CHICAGO (CBS)– Field Museum scientists announced this week they discovered the oldest material on earth.
It’s stardust that formed 5 to 7 billion years ago and is a tracer of the original building blocks of the solar system.
Doctor Philip Heck, a curator at the Field Museum, told CBS 2 grains of stardust, even older than the sun, became embedded in meteorites.
The piece of the Murchison meteorite fell to earth back in 1969. The museum has been studying the largest portion of it for years.
It’s tedious work, but the team’s been able to isolate rare pre-solar grains. Those grains revealed their samples are the oldest ever discovered.
The study also backed up other research that stars are not constantly formed but instead form in bursts.
“This meteorite holds lots of secrets about our galaxy which we haven’t uncovered yet,” Heck said. “We just found one period of time where there were more stars than normal by getting more ages, we’re hoping to increase to dive deeper back in time to learn more about the history of our galaxy.”
You can see a piece of the Murchison meteorite yourself , on display right now at the Field Museum.