Physics

Oldest magnetic record in the solar system discovered in a meteorite

Researchers have found that an iron-containing mineral called dusty olivine, present in meteorites, retains a record of the magnetic field from the early solar system around 4.6 billion years ago. The results are surprising, as the magnetism in dusty olivine is non-uniform, and non-uniform magnetic materials have previously been thought to be poor magnetic recorders. The discovery may lead to new insight into how the solar system formed—with the help of magnetic fields—from a protoplanetary disk.