Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Paper announces discovery of 1 of earliest minerals formed in solar system

09.05.2011
New mineral named krotite, found in meteorite, is described in American Mineralogist

In the May-June issue of the journal American Mineralogist, a team of scientists announced the discovery of the new mineral krotite, one of the earliest minerals formed in our solar system. It is the main component of an unusual inclusion embedded in a meteorite (NWA 1934), found in northwest Africa. These objects, known as refractory inclusions, are thought to be the first planetary materials formed in our solar system, dating back to before the formation of the Earth and the other planets.

This particular grain is known affectionately as "Cracked Egg" for its distinctive appearance. Dr. Harold C. Connolly, Jr. and student Stuart A. Sweeney Smith at the City University of New York (CUNY) and the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) first recognized the grain to be of a very special type, known as a calcium-aluminum-rich refractory inclusion. ("Refractory" refers to the fact that these grains contain minerals that are stable at very high temperature, which attests to their likely formation as very primitive, high-temperature condensates from the solar nebula.)

Cracked Egg refractory inclusion was sent to Dr. Chi Ma at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for very detailed nano-mineralogy investigation. Dr. Ma then sent it to Dr. Anthony Kampf, Curator of Mineral Sciences at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM), for X- ray diffraction study. Kampf's findings, confirmed by Ma, showed the main component of the grain was a low-pressure calcium aluminum oxide (CaAl2O4) never before found in nature. Kampf's determination of the atomic arrangement in the mineral showed it to be the same as that of a man-made component of some types of refractory (high-temperature) concrete.

What insight can we get from knowing that a common man-made component of modern concrete is found in nature only as a very rare component of a grain formed more than 4.5 billion years ago? Such investigations are essential in deciphering the origins of our solar system. The creation of the man-made compound requires temperature of at least 1,500°C (2,732°F). This, coupled with the fact that the compound forms at low pressure, is consistent with krotite forming as a refractory phase from the solar nebula. Therefore, the likelihood is that krotite is one of the first minerals formed in our solar system.

Studies of the unique Cracked Egg refractory inclusion are continuing, in an effort to learn more about the conditions under which it formed and subsequently evolved. In addition to krotite, the Cracked Egg contains at least eight other minerals, including one other mineral new to science.

The American Mineralogist paper is entitled "Krotite, CaAl2O4, a new refractory mineral from the NWA 1934 meteorite." It is authored by Chi Ma (Caltech), Anthony R. Kampf (NHM), Harold C. Connolly Jr. (CUNY and AMNH), John R. Beckett (Caltech), George R. Rossman (Caltech), Stuart A. Sweeney Smith (who was a NSF funded Research for Undergraduate (REU) student at CUNY/AMNH) and Devin L. Schrader (University of Arizona). Krotite is named for Alexander N. Krot, a cosmochemist at the University of Hawaii, in recognition of his significant contributions to the understanding of early solar system processes.

About the Natural History Museum:

The NHM is a national leader in research, exhibitions and education. It was the first dedicated museum building in Los Angeles, opening its doors in 1913 and has since amassed one of the world's most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history — with more than 35 million objects, some as old as 4.5 billion years. The Natural History Family of Museums includes the NHM, the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits (Hancock Park/Mid-Wilshire), and the William S. Hart Museum (Newhall, California).Visit www.nhm.org or call (213) 763-DINO.

NHM Next Transformation:

The completed renovation of the Natural History Museum's Beaux-Arts 1913 Building sets the stage for the Museum's rollout of new visitor experiences leading up to the Museum's centennial in 2013. The milestone re-opening of the 1913 Building began in 2010 with new exhibitions inside its iconic Rotunda and the new exhibition Age of Mammals. On July 16, 2011, the Museum debuts its new Dinosaur Hall. An exhibition focusing on the Southern California's natural and cultural history will open in 2012, and over 2012 and 2013, 3.5 acres of outdoor nature experiences, the North Campus, and their indoor component, the Nature Lab, open.

Kristin Friedrich | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nhm.org

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology
22.06.2017 | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

nachricht How reliable are shells as climate archives?
21.06.2017 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>