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Isolated iron meteorite macro 2021 08 26 16 21 33 utcOne-fifth of an ounce of dark specks brought to Earth from an asteroid by a Japanese spacecraft are some of the most pristine bits of a baby solar system ever studied, scientists announced on Thursday.

That fact should help planetary scientists refine their knowledge of the ingredients in the disk of dust and gas that circled the sun about 4.6 billion years ago before coalescing into the planets and smaller bodies.