His name is Allende and he crashed into our planet in 1969, specifically in a desert in Mexico during a rain of burning space fragments. The great surprise has come to discover in its interior interstellar material older than the solar system itself. Is about a very similar case of the meteorite dropped in Australia in that same year.
As the scientists at Washington University in San Luis have discovered, the sample of matter created before the birth of the Sun found within Allende, which is often referred to as “presolar grains,” contradicts what we thought we knew about interstellar material that travels long distances in space.
This meteorite contains silicon carbide (SiC) inside, specifically in an inclusion called Curious Marie (in honor of Marie Curie), which is a kind of inclusion rich in calcium and aluminum. “The surprising thing is that the presolar grains are present,” said the physics and cosmochemistry researcher in charge of the research, Olga Právdivtseva.
The surprise is due to the fact that inclusions rich in calcium and aluminum were formed, according to scientists, in conditions of extreme heat caused by the solar nebula that led to the creation of the Sun and the solar system. Therefore, Allende grains, compounds of SiC, they should have disintegrated.
“It is widely accepted that calcium and aluminum-rich inclusions formed near the Sun at temperatures above 1,500 degrees Kelvin [1.227 grados centígrados], where the presolar grains could not have survived “, in the words of the experts in charge of the investigation.
For now the scientific community does not understand how silicon carbide from another star could be introduced into the Allende meteorite, but the truth is that it did, and that invites reflect and, perhaps, to make changes in what we think we know about chemistry in the early stages of the solar system.
“Although inclusions rich in calcium and aluminum (…) have been studied in depth, there are still unknowns in regards to the nature and origin of the isotopic anomalies they present,” the researchers have reported.