While more than 4,900 minerals have been identified on Earth, at present only about 65 such substances have been identified that are believed to have first existed in the cloud, called the solar nebula, from which the planets of our solar system were formed.
“As our solar system started to develop about 4.6 billion years ago, high-temperature minerals arose when condensation processes turned some gasses into solids,” explains Ma. “These refractory minerals—meaning they are the first solar solids and formed at high temperatures—along with presolar grains mark the very beginning of mineral evolution at the very beginning of our solar system, and also mark my proudest contribution to science.”
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Photo by HC Van Urfalian