|Category||Native element class, Fersilicite group|
|Crystal class||Tetartoidal (23)
H-M symbol: (23)
|Crystal habit||Cubic grain in microscopic dust particle (< 2.5 μm)|
Brownleeite is a silicide mineral with chemical formula MnSi. It was discovered by researchers of the Johnson Space Center in Houston while analyzing the Pi Puppid particle shower of the comet 26P/Grigg-Skjellerup. The only other known natural manganese silicide is mavlyanovite, Mn5Si3.
The particles where collected from the stratosphere over south-western US in April 2003 using an ER-2 high-altitude research aircraft of the NASA. The team of researchers from USA, Germany and Japan was led by NASA scientist Keiko Nakamura-Messenger.
To determine the mineral's origin and examine other dust materials, a new transmission electron microscope was installed in 2005 at Johnson Space Center.
The mineral name was approved by the International Mineralogical Association (IMA Number 2008-011). The NASA scientists named the mineral after Donald E. Brownlee, professor of astronomy at the University of Washington, Seattle.
- http://webmineral.com/data/Brownleeite.shtml Webmineral data
- http://www.mindat.org/min-36014.html Mindat.org
- Mindat, http://www.mindat.org/min-38826.html
- University of Washington News of Juni 12, 2008
- Newswise: Like a Rock: New Mineral Named for Astronomer Retrieved on June 15, 2008
- NASA News Releases June 12, 2008: NASA Finds New Type of Comet Dust Mineral
- Minerals approved by the IMA-CNMNC in June 2008[permanent dead link]
- Universe Today June 12, 2008: Alien Mineral From Comet Dust Found in Earth's Atmosphere
- "Brownleeite: The First New Mineral Identified From a Comet". Planetary Science Research Discoveries.