Research: Oldest-ever igneous meteorite contains clues to planet building blocks

Northwest Africa 11119 is the oldest igneous meteorite recorded. Credit University of New Mexico

11119 is the oldest igneous meteorite recorded. A 23g subsample deposited at the Institute of Meteoritics at the University of New Mexico was used for this study. Under the influence of gravity, material accreted into small chunks that got larger and larger, forming planetesimals. Many such objects likely broke back apart as they collided with each other, but others would have coalesced - eventually becoming planets and moons. One study published in Nature concluded that Earth lost almost 40 percent of its mass as vapor during collisional growth.

It wasn't immediately clear that the rock was extraterrestrial because of its light color, the researchers told Live Science.

The analysis of the ancient grapefruit-sized space rock, known as Orgueil, revealed the elemental building blocks for life.

Using samples from the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, Tartèse and Co. spent two years measuring and interpreting the oxygen isotope composition of organics in the early meteorites.

Meteorites can serve as time-capsules, and researchers study the chemical composition of meteorites in hopes that it will shed light on the what chemical processes drove the formation of the solar system.

"The age of this meteorite is the oldest, igneous meteorite ever recorded", Agee said in a statement.

"Not only is this just an extremely unusual rock type, it's telling us that not all asteroids look the same". And because it's right around the age of this solar system, it must be from "one of the very first volcanic events to take place" in this part of the universe, said Carl Agee, a meteorite curator at the University of New Mexico.

Artist impression of NWA) 11119 seen in right bottom corner. Credit University of New Mexico
Artist impression of NWA) 11119 seen in right bottom corner. Credit University of New Mexico

According to Srinivasan, the mineralogy of the rock is unlike anything the researchers have worked on before.

"One of the main things we saw first were the large silica crystals of tridymite which is a similar to the mineral quartz".

"The oxygen isotopes of NWA11119, NWA 7235, and Almahata Sitta are all identical, but this rock - NWA 11119 - stands out as something completely different from any of the over 40,000 meteorites that have been found on Earth", said Srinivasan.

It is believed that when the gas/dust cloud collapsed, it formed a spinning disc-shaped area with the very same sun that we know and love in the middle.

"The goal of this research was to understand the origin and formation time of an unusually silica-rich igneous meteorite", says co-author and ASU's Center for Meteorite Studies director, Meenakshi Wadhwa. While some do look similar to what we can find on Earth, it is due to a high quantity of silica.

A space rock formed 4.5 billion years ago during the birth of the Solar System could help us understand the origins of life on Earth.

Carbonaceous chondrites are made of the first solid materials - such as rocks, organics, water ice, and fine grain dust - formed in the Solar System.

Related News:

  • James Gunn's Script Will Be Used For Guardians Of The Galaxy 3

    James Gunn's Script Will Be Used For Guardians Of The Galaxy 3

    One of the rumored studios is Warner Bros., which could result in Gunn joining the DC Extended Universe in some capacity . Gunn had made distasteful jokes online years ago that were unearthed, prompting Disney to end their working relationship.
    Starving orca J50 finally spotted alive; emergency action could start Wednesday

    Starving orca J50 finally spotted alive; emergency action could start Wednesday

    J50 is one of only 75 Southern resident killer whales that swim the coastal waters between British Columbia to California. If J50 responds to the salmon, they will be considered as a way to administer medications that may not be injectable.
    Real Madrid coach Lopetegui hails Bale after Roma win: He's doing great

    Real Madrid coach Lopetegui hails Bale after Roma win: He's doing great

    Afterwards, Lopetegui said: "He is a great player, he does not have to inherit anything". It's about the team pushing everybody. "Gareth is obviously a great player".
  • United Kingdom  to seek Russian extraditions in Skripal case

    United Kingdom to seek Russian extraditions in Skripal case

    The Guardian reports that Britain wants Russian Federation to extradite two men over the Skripal nerve-agent case. She died eight days later, but he has since been released from the hospital.
    'Paul McCartney Carpool Karaoke' becomes CBS special

    'Paul McCartney Carpool Karaoke' becomes CBS special

    CBS will air the one-hour special Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live From Liverpool on August 20 at 8 p.m. Kanye West has been booked to appear on James Corden's Carpool Karaoke on more than one occasion.
    Chase Elliot gets first at Watkins Glen

    Chase Elliot gets first at Watkins Glen

    Logano started from pole in the road race that was red-flagged for rain, forcing the drivers to briefly switch to rain tires. Road course racing isn't every NASCAR fan's cup of tea, but the people who do love it should be in for a treat this weekend.
  • Tiger Woods battles inflammation ‘everywhere’ this week at PGA Championship

    Tiger Woods battles inflammation ‘everywhere’ this week at PGA Championship

    So certainly emphasis in my head on it, but nothing overpowering, nothing that takes over once I start on the first tee, just more going into the week".

    Brad Pitt Says He Gave Angelina Jolie $9 Million Since Split

    Pitt's response said that a status conference that is already scheduled would serve the same objective . Pitt and Jolie have three sons and three daughters, ages 17 and under.
    Tesla board says Musk started going-private talks last week

    Tesla board says Musk started going-private talks last week

    Other board members mentioned in the statement included Robyn Denholm, Ira Ehrenpreis, Antonio Gracias and Linda Johnson Rice. Most analysts were skeptical, but some said a deal could materialize if Musk succeeded in lining up the right funding.
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 launched in India for Rs 16,999

    Xiaomi Mi A2 launched in India for Rs 16,999

    The device also comes with Quick Charge 4.0 fast charging, which is exclusive to the Indian market. As for the specifications, the phone sports a 5.99-inch Full HD+ display with 18:9 aspect ratio.

    Meteor shower of the year coming up

    Even though this may be somewhat of a down year, the Perseids still typically are one of the best meteor shows of the year. Just be aware of any local light pollution from lamps and buildings that might make the skies brighter during the peak.
    Meghan Markle’s ‘devastated’ ex-husband set to dish the dirt

    Meghan Markle’s ‘devastated’ ex-husband set to dish the dirt

    According to The Mirror , Meghan is said to be flying to the United States next month to meet up with her father. But the pair divorced two years later in August 2013, citing irreconcilable difference.


Most liked

Best meteor shower of the year peaks this weekend
NASA calls this meteor shower the best one of the year, so you're definitely not going to want to miss this celestial event. To get the best view of the Perseids, find a region in the Northern hemisphere that has lower levels of light pollution.

Facebook sorry that balloons appeared in Indonesia natural disaster messages
Rescuers struggled to reach areas effected the most where survivors were in dire need of food and shelter. A mother of one of the Capetonians who is now "missing", told IOL, "I last heard from my son from Ubud".

Premier League to analyse earlier transfer deadline - league boss Scudamore
They argued that they have to sell players for financial reasons if they fail to qualify for Europa or Champions League. But the decision has been made and we'll analyse it in September when it's all over.

New NCAA Basketball Rule Allows Players To Return To School If Undrafted
The NCAA made a number of rule changes Wednesday that could have an impact on the Kansas men's basketball team. They'll also be allowed to be represented by agents, in college and, for some, as high school prospects.

Woman tells police she's a 'white, clean girl' and shouldn't be arrested
The woman was taken to Beaufort County Detention Center but was no longer in custody as of Tuesday. When pulled over police, she gave a lengthy explanation as to why she should not be arrested.

China to hit US with tariffs on US imports worth $16bn
His administration confirmed that its trade assault would soon cover more than $50 billion of products from China. A spokesman for the commerce ministry described the latest round of US tariffs as "very unreasonable".

Tottenham launch £25m bid for Aston Villa star Jack Grealish
Now it's Steve Bruce's job to turn his head back round to the fact he's an Aston Villa player and he has to fight for them going forward.

Steven Seagal made Russia-US envoy
The ministry said he would not be paid for his work and compared it to the role of a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador. The countries have also been at odds over the Syrian civil war and the Russian annexation of Crimea.

U.S. hits Russian Federation with sanctions over nerve agent attack
Russian Federation has repeatedly denied any role in the attack, with Putin dismissing allegations of a Kremlin assassination plot as "nonsense".

Blizzard confirms "multiple Diablo projects" in production, news by end of 2018
According to Camel, we might get a glimpse at what Blizzard's working on later this year... presumably at BlizzCon in November. Straight from the source, we've got our official first bit of hype regarding brand new Diablo goodness.

Smash Bros. Ultimate: 5 New Characters Revealed!
Simon seems a touch slow, but his whip gives him a huge amount of range and it looks like he hits hard. That new stage will include 34 Castlevania music tracks that you can listen to while you brawl.

Rand Paul Delivers Trump Letter To Putin
Spokespeople for Paul did not immediately respond to questions about the letter, which was given to representatives of Putin. Paul has been in Russian Federation this week on a trip he sees as a continuation of Trump's diplomatic outreach to Putin.

Kardashian relationship with boyfriend Bendjima crashes
He also shared another message in which he told fans he was "not attached to this "life" so criticism would not bring him down. Khloe Kardashian commented on a screenshot of the post writing, "Alexa, play 'heard it all before, ' by Sunshine Anderson".

Google looks to offer cloud services in China
To be specific, there have been reports that Google is working on censored versions of its Search and News apps . A report from Bloomberg says Tencent can encourage its cloud hosting partners to use Google services.

More details of Lauda's condition after lung transplant released
"One can absolutely assume that lung transplantation is not a late effect of the fire accident", he said. Niki Lauda talks to the media at the airport in Duesseldorf, Germany, March 20, 2018.