Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
Abstract From about 700 kg old, high altitude glacier ice (age ≈ 400 y) more than 170 glassy spherical objects with a mean diameter of 100 μm were isolated. Neutron activation analysis of individual transparent objects (each ∼ 10−6 g) showed the presence of K, Sc, Cr, Fe, La, Eu, Au, etc., in varying concentrations. A detection limit of 10−14 g/g was achieved by means of an anticompton circuit. A systematic study by mass spectrometry of positive and negative ions using a LASER microprobe disclosed that the main constituents of some of these smooth glacier spheres consisted of “elemental” carbon. The chemical composition of some spherules admits the possibility of extraterrestrial origin, e.g. ablation material from meteorites with high carbon contents, which entered the earth's atmosphere.
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