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Research Cluster: Early Solar System


On the trail of the cosmic basis of our habitat: Exploring the early solar system through innovative approaches of collection development - meteorites and minerals

In cooperation with renowned partner institutions, we address the central scientific questions of how our solar system developed into its present structure, and whether and if so, how a cosmic transfer of organic material laid a foundation for the emergence of life on Earth.

The efficient (fast), high-quality and largely non-destructive exploitation of meteorites and other geo-materials from our scientific collections is in the focus of our project. To achieve this, we need to test and further develop in part novel analytical methods for chemical analyses.

Urban micrometeorites will also be investigated in this context. Their exploration will be carried out as a Citizen Science project. Citizens will be involved in all steps of the scientific work, including the development of innovative participation models themselves. In this way, we want to contribute to arousing public interest in natural sciences and basic research with a special focus on geosciences and planetology. At the same time, we offer to experience and participate in the work of science. In this way, we hope to deepen the understanding of science in society.

The establishment of a center for reference standards for microanalysis (production of ‘calibration materials’) is one of the further goals. Many essential scientific and societal questions, ranging from the origin of our living planet to the anthropogenic influence on the Earth system, can only be answered with the help of elaborate geoscientific laboratory investigations on the smallest scale. The latter depend on certified high-quality reference standards.