Mystery behind space dust revealed

Last Updated: Saturday, August 30, 2014 - 19:23
Mystery behind space dust revealed

Zee Media Bureau

New York: Thorough examination of the space dust has revealed that each cosmic particle is different from another, the space dust have possibly originated from beyond our solar system as it's more complex in nature than expected.

NASA's Stardust mission that sent in the space dust to Earth in 2006 initiated the study.

The analysis tapped a variety of microscopy techniques including those that rely on synchrotron radiation.

"Synchrotrons are extremely bright light sources that enable light to be focused down to the small size of these particles while providing unprecedented chemical identification," explained Hans Bechtel, a principal scientific engineering associate at Berkeley Lab.

"Fundamentally, the solar system and everything in it was ultimately derived from a cloud of interstellar gas and dust," said Andrew Westphal, physicist at the University of California, Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory.

"The analysis of these particles captured by Stardust is our first glimpse into the complexity of interstellar dust, and the surprise is that each of the particles are quite different from each other," informed Andrew Westphal, a physicist at University of California, Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory.

This method provided an important screening tool for differentiating the origin of each particle, researchers noted.

The paper was published in the journal Science.

With Agency Inputs



First Published: Saturday, August 30, 2014 - 19:21

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