A material previously unknown to science
A new mineral, named panguite, has been discovered by Caltech researchers examining the Allende meteorite that broke up in the skies over northern Mexico on February 8, 1969. Panguite, an oxide of titanium, becomes the ninth new mineral to be discovered in the meteorite by the team since 2007.
Panguite was discovered using an electron microscope, examining what is known as an ultra-refractory inclusion, a scientific term for the oldest, least volatile objects within meteorites. Panguite’s discoverers have therefore concluded that the mineral would have been one of the first solid materials in the solar system and is therefore in the order of 4.5 billion years old.
“Panguite is an especially exciting discovery since it is not only a new mineral, but also a material previously unknown to science,” said Caltech’s Chi Ma, an author of the paper in which the discovery was described.
via Gizmag – James Holloway
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