Geologist Chi Ma has discovered nine new minerals within a meteorite that fell to Earth in 1969. Most people would count that as a pretty big check in the “win” column. But that wasn’t enough. Turns out that one of them, panguite, is older than Earth itself!
The mineral, whose chemical formula is (Ti4+,Sc,Al,Mg,Zr,Ca)1.8O3, formed in the early days of our solar system. It contains common elements like oxygen, but zirconium? That’s a weird one. The name is in reference to the Chinese mythological giant Pangu, who split yin and yang with a huge axe to create Earth.
Remember that California meteorite from a couple months ago? I wonder what they’ll find in that one?
(via Wired Science)