To date, scientists have been particularly surprised by the discovery of the mineral osbornite, a compound of the metal titanium with nitrogen. Osbornite is produced only at temperatures of over 1, 700 degrees Celsius, as they prevail in the solar system only near the sun. Scientists concluded that the youth of our solar system was very turbulent and therefore there had to be a lively exchange of material between the outer and inner solar systems.
However, the researchers around Jesús Martínez-Frías urge caution regarding this interpretation of the results of the Stardust mission. They point to the rocket fuel hydrazine, which can also form osbornite with titanium. The Titan could come either from the comet or even from the spacecraft itself, whose tank is made of high strength and light metal. The scientists therefore recommend that the true origin of the osbornite in the Stardust samples be determined in further analyzes. This could be made possible by investigations of the crystal structure or by the variants of titanium atoms contained in the sample.Jesús Martínez-Frías (Center for Astrobiology, Madrid) et al .: Energy & Fuels, online pre-publication, DOI: 10.1021 / ef070014r ddp / science.de? Ulrich Dewald ad