Recently, in January, 2020, scientists have discovered that oldest grains in the Murchison meteorite are about 7 billion years old, some 2 billion to 3 billion years older than the solar system. It is the oldest material ever found on Earth. Previously, the oldest stardust dated in a lab was estimated to predate the solar system by about 1 billion years. That makes the Murchison meteorite potentially the most important meteorite ever found on Earth!
The Murchison meteorite is a carbonaceous chondrite. These are generally believed to be the evaporated cores of comets. There is conclusive evidence that water once flowed through carbonaceous chondrites. This meteorite fell to Earth on September 28, 1969, scattering fragments across pastures near Murchison, Victoria, Australia. The Murchison meteorite belongs to an extremely special group of meteorites rich in organic compounds and are abundant in CAI’s (calcium aluminum inclusions).
The detailed chemistry of Murchison has revealed it contains more than 50 amino acids. To put that in perspective there are only 20 different amino acids found in the human body, with 9 of them being essential to life. So there are many amino acids in this rock from space which we’ve never seen before. Most amino acids can exist in either a right-handed or left-handed form. In biology, however, only the left-handed forms are used. The purpose for this anomaly is not completely understood. If life originates from nonliving chemicals there is no convincing reason for one form to be selected and not the other. Amino acids produced non-biologically would have no obvious reason to accumulate excesses of either form. Biochemists have found that there are measurably more left-handed than right-handed versions of certain amino acids in the Murchison meteorite. Detailed analysis of isotopic ratios have shown that the excess of left-handed amino acids in the meteorite was not the result of earthly contamination, plus the additional non-earth amino acids seals the case. The relationship between these amino acids and Earthly life is exactly why Murchison is so important to science. Lab results on this meteorite increase the weight for the theory of “panspermia” based on biological amino acids from Murchison. The relationship between these amino acids and Earth-based life is exactly why we're all interested in this meteorite.
This is an important meteorite specimen to have in teaching or to be a part of a meteorite collection. Lab results on this meteorite increase the weight of the previous argument for “panspermia” based on biological amino acids from Murchison. Recently, an organic source for the molecule ribose has been found in the Murchison meteorite, along with several chemically similar sugars. It is one of two space rocks, so far (2019), where this life-essential compounds have been found. This meteorite was legally obtained in a trade with a scientific institution.
This is the exact specimen for sale. Weight: 0.042 grams; Size: 6mm L x 4mm W x 2mm D.
Ships with Certificate of Authenticity and information. Tag stand included. Specimen stand and cube not included.