The guest speaker at the February meeting of Keighley astronomical society was Prof Jamie Gilmour from the ‘Facility of engineering and physical sciences, the school of Earth, atmosphere and environmental sciences, at the University of Manchester’.
“Meteorites, stardust and the early solar system”, was the title of his presentation. Prof Gilmour works on meteorites to extract the minute quintiles of Xenon and iodine trapped in the minute grains of rock to tell the story of how the elements that make up the Earths atmosphere, oceans and ecosystem arrived.
He explained that the atoms that make up the solid Earth and its atmosphere, oceans and life forms were with the exception of hydrogen and helium, almost entirely made in generations of stars that were born lived and died long before our solar system formed.
Society members were able to handle and inspect actual meteorites used in such studies.