonaceous chondrites are thought to have formed beyond Jupiter. One such meteorite, discovered in Antarctica’s LaPaz Icefield, is a particularly pristine example with minimal weathering since its landing on Earth’s surface.
Inside the LaPaz meteorite, Nittler’s team found a very carbon-rich slice of primitive material that bears some striking similarities to extraterrestrial dust particles that are thought to have originated in comets that formed near the Solar System’s outer edges.
This is a worthy find and one that would give scientists much insight into the space objects that are usually beyond our reach. This also furnishes details on how planets and our Solar System was formed.
(Image credit: Carles Moyano-Cambero/Institute of Space Sciences)