Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First opal-like crystals discovered in meteorite

Date:
August 4, 2011
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists have found opal-like crystals in the Tagish Lake meteorite, which fell to Earth in Canada in 2000. This is the first extraterrestrial discovery of these unusual crystals, which may have formed in the primordial cloud of dust that produced the sun and planets of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago.

The Tagish Lake meteorite, which fell to Earth in Canada in 2000, contains unusual opal-like crystals.
Credit: NASA

Scientists have found opal-like crystals in the Tagish Lake meteorite, which fell to Earth in Canada in 2000. This is the first extraterrestrial discovery of these unusual crystals, which may have formed in the primordial cloud of dust that produced the sun and planets of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago, according to a report in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Katsuo Tsukamoto and colleagues say that colloidal crystals such as opals, which form as an orderly array of particles, are of great interest to for their potential use in new electronics and optical devices. Surprisingly, the crystals in the meteorite are composed of magnetite, which scientists thought could not assemble into such a crystal because magnetic attractions might pack the atoms together too tightly. "We believe that, if synthesized, magnetite colloidal crystals have promising potential as a novel functional material," the article notes.

The formation of colloidal crystals in the meteorite implies that several conditions must have existed when they formed. "First, a certain amount of solution water must have been present in the meteorite to disperse the colloidal particles," the report explains. "The solution water must have been confined in small voids, in which colloidal crystallization takes place. These conditions, along with evidence from similar meteorites, suggest that the crystals may have formed 4.6 billion years ago."

The authors acknowledge funding from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, the Tohoku University Global COE Program, and the Center for Interdisciplinary Research Tohoku University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jun Nozawa, Katsuo Tsukamoto, Willem van Enckevort, Tomoki Nakamura, Yuki Kimura, Hitoshi Miura, Hisao Satoh, Ken Nagashima, Makoto Konoto. Magnetite 3D Colloidal Crystals Formed in the Early Solar System 4.6 Billion Years Ago. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2011; 133 (23): 8782 DOI: 10.1021/ja2005708

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "First opal-like crystals discovered in meteorite." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110803102846.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2011, August 4). First opal-like crystals discovered in meteorite. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110803102846.htm
American Chemical Society. "First opal-like crystals discovered in meteorite." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110803102846.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) MIT researchers developed a light-based sensor that gives robots 100 times the sensitivity of a human finger, allowing for "unprecedented dexterity." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins