Grady, Monica M.
Planetary, stellar and galactic evolution from a rocky perspective.
Astronomy and Geophysics, 44(6) 6.08-6.12.
Meteorites hold the key to understanding the early history of our planet and neighbouring bodies such as the Moon and Mars. They hold clues to the life cycle of our solar system and cast light on the evolution of its smaller members. But they also preserve traces of other stars, making possible the study of our galactic neighbourhood through their component parts: the pre-solar grains held in a primitive state within certain types of meteorites, that come from interstellar space. Isotopic analysis reveals not only the origin of these grains, but also gives the timescales over which these processes operate. As the only stellar and galactic material that is available for laboratory analysis, meteorites are an invaluable resource for astronomers.
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