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Space Science

New Mineral Found In Meteorite 85

Posted by Soulskill
from the please-don't-call-it-unobtianium dept.
Virtucon writes "The new mineral was found embedded in the Allende meteorite, which fell to Earth in 1969. Since 2007, geologist Chi Ma of Caltech has been probing the meteorite with a scanning electron microscope, discovering nine new materials including panguite. 'Panguite’s primordial nature means that it was actually around before the Earth and other planets formed, meaning it can help scientists learn more about the conditions in the cloud of gas and dust that gave rise to our solar system.'"
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New Mineral Found In Meteorite

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  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:08PM (#40462521)

    I guess The Panguin is already taken.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The Panguin... half man... half penguin... half pan-handler!

      • half man... half penguin... half pan-handler!

        Three halves? Wait a minute... which one are you - Tom or Ray?

        • I worked with a lot of people that are 3 halves. I'm not far off. Now, do I go to the gym or have Ribs for lunch Hmm?
      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        The Panguin... half man... half penguin

        Already here... don't pacemakers run Linux?

        I saw this in the firehose and RTFA (yeah, I know, so sue me). It led me to look up the new mineral on wikipedia (not much there) and the Chinese God that it was named after. Interstingly, the Chinese genesis legend is incredibly similar to the Judeo-Christian/Muslim Genesis.

        Odd how so many ancient religions world-wide from completely different and isolated parts of the world can be so similar. The Chinese legand even has coun

        • Odd how so many ancient religions world-wide from completely different and isolated parts of the world can be so similar.

          The world wassn't so "isolated" in the old days as we usually think. Buddha statues in China and Japan were came about via the ancient Greek practice of making statues of deities. There's some evidence that the Chinese visited the Americas before Columbus. Ideas get around.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      No, but he rides his horse ever more proudly as he watches the flowers fly by.
  • by Deathnerd (1734374) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:08PM (#40462523)
    Totally read this hoping we'd finally discovered Element Zero [wikia.com]. *sigh* Another time, perhaps.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    1) Can we eat it? (and will it give us super powers)
    2) Will it blend?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Pretty sure the article was auto-generated by a buzzwordifier:

    Panguite (IMA 2010-057), (Ti4+,Sc,Al,Mg,Zr,Ca)1.8O3, is a new titania, occurring as fine-grained crystals with Ti-rich davisite in an ultra-refractory inclusion within an amoeboid olivine inclusion from the Allende CV3 carbonaceous chondrite.

    Doesn't mainstream PC tech use the least abusive field-related babble when compared to medicine and legalese?

    • Andromeda Strain (Score:4, Informative)

      by rossdee (243626) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:21AM (#40463209)

      "Panguite (IMA 2010-057), (Ti4+,Sc,Al,Mg,Zr,Ca)1.8O3, is a new titania, occurring as fine-grained crystals with Ti-rich davisite in an ultra-refractory inclusion within an amoeboid olivine inclusion from the Allende CV3 carbonaceous chondrite."

      amoeboid?

      Uh-oh
      Better call in Dr Jeremy Stone and the Wildfire team

    • Panguite is also robust, piquant and goes well with Duck L'Orange.

    • Re:Bot! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ruie (30480) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:41AM (#40463387) Homepage

      Pretty sure the article was auto-generated by a buzzwordifier:

      Panguite (IMA 2010-057), (Ti4+,Sc,Al,Mg,Zr,Ca)1.8O3, is a new titania, occurring as fine-grained crystals with Ti-rich davisite in an ultra-refractory inclusion within an amoeboid olivine inclusion from the Allende CV3 carbonaceous chondrite.

      Doesn't mainstream PC tech use the least abusive field-related babble when compared to medicine and legalese?

      For once we have a line of scientific discussion and you are complaining ?

    • No buzzwordifiers were used to create that statement. It's actually quite straight-forward and descriptive. What surprises me is that new minerals are still being discovered in the Allende meteroite, given how much its been studied over the last 40+ years.
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Pretty sure the article was auto-generated by a buzzwordifier

      I see you've never read a real research paper. You're likely to see the word "enumerate" fifteen times in a single paragraph without once seeing the word "count".

      It looks more to me like he cut and pasted from the paper.

  • by c0lo (1497653) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:22PM (#40462683)

    'Panguite’s primordial nature means that it was actually around before the Earth and other planets formed, meaning it can help scientists learn more about the conditions in the cloud of gas and dust that gave rise to our solar system.'

    How can one be sure a meteorite that fell on Earth in 1969 is representative for the "gas cloud and dust that gave rise to our solar system"? I mean, can't the meteorite be originated in other start systems?

    • by meglon (1001833) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:45PM (#40462911)
      Certainly they could, however, given the distance to the closest star system from us, the travel times, the odds of hitting something as small as our planet with something even smaller from that distance, plus given the uncertainties of what actually lies between those systems and how that medium would interact with anything traveling through it, and even the unknown variable of what it would take to eject such an item from the originating system in the first place (not all systems are the same)... one would be far safer to go with the simplest answer, instead of opting for the answer that is so incredibly remotely possible.

      Just saying.... the simplest answer is usually the right one.
      • by ganjadude (952775)
        billions of years ago the clusters would have been closer per BBT, its still possible that sometime all those years ago rocks had more of a chance of galaxy skipping no? having said that K.I.S.S. for sure
        • by meglon (1001833)
          Well, i was generalizing on the previous post, and it was in reference to other star systems.

          Aside from the obvious unknowables at the moment, the interactions of the interstellar medium, interactions in transition from and into the systems themselves as well as the energy needed to eject the item from the system (which is also part of the transition out), we can do some basic math to calculate travel time, if we make a few basic assumptions.

          The entry speed of a meteorite into our atmosphere is ~11-25
          • by hankwang (413283)

            "current distance to Alpha Centauri (give or take a couple inches i'm sure), would take over 2 trillion years to bridge the space in between"

            You made an error in your calculation. Since 20 km/s is 1/15000 of the speed of light, it would take 15000*4=60000 years to travel 4 light years, which is quite a bit less than your number.

            • by meglon (1001833)
              Thanks. Once i remember where i did my calcs i'll try to figure out how i screwed that one up so much. I'm pretty sure it's when i multiplied it by 8.5% a couple times too many. I'm too light a weight for alcohol anymore.
          • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @11:34AM (#40467969)

            we can do some basic math to calculate travel time, if we make a few basic assumptions.

            The entry speed of a meteorite into our atmosphere is ~11-25km/sec. Using a high average of 20km.sec, and placing that as the average travel speed of the object (huge assumption)

            We can do some better calculations from those same numbers also.

            For instance, 11km/s relative to Earth is below solar escape speed, so a rock moving that fast did NOT come from outside the solar system (barring some really interesting interactions with multiple planets on entry to the Solar System - and we can't assume that condition existed for most (or even many) of the meteors arriving at the low end of meteor speeds).

            On the other hand, 25 km/s relative to Earth could be moving greater than solar escape speed, if it were moving more or less in the same direction Earth is at impact - if it's basically chasing Earth, then it's moving at about 31 km/s in excess of solar escape speed.

            On the other hand, if it's coming in at a larger angle relative to Earth's motion, then it may still be moving at less than solar escape speed. Coming in perpendicular to Earth's orbital motion, for instance, leaves it moving about 4 km/s BELOW solar escape speed.

            Which leave you with (assuming arbitrary of meteor orbits) less than half of all meteors coming in at the high-end of the speed range are interstellar, with an even small fraction of the slower ones being interstellar objects.

            Which leaves you with most of them being local, with no regards to travel time.

            Note, by the way, that travel time is pretty much irrelevant to the likelihood a rock came from around another star.

            Note also that your travel time estimates are off by a several orders of magnitude. You have the approximate distance in meters to Alphacent correct, but you then divide that by a speed in km/s (giving you an error of 3 orders of magnitude), then you compound that error by assuming that the result of that first division was time in YEARS instead of SECONDS (giving you an error of another seven orders of magnitude).

            The correct answer, by the by, for your numbers, is about 63000 years.

            • by meglon (1001833)
              Yeh, you and Hankwang corrected me on that one, and thanks for laying out where i went wrong. My mistake was such a big one i'll have to take time to find my calcs and go over it... once my hangover goes away (which feels like might be a couple weekends hence - advil just ain't slowing it down any).
      • by c0lo (1497653)

        Just saying.... the simplest answer is usually the right one.

        The the annoying thing about sayings - one can found others, equally plausible/witty, pointing towards the contrary
        Like: "There is always a well-known solution to every human problem--neat, plausible, and wrong."

        • by meglon (1001833)
          Yes, quotes can be made to say just about anything by someone that want's a quote to be interpreted a certain way. However, i'm not entirely alone in the basic sentiment of my post: http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/scientific-experiments/occams-razor.htm [howstuffworks.com]

          I would also suggest that our planet accreating matter wouldn't really fit into the meaning of "human problem" in Mr Mencken's quote, who wrote about the affairs of actual living humans, not the falling of meteorites from the sky.
      • his chances of scoring with Mila Kunis.
    • by guruevi (827432)

      Most of the stuff in our solar system, stays in our solar system - you know gravity and such. Most of the stuff in other solar systems likewise stays in their respective solar systems. I don't think there are any known objects that traverse(d) multiple solar systems. Sure, in the beginning (at the birth of our solar system, when the sun was in a cluster of stars) the matter could've all been close enough to each other to share some other solar systems' rocks but at this point in time (astronomically) the st

      • but at this point in time (astronomically) the stuff in our solar system stays in our solar system.

        Note that a comet falling in from the edge of the system can, if it passes near enough to Jupiter (but not too near) leave the vicinity of Jupiter moving at more than solar escape speed.

        In which case, it would not stay in our solar system.

  • 12 posts in (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ukab the Great (87152) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:36PM (#40462845)

    And no adamantium references. They just don't make basement virgins like they used to.

  • 'Panguite’s primordial nature means that it was actually around before the Earth and other planets formed,

    So how exactly did they come to this "Scientific" conclusion?

    • Through empirical observation, of course!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:15AM (#40463161)

      From the Wikipedia (I'd never taint my honor by RTFA):

      "Panguite is in a class of refractory minerals that formed under the high temperatures and extremely varied pressures present in the early solar system, up to 4.5 billion years ago. This makes panguite one of the oldest minerals in the solar system. Zirconium is a key element in determining conditions prior to and during the solar system’s formation."

      I'm no chemist, but from that it seems they know when it was formed because of the temperature/pressure required to join the elements together (now how they know how things were back then I don't know). But yeah, it's a pain when so-called journalists write but don't communicate much of anything.

    • by Fred Ferrigno (122319) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:38AM (#40463363)

      And now you know: [doi.org]

      We have studied Pb-isotope systematics of chondrules from the oxidized CV3 carbonaceous chondrite Allende. The chondrules contain variably radiogenic Pb with a (206)Pb/(204)Pb ratio between 19.5–268. Pb-Pb isochron regression for eight most radiogenic analyses yielded the date of 4566.2 ± 2.5 Ma. Internal residue-leachate isochrons for eight chondrule fractions yielded consistent dates with a weighted average of 4566.6 ± 1.0 Ma, our best estimate for an average age of Allende chondrule formation.

  • 'Panguite’s primordial nature means that it was actually around before the Earth and other planets formed

    How could they possibly know that? Do we know the composition of every mineral on every planet and in every asteroid in the entire solar system? They could have broken off of another planet due to a meteorite strike 200 years ago and we'd have no idea.

    Also, I'm halfway through season 2 of the X-files on netflix and they've already discovered three previously unknown elements lol. Unfortunate

    • Yes, they _blatantly_ named it Panguite in honor of the Linux operating system... Are you retarded?

      On a side note, can anybody clean up this gibberish?

      Panguite (IMA 2010-057), (Ti4+,Sc,Al,Mg,Zr,Ca)1.8O3, is a new titania, occurring as fine-grained crystals with Ti-rich davisite in an ultra-refractory inclusion within an amoeboid olivine inclusion from the Allende CV3 carbonaceous chondrite.

      I feel like I suddenly don't understand english?

      • by aiht (1017790) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:59AM (#40463511)

        Yes, they _blatantly_ named it Panguite in honor of the Linux operating system... Are you retarded?

        On a side note, can anybody clean up this gibberish?

        Panguite (IMA 2010-057), (Ti4+,Sc,Al,Mg,Zr,Ca)1.8O3, is a new titania, occurring as fine-grained crystals with Ti-rich davisite in an ultra-refractory inclusion within an amoeboid olivine inclusion from the Allende CV3 carbonaceous chondrite.

        I feel like I suddenly don't understand english?

        I am not a geologist, but...
        Panguite [discovery ID?], [chemical composition etc.], is a new [titanium mineral] occurring as fine-grained crystals with [titanium]-rich [other mineral also discovered in the same meteorite] in a [high melting-point] [section] within an [irregularly shaped] [other mineral] [section] from the [meteorite].

        Does anybody who actually knows what they're talking about want to chime in?

        And, for people who still had trouble with the above:
        Panguite is a new [mineral], occurring [with other minerals] [in a meteorite]. :P

        • by azalin (67640)
          I'd say this sums it up rather nicely.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          You got most of it.

          IMA is the International Mineralogical Association, which certifies any new mineral claims and places them in an official catalog by that number. "Amoeboid" just means mineral grains "shaped like an amoeba", i.e. kind of "blobby" with lots of projections and embayments. This is pretty typical for olivine from this particular meteorite type ( carbonaceous chondrite [wikipedia.org]) and the particular fall, Allende [wikipedia.org] (named after the place where it fell in Mexico -- this happens to be a particularly famous

          • The above is a good example of why technical language gets used. Anyone skilled in minerology understood the two-line version. Laypeople need the 3-4 paragraph version. Technical language is far more information dense than basic language.
      • by polymeris (902231) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @03:05AM (#40464239)

        Panguite (IMA 2010-057), (Ti4+,Sc,Al,Mg,Zr,Ca)1.8O3, is a new titania, occurring as fine-grained crystals with Ti-rich davisite in an ultra-refractory inclusion within an amoeboid olivine inclusion from the Allende CV3 carbonaceous chondrite.

        A titanium-bearing mineral has been accepted into the International Mineralogical Asoc.'s catalgoue. Chondrites are a class of meteorites, the important part being that they are supposed to have formed as such and were not part of a larger body. (No evidence of impact or melting).
        Some carbonaceous meteorites have large (several mm diameter) grains of material which were formed in vacuum, in particular those of the CV subtype. This particular meteorite's chrondrules (that's what those grains are called) contain refractory (i.e. heat-resistant) material in the amoeboid (rounded, irregular shape) olvine inclusions. Olivine is a basic ( = low silica content) mineral series common in celestial bodies (also the inner earth) and very suceptible to weathering, that is, exposure to water. Altered olivine has been found in fragments of meteorites from mars, which is the reason it is believed that there once was a water on that planet. But that's another story.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      How could they possibly know that?

      The comment right above yours explains it. Stop trying for fisrt post and actually do a little reading and you might actually learn something.

      Unfortunately, none of them were so blatantly named after Linux as the one in this story.

      *sigh*... you kids hate reading, don't you? It's not named after Linux, it's named for the ancient Chinese god Pan Gu, the creator of the world through the separation of yin (earth) from yang (sky). And it doesn't even sound like "penguin", do you

  • by CanEHdian (1098955) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @01:12AM (#40463605)
    The headline is terribly misleading;

    Panguite’s primordial nature means that it was actually around before the Earth and other planets formed

    It's actually a very old mineral that has been found.

  • And none of these new minerals have changed Chi Ma into a super hero yet? How disappointing.

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