Lithium, the lightest metal, used in batteries and mood-stabilising drugs, is rarer than it should be. Models of the period after the Big Bang explain how it, hydrogen and helium were synthesised in nuclear reactions, before the universe cooled enough for the stars and planets that we see today to come into being.
Compared to its celestial neighbours Venus and Mars, Earth is a pretty habitable place. So how did we get so lucky? A new study sheds light on the improbable evolutionary path that enabled Earth to sustain life.
Hidden magnetic messages contained within ancient meteorites are providing a unique window into the processes that shaped our solar system, and may give a sneak preview of the fate of the Earth’s core as it continues to freeze.
Researchers have shown that ancient Egyptian iron beads held at the UCL Petrie Museum were hammered from pieces of meteorites, rather than iron ore. The objects, which trace their origins to outer space, also predate the emergence of iron smelting by two millennia.
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