This ancient stardust is the oldest ever to be examined in a lab

Tiny grains give insight into galactic happenings before our solar system’s birth

Egg nebula stardust

Bits of dust expelled by aging stars (like those in the Egg Nebula plume, pictured) and brought to Earth on a meteorite are the oldest ever dated in a lab. One 8-micrometer grain is also shown.

Background: W. Sparks/STSCI and R. Sahai/JPL-NASA; Inset: Courtesy of J.N. Avila

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