Scientists Identify The Origin Of Cosmic Dust That Formed Our Planets

Posted: Jan 31 2017, 9:45am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

Scientists Identify the Origin of Cosmic Dust That Formed our Planets
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New research reveals origin of stars that created dust grains and the planets in the solar system

New research discovered the origin of stardust grains in the dust cloud that created planets in the solar system. Through this new discovery the researchers solved an old puzzle regarding the origin of dust grains that developed long before the solar system.

The researchers say that they can recover the dust grains from the meteorites falling on earth. Scientists recognized the stars that created dust after observing their reactions that form the grains.

Study shows that AGB stars or Asymptotic Giant Branch break their external layers and make interstellar clouds of dust grains and gas. These stars are 6 times bigger than the sun.

Researchers believe that these clouds formed the solar system 4.6 billion years ago. Most part of the grains was damaged while making rocks and planets, but some of the grains survived in the form of meteorites.

The team studied the chemical composition of the grains and found that the stars have certain nuclear activities. But, it was difficult to link the grains with AGB stars. But, though it’s known that AGB stars make dust grains, but the grains from meteorites don’t resemble the star created grains.

Researchers solved the puzzle by observing the makeup of meteorites and found that the fusion reactions occur twice between protons and oxygen.

This oxygen is heavier than that we use for breathing. This reaction is present in both meteorites grains and dust grains produced by stars. So this discovery solved the puzzle of grains origin.

LUNA is the Laboratory for Underground Nuclear Astrophysics that’s located more than 1km below Earth. The Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics Gran Sasso Laboratory hosts the facility.

The research team included scientists from the University of Edinburgh, at an underground laboratory in Italy. The research study published in the journal Nature Astronomy. There are 40 scientists from 14 different institutes included in the LUNA collaboration.

Scientists are glad that they have resolved an old puzzle and it’s an accurate study, said Professor Marialuisa Aliotta, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Physics and Astronomy, who is also leading LUNA's UK team.

Scientists are relieved to find the origin of dust grains as they were really uncomfortable about the missing clue, said Dr Maria Lugaro, of Konkoly Observatory, Hungary.

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