by Staff Writers
Pasadena, Calif. (UPI) Jun 26, 2012
U.S. scientists say they've discovered a new primitive mineral in a meteorite that they believe to be among the oldest minerals formed in the solar system.
Researchers from the California Institute of Technology studying a meteorite that fell in Mexico more than 40 years ago report they discovered the new mineral, dubbed panguite, embedded in the space rock.
The mineral, a titanium oxide, is named after Pan Gu, a giant of ancient Chinese mythology said to have established the world by separating yin from yang to create the earth and the sky.
"Panguite is an especially exciting discovery since it is not only a new mineral, but also a material previously unknown to science," Chi Ma of Caltech's Geological and Planetary Sciences division said.
The Mexican space rock, dubbed the Allende meteorite, is considered by many the best-studied meteorite in history and has yielded nine new minerals including panguite.
"The intensive studies of objects in this meteorite have had a tremendous influence on current thinking about processes, timing, and chemistry in the primitive solar nebula and small planetary bodies," said Caltech study co-author George Rossman, a professor of mineralogy.
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Stunning View of Lyrids and Earth at Night
Huntsville AL (SPX) May 20, 2012
On the night of April 21, the 2012 Lyrid meteor shower peaked in the skies over Earth. While NASA allsky cameras were looking up at the night skies, astronaut Don Pettit aboard the International Space Station trained his camera on Earth. Video footage from that night is now revealing breathtaking images of Earth with meteors ablating - or burning up - in the atmosphere. The downlinke ... read more
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