Allende. Presolar grains main content.

Allende. Presolar grains

Part of Hall of Meteorites.

B.4.1.2. Allende (presolar grains) hero

Exhibition Text

As stars age, they spew out great quantities of dust grains into interstellar space. Early in our solar system's history, dust that formed around stars older than the Sun reached the solar nebula and mixed with chondrules, calcium-aluminum inclusions (CAIs) and dust particles from our solar system.
Today, small amounts of this stardust, known as presolar grains, can be found in some meteorites. The Allende meteorite contains many types of presolar grains, including tiny diamonds that consist of only about 1,000 carbon atoms. This vial contains about 60 quintillion (6 followed by 16 zeros) of these "nanodiamonds," isolated from a fragment of Allende similar in size to the 5.7-gram (0.013-pound) piece displayed here.

Collection Information

ALLENDE Presolar Grains
Prepared and donated by Roy Lewis, Senior Scientist, Enrico Fermi Institute, University of Chicago
AMNH 4975

For Educators

Topic: Astronomy

Subtopic: Milky Way Galaxy

Keywords: Astrophysics, Cosmic dust, Chondrites (Meteorites), Interstellar matter, Astrogeology, Chondrules

Audience: General