Grains of stardust – particles left behind by star explosions – in an Australian meteorite are now the oldest known material on Earth. A new study suggests this stardust came to be long before our sun ever existed.
As the saying goes, we are all made of stardust. It’s true. The elements in our bodies – oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, calcium and so on – are made in the thermonuclear furnaces of stars. When scientists speak of stardust, or cosmic dust, they’re speaking of the leftover tiny particles from dead stars that exploded as supernovae. This stardust later goes into forming new stars, planets and moons, including those in our own solar system. It goes into the solar system’s debris, the asteroids and comets, and ultimately meteorites, or rocks from space that find their way to Earth’s surface. Now scientists at the Field Museum in Chicago have found the oldest known samples of stardust in a meteorite that landed in Australia. The meteorite is estimated to be 5 to 7 billion years old. The stardust samples are the oldest material ever discovered on Earth. This dust is even older than our solar system.
The new peer-reviewed study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on January 13, 2020.
credits: SPACE – Paul Scott Anderson, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Earth Sky, Chicago Field Museum, Phillip Heck
50th anniversary of the week of the Apollo 11 moon landing
I was 11
on the cusp of everything
we went over
to my parents’ friends’ house
everyone was transfixed
air was electric
all gathered around the tv
silent and awestruck
as the first man walked on the moon
spoke his first words on the moon
lots of emotion in the house
I ran to the window to look at the moon
hoping I would see him up there
right in the middle of all of this
left to go to the hospital
to have her baby
she named him neil
after that man on the moon.
“we ran as if to meet the moon.”
― robert frost
image credit: Ann Arbor district library archives
stop filling all the spaces.
as you simplify,
let the extra spaces
in your home,
on your calendar
and in your mind
be empty for awhile.
the emptiness may be uncomfortable at first,
but that’s where the answers lie.
soon you’ll have room for what you really want.
source: be more with less.
On an eight-day flight aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1992, AAAS member Mae Carol Jemison became the first African American woman to travel in space. Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science!
Mae C. Jemison, born on this day in 1956, has a few firsts to her name: She was the first woman of color in space, as well as the only real astronaut to have served on the U.S.S. Enterprise, where she portrayed a lieutenant on an episode of Star Trek: TNG.
“we inhabit a universe that is characterized by diversity.”
my car and i
have happily traveled
100,000 miles together as of today.
who knows how far we’ll go from here?
‘there is but one earth, tiny and fragile,
and one must get 100,000 miles away
to appreciate one’s good fortune in living on it.’
(Major General, USAF, Ret.) is an american former astronaut and test pilot. selected as part of the third group of fourteen astronauts in 1963, he flew into space twice.
following the kinders
as they walk out
of one open blue door
and step into the space
that lies in between
and toward another.
“there are things known and things unknown and in between are the doors.”
i knew there was a reason.
credits: mental floss
the 1967 outer space treaty forbids any nation from trying to own the moon.
it was the 60’s. the height of the cold war.
they made a treaty not to own the moon.
at the united nations convention of the law of the sea in 1982
it was agreed that the moon, like the high seas,
is considered “res communis” roughly translated to “common to all mankind.”
credits: mental floss magazine
before he was an astronaut,
john glenn served as a military pilot during world war II and the korean war.
before leaving for combat missions, he always told his wife annie,
“i’m just going to the corner store to get a pack of gum.”
she always replied, “don’t be long.”
” the return makes one love the farewell. “
-alfred de musset
farewell john glenn, one of my heroes.
credits: cnn.com, mental floss, washington post