cosmochemistry

Over the last few months, “Hipster Cosmochemist”  has become a Thing, which basically amounts to a caricature of me with my wayfarer glasses and scarf and overlarge cardigan, spouting gems like: 

“I liked the solar nebula before it cooled.”

“Yeah, it’s a pretty niche field… You’ve probably never heard of it.”

“My favorite meteorites are carbonaceous chondrites, because they're organic.

"I think later-forming planetary material is superior, it’s recycled.”

“Oxygen fraction is just so great, I love how it’s truly INDIE(pendant of mass)!”

“I feel like I was born 4.567 billion years too late, you know?”

“I only care about Asymptotic Giant Branch stars, all of the others are too Main Sequence.”

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The Brain Scoop:
Fossil Meteorites! 

500 million years ago a collision between two asteroids threw one of them out of its rotation in the belt between Jupiter and Mars. Within a few tens of thousands of years the fragments of that meteor fell to earth and sank to the bottom of an ancient sea in modern-day Sweden. Over millions of years the mineralization process replaced many of the original elements in the meteorite, but thanks to some key identifying chemical markers our geologists and meteoriticists were able to determine that these specimens, excavated from a limestone quarry, are fragments of that ancient asteroid collision. 

The craziest part of all of this? Those fragments are still falling on earth today - in fact, one was found here in Chicago a few years ago, and after analysis it was matched to one of the fossilized fragments from Sweden. 

Separated by unthinkable distances in space and more than 500 million years, they’re reunited together again right here at The Field Museum. Now tell me that isn’t a story of star-crossed lovers.