Researchers said Monday that new techniques have allowed them to identify the oldest solid material ever found on earth.
The stardust, formed five to seven billion years ago, came from a meteorite that fell to Earth 50 years ago in Australia, they said in a paper published in the journal PNAS. It came down in 1969 in Murchison, Victoria state, and scientists from Chicago's Field Museum have possessed a piece of it for five decades.
Philipp Heck, curator of meteorites at the museum, examined pre-solar grains, which are bits of stardust that become trapped in meteorites, making them time capsules of the period before the sun was born.
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