Stardust Found On Earth May Be Older Than Sun

Stardust discovered on the remnants of meteors found on Earth may be older than the Sun, academics believe.

Microscopic particles of stardust found in meteors may be the remnants of massive stellar explosions which happened long before the birth of the Sun.

The death of these stars would have seen material ejected outwards, which was later used in the creation of our solar system.

Classical nova explosions happen when two stars orbit each other, before a thermonuclear explosion happens on the surface of the smaller star.

Christopher Wrede, assistant professor of physics at Michigan State University, said: "There is a recycling process going on here.

Perseids meteor shower

"When stars die, they spew out material in the form of dust and gas, which then gets recycled into future generations of stars and planets."

The stardust contains unusually high amounts of the isotope silicon-30, which is rare on Earth but known to be produced in classical novae.

The team will now use computer models to try to establish the exact origins of the grains.

Prof Wrede added: "These particular grains are potential messengers from classical novae that allow us to study these events in an unconventional way.

"Normally what you would do is point your telescope at a nova and look at the light.

"But if you can actually hold a piece of the star in your hand and study it in detail, that opens a whole new window on these types of stellar explosions."

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