Astrophysics (Index)About

presolar grain

(grains of dust within meteorites predating the solar system)

Presolar grains are dust grains dating from before the birth of the Sun. The term is used for grains found within meteorites with isotope abundances that suggest other than a solar system origin. The grains are presumed to result from the stellar wind of other stars long ago, and from other processes that create dust; thus they provide information relevant to stellar structure and stellar evolution models. The dust grains of the IPM are cleared out in relatively short time, leaving meteoroids/meteorites as our best provider of presolar grains.

The term stardust is similar, but in its precise use, specifically refers to dust from stars, e.g., the product of stellar wind.

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