Allende Meteorite The Oldest Matter Known that Contains Stardust
As described in the supplemental index of Meteoritics and Planetary Science, Allende is the most studied meteorite in the world. Rare by virtue of its carbonaceous chondrite classification, meteorites from the Allende meteorite shower of February 8, 1969 contain particles that scientists believe were created during the explosion of a supernova prior to the formation of our solar system. The white CAIs (calcium-aluminum inclusions) seen here are thought to be among the first substances to have condensed out of the gaseous nebula from which our solar system originated. In effect, these inclusions are aggregates of true "stardust"and Allende is among the very few meteorites to contain such particles.
Carbonaceous chondrites are also known at times to possess amino acids, and such meteorites may have been the delivery mechanism of the building blocks of life to our planet (see Meteorite Introduction). From the collection of Dr. Elbert King, rimmed with fusion crust and brimming with a galaxy of inclusions, this is a select specimen of the oldest matter known.
75 x 42 x 7mm (3 x 1.5 x 0.25in) and 36.4 grams
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