An astrophysicist from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratorys Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics has found that some nanodiamonds, the most famous and exotic form of stardust, may instead have formed within the inner solar system. The findings argue with the wide held belief that nanodiamonds recovered from meteorites from the asteroid belt have been the most abundant type of presolar stardust grain.
IGPP Director John Bradley, in conjunction with scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Washington, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Natural History Museum in London, report their discovery in todays edition of Nature.
"We presumed that if we studied (micro) meteorites (also known as interplanetary dust particles) from comets further out in our solar system, we would find more nanodiamonds," Bradley said. "But were just not seeing them. One theory is that some, perhaps most, nanodiamonds formed within the inner solar system and are not presolar at all."
Interplanetary dust particles are collected in the stratosphere using NASA ER2 aircraft and they are made up of irregularly shaped grains of carbon and/or silicates.
One origin of stardust is from supernovae, the cataclysmic deaths of a star. For more than 30 years, astrophysicists have looked to stardust, a sort of remnant of stars, to tell the story of our solar systems origins.
But Bradley and the group of researchers report that at least some of the oldest cometary interplanetary dust particles contain little or no nanodiamond stardust at all.
"This raises all sorts of questions about the origins of our solar system," Bradley said. "Our findings are consistent with recent research that has detected nanodiamonds within the accretion discs of other young stars that are similar to our early solar system."
The group concludes that an alternative explanation for the lack of nanondiamonds in the early meteorites is that all meteoritic nanodiamonds are presolar, but that their abundance decreases the further they are from the sun. In that case, our understanding of large-scale transport and circulation within the early solar system is incomplete.
Anne Stark | EurekAlert
Water without windows: Capturing water vapor inside an electron microscope
13.12.2017 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University
Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure
13.12.2017 | Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine
13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
13.12.2017 | Life Sciences