Krotite mineral named for UH scientist

July 22nd, 2011  |  by  |  Published in Campus News

microscope image of krotite

Microscopic view of krotite

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Researcher Alexander “Sasha” Krot is widely known for his work on the chemical composition of meteorites, particularly the calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions, or CAIs, that were the first solids formed in the solar nebula about 4.6 billion years ago.

Now one of those CAIs is named for him.

The International Mineralogical Association Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification officially dubbed the mineral krotite when the first natural occurrence was reported in the May/June issue of American Minerologist journal.

Synthetic forms of CAIs had been produced in laboratory experiments simulating early space conditions, but only a high-pressure form had been previously observed in microanalysis of a chondrite, or stony meteorite.

Alexander Krot headshot

A 2004 recipient of the University of Hawaiʻi Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research, and member of the university’s NASA Astrobiology Institute team, Krot received the National Science Foundation’s Antarctica Service Medal.

He holds a MS and PhD from Moscow State University.

Krot has “changed the way the entire cosmochemistry community thinks about the nature of the records preserved in chondrites,” according to a colleague.

Learn more about the discovery in Planetary Science Research Discoveries or read the scientific paper in American Mineralogist.

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