Microscope

Tiny blue crystals trapped inside meteorites, from the dawn of the Solar System, confirmed that the newborn Sun was hyperactive. Stars are typically violently active in their early phase of evolution. The baby Sun -born about 4.6 billion years ago, 50 million years before the Earth - was no exception. 

By Agencies
  • Published 5.08.18
  •  

The Sun's been a wild child 

• Tiny blue crystals trapped inside meteorites, from the dawn of the Solar System, confirmed that the newborn Sun was hyperactive. Stars are typically violently active in their early phase of evolution. The baby Sun -born about 4.6 billion years ago, 50 million years before the Earth - was no exception. Since the Sun is so much older than the Earth, it's been hard to find objects and materials that bear chemical records of the Sun's earliest days. Ice-blue crystals, called hibonite, found in a meteorite preserved at the Field Museum in the University of Chicago revealed that our Sun too went through the "terrible twos". Understanding the early history of the Sun will help scientists know the physics and chemistry of our natural world and predict the future better.

It's a wrap

• Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, US, have come up with a biodegradable alternative to the clear plastic sheets used to pack food. Made from layers of chitin (found in crab shells) and cellulose (from trees), the material is strong, flexible, transparent and can keep food fresh for longer. Now scientists just need to find a cost-effective manufacturing process.

Amber snake

• Lida Xing, a paleontologist from the China University of Geosciences in Beijing, was combing the amber markets of Myanmar when he came across an interesting piece. Trapped inside the amber was a 99-million-year-old snakeskin. Scientists are not sure where snakes originated and how they spread around the world. This discovery may give them some clues.

Origami cage

• Marine biologist David Gruber and a team of engineers and marine scientists have come up with a 3D printed, origami catcher's mitt that uses a single motor to fold itself from a 20-inch flat star into a 12-sided encasement, eight inches wide. With it, researchers can hold sea animals such as jellyfish for observation without killing, injuring or even taking them out of the ocean.

More from Science