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Researchers studying the composition of meteorites

Researchers studying the composition of meteorites

R305/0144

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Credit

PASCAL GOETGHELUCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PASCAL GOETGHELUCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Meteorite research. Geologists using a secondary ion mass spectrometer (SIMS) to study the composition of meteorites. Meteorites are rocks which fall to Earth from space. They have remained largely unchanged since the formation of the solar system some 4.5 billion years ago. Study of the minerals they contain therefore provides information about the history and evolution of the solar system. SIMS uses a beam of ions to blast away some of a meteorite's surface. The fragments produced are then analysed, revealing the meteorite's constituents. Photographed at the Department of Mineralogy at the Natural History Museum in Paris, France.

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