Friday, 14 October 2011
Siliceous Fossil fragments in Space Micro-dust
A new study covers Siliceous Fragments in the Cardiff collection of IDPs - evidence for a new class of fossil.
IDPs containing carbonaceous-siliceous fibres and whiskers have been recovered from the upper stratosphere, some integrated into cometary agglomerate particles; coatings with salt and other components shows aggregation on the comet. Two examples of fibres have also been found in a carbonaceous chondrite (Tagish Lake). The fibres and whiskers may have formed in the comet environment, but their accumulation from the pre-solar dust cloud is not excluded. Composition and morphologies suggest the fibres and whiskers are fragments of fossilized organisms, with similarities to some species of terrestrial diatoms.