Exactly how old is the solar system? The solar system is said to be older than a few billion years. That is a very long time. However, it is said that now scientists have made an amazing discovery and found particles that could be even older than the solar system.
Scientists have found grains of stardust that are said to be older than the sun. The reason why these are determined older than the solar system is that the sun was the first object in the solar system. Anything older than the sun is older than our solar system. The stardust was found in a giant meteor that fell in Mexico in 1969; however, the study was only published recently in response to another study that found the oldest material on Earth was a meteor in Australia.
As the stardust is from before the birth of the solar system, it acts as a time machine for us to actually find out how the solar system was formed and other key information that we need to help us understand the universe.
The study on the Mexican meteor, called Marie after the renowned scientist Marie Curie, focused upon a certain part that was different from the rest. The rock is made from calcium-aluminum rich inclusion (CAI) and is formed in a way that is very different from the rest of the meteor.
CAIs can date back to 4.8 billion years ago. This makes them one of the first few objects to be present or come into our solar system. However, the curious thing is that when the sun had formed, the temperatures went up to 1000 degrees. This means these particles would not have survived that temperature, which is why their discovery is particularly curious.
The scientists used new and unorthodox techniques to find out more about the CAIs. They found gases that supported their theory and through microscopic lenses they then found the particles.
Even though scientists have known for many years that pre-solar components do exist within meteors, there was never a way of definitely proving it. Now with the help of this team of researchers, scientists have made strides forward in finding out the origins, and the ages, of meteors.
In future scientists hope to find out more about the solar system through meteors as technology develops further, revealing a previously unexplored world.