- Scientists recently identified the oldest material on Earth: stardust that’s 7 billion years old, tucked away in a massive, rocky meteorite that struck our planet half a century ago.
- This ancient interstellar dust, made of pre-solar grains (dust grains that predate our sun), was belched into the universe by dying stars during the final stages of their lives.
- Some of that dust eventually hitched a ride to Earth on an asteroid that produced the Murchison meteorite, a massive, 220-lb. (100 kilograms) rock that fell on Sept. 28, 1969, near Murchison, Victoria, in Australia.
- New analysis of dozens of presolar grains from the Murchison meteorite revealed a range of ages, from about 4 million years older than our sun — which formed 4.6 billion years ago — up to 3 billion years older than our sun, researchers reported in a new study.
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