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Know About The Blue Crystals In Meteorites

Know About The Blue Crystals In Meteorites

Blue crystals in meteorites show that our sun went through the 'terrible twos'

Our Sun's beginnings are a mystery. It burst into being 4.6 billion years ago, about 50 million years before the Earth formed. Since the Sun is older than the Earth, it's hard to find physical objects that were around in the Sun's earliest days—materials that bear chemical records of the early Sun. But in a new study in Nature Astronomy, ancient blue crystals trapped in meteorites reveal what the early Sun was like. And apparently, it had a pretty rowdy start.


"The Sun was very active in its early life—it had more eruptions and gave off a more intense stream of charged particles. I think of my son, he's three, he's very active too," says Philipp Heck, a curator at the Field Museum, professor at the University of Chicago, and author of the study. "Almost nothing in the Solar System is old enough to really confirm the early Sun's activity, but these minerals from meteorites in the Field Museum's collections are old enough. They're probably the first minerals that formed in the Solar System."

Blue crystals in meteorites show that our sun went through the 'terrible twos'


Researchers have looked at meteorites for evidence of an early active Sun before. They didn't find anything. But, Kööp notes, "If people in the past didn't see it, that doesn't mean it wasn't there, it might mean they just didn't have sensitive enough instruments to find it."


"In addition to finally finding clear evidence in meteorites that disk materials were directly irradiated, our new results indicate that the Solar System's oldest materials experienced a phase of irradiation that younger materials avoided. 

We think that this means that a major change occurred in the nascent Solar System after the hibonites had formed—perhaps the Sun's activity decreased, or maybe later-formed materials were unable to travel to the disk regions in which irradiation was possible," says Kööp.



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