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Thursday, 7 April 2011

Ilmuwan Temukan Jenis Mineral Baru di Meteorit

Anonymous / / 4

Wassonite (foto: ibtimes.com)
Wassonite (foto: ibtimes.com)
WASHINGTON - NASA dan para peneliti dari Amerika Serikat (AS), Korsel serta Jepang menemukan jenis mineral baru bernama 'Wassonite' di meteorit yang ditemukan di Antartika pada Desember 1969.

Meteorit tersebut mungkin berasal dari asteroid yang mengorbit antara planet Mars dan Jupiter. Wassonite adalah jenis mineral terkecil namun penting, yang diidentifikasi di meteorit yang berusia 4,5 miliar tahun tersebut. Demikian seperti yang dikutip dari Psysorg, Kamis (7/4/2011).


Tim peneliti yang dipimpin oleh Keiko Nakamura-Messenger, ilmuwan dari NASA, menambahkan temuan tersebut ke dalam daftar yang berisi 4.500 jenis mineral yang sudah disetujui oleh International Mineralogical Association.

"Wassonite adalah sebuah mineral yang terbentuk hanya dari dua elemen, sulfur dan titanium. Mineral tersebut memiliki struktur kristal unik yang belum pernah diteliti," jelas Nakamura-Messenger.

Pada tahun 1969, anggota dari Japanese Antartic Research Expedition menemukan sembilan meteorit di Pegunungan Yamato, Antartika. Lalu pihak AS dan Jepang melakukan pencarian lanjutan di sana dan menemukan lebih dari 40 ribu spesis, termasuk meteorit dari Mars.

Para peneliti menemukan Wassonite dikelilingi oleh mineral tambahan yang kini juga masih diselidiki. Wassonite berukuran kurang dari seperseratus lebar rambut manusia atau 50x450 nanometer.

Dengan ukuran sekecil itu, mustahil untuk menemukan Wassonite tanpa bantuan mikroskop elektron transmisi milik NASA, yang mampu menentukan komposisi Wassonite dan struktur atomnya.
(srn)
sumber: okezone.com

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