New Mineral Discovered: Panguite
A fireball that once burst out in the Sky over Mexico scattering thousands of meteorites across the state of Chihuahua, is still a strong evidence for our solar system evolution. The mineral that was embedded in the meteorite Allende was Panguite.
Panguite, the new titanium oxide derives its name Pan Gu, the giant from ancient Chinese mythology who established the world by separating yin from yang to create the earth and the sky.
Panguite was discovered by the Caltech Researchers who used electron scanning microscope to study minerals that were embedded inside the meteorite. The mineral and the mineral name have been approved by the International Mineralogical Association's Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification.
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Sources claim that, Panguite was observed first under a scanning electron microscope in an ultra-refractory inclusion embedded in the meteorite. Refractory inclusions are among the first solid objects formed in our solar system, dating back to before the formation of Earth and the other planets. "Refractory" refers to the fact that these inclusions contain minerals that are stable at high temperatures and in extreme environments, which attests to their likely formation as primitive, high-temperature liquids produced by the solar nebula.
According to sources, Panguite contains familiar elements like oxygen and magnesium, as well as more exotic ones like zirconium and scandium and its chemical name is (Ti4+,Sc,Al,Mg,Zr,Ca)1.8O3.
According to sources, study researcher Chi Ma, a senior scientist at Caltech said "Panguite is an especially exciting discovery since it is not only a new mineral, but also a material previously unknown to science. It's brand-new to science."
The study is detailed in the July issue of the journal American Mineralogist and was supported through grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and NASA's Office of Space Science.