Cosmic Stardust: Proof Matter Existed Before Earth
There are many who believe that Earth came into existence at (or very near) the same time the known universe was born. However, recent research suggests that this may actually not be the case. Scientists have gathered evidence that indicates solids existed before planet Earth was an actual object. One such piece of evidence is stardust.
Stardust, also known as presolar grains, are distinct bits of matter that are found inside meteorites. By studying these bits and comparing them to the materials that make up the rest of a meteorite, it can be determined, or at least it can be considered plausible, that the stardust is actually older than our own solar system.
It is important to note that not all cosmic dust is considered stardust – in fact, the fact majority of cosmic dust is material other than stardust. More specifically, less than one-tenth of one percent of cosmic dust would be considered stardust.
An interesting fact about stardust is that some consider it to be a catalyst by which storm clouds are formed. When stardust or similar ash material gets high into the atmosphere, clouds can begin to form, as long as other weather related conditions allow for such cloud formation.
While the notion that our planet, and even our own solar system, may have appeared long after other solid materials were formed in the universe can be shocking, the presence of stardust seems to indicate this is true.