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Scientists analysing a meteorite have discovered the oldest material known to exist on Earth.

They found dust grains within the space rock - which fell to Earth in the 1960s - that are as much as 7.5 billion years old.

The oldest of the dust grains were formed in stars that roared to life long before our Solar System was born.

A team of researchers has described the result in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

When stars die, particles formed within them are flung out into space. These "pre-solar grains" then get incorporated into new stars, planets, moons and meteorites.

Wow, 7.5 billion years old... that's about 3 billion years older than the Earth itself :O !

Though, if they want to try and beat this record, then maybe I ought to send them some of my joke books :P .
its interesting to think just how old that is in the grand scheme of things, and the fact that one day the earth will be consumed by the sun as it expands into a red super giant and turning the earth into a massive diamond. somewhat fitting as an end i would say. 

Still its neat that they found it, im curious how exactly they were able to measure the age of the dust to such a degree.
Wonderful find and especially for the team of researchers from the US and Switzerland who analysed the 40 pre-solar grains contained in a portion of the Murchison meteorite, that fell in Australia in 1969.