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50 Years Ago

Ancient meteorite granules still mystify scientists

Excerpt from the July, 16, 1966, issue of Science News

12:30pm, June 23, 2016
chondrules in a meteorite

ORIGINS UNKOWN  Tiny granules trapped inside meteorites (pictured in polarized light) are among the oldest solid objects in the solar system; researchers still debate how these chondrules formed.

Lightning seen as cause of puzzling chondrules — Lightning flashes in the huge cloud of primeval dust and gas from which the planets in the solar system condensed may have caused formation of the puzzling objects known as chondrules ... the tiny, rounded granules about the size of poppy seeds found in stony meteorites.... Dry lightning flashes could have been the source of the fast heating that, followed by quick cooling, [explains] the glassy structure of chondrules. — Science News, July 16, 1966


Chondrules are among the oldest pieces of planetary building blocks, formed roughly 4.6 billion years ago during the solar system’s first few

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