Monday, May 9, 2011

Mineral X From Outer Space!

"4.5-Billion-Year-Old Meteorite Yields New Mineral"
Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience Managing Editor, (May 9, 2011)

"The meteorite containing krotite is called NWA 1934 CV3 carbonaceous chondrite. Chondrites are primitive meteorites that scientists think were remnants shed from the original building blocks of planets. Most meteorites found on Earth fit into this group.

"The mineral, a compound of calcium, aluminum and oxygen, needs temperatures of 2,732 degrees F (1,500 degrees C) to form, supporting the idea that it was created as the solar nebula condensed and the planets, including Earth, were formed, the researchers say.

"The tiny mineral sample – just 0.2 inches (4 millimeters) long – came from a grain in the meteorite dubbed "cracked egg" for its appearance. In addition to krotite, the cracked egg grain contains at least eight other minerals, one of which is new to science, the researchers say.

"Studying this mineral and other components of the ancient meteorite are essential for understanding the origins of the solar system, the scientists say...."

Krotite or the new mineral from outer space isn't the sort of thing that made for cinematic triumphs like The Green Slime (1968). On the other hand, analysis of rocks (and carbonaceous chondrites, which aren't quite rocks) from outer space helps researchers piece together how the Solar system formed.

Which probably won't help anybody figure out who's going to win the next Super Bowl. Even so, the Lemming finds that sort of thing interesting. Your experience may vary.

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