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Scientists are getting their best understanding yet of the makeup of comets - not only of the materials inside these planetary building blocks, but also of the way they could have formed around the Sun in the solar system's earliest years.
NASA scientists have a new mystery to solve: How did materials formed by fire end up on the outermost reaches of the solar system, where temperatures are the coldest?
Particles from any icy comet that were collected and returned to Earth aboard a NASA science satellite show dozens of minerals that form only in extreme heat -- a finding that complicates theories about how the solar system formed, scientists said on Monday.
Scientists said Monday they have begun slicing and dicing the first of hundreds of microscopic specks of comet dust, virtually unchanged since the birth of the solar system, that a NASA spacecraft successfully returned to Earth in late January.
NASA's Stardust spacecraft was placed into hibernation mode yesterday. Stardust successfully returned to Earth samples of a comet via its sample return capsule on Jan. 15. The spacecraft has logged almost seven years of flight.
Pristine comet samples returned this weekend by the Stardust spacecraft after a 2.9-billion-mile (4.7-billion-km) journey wildly exceeded scientists' expectations, project managers said on Thursday.
The newly returned Stardust space capsule arrived Tuesday at NASA's Johnson Space Center, where the space agency said scientists will unlock its internal canister and take a first peek at comet debris particles it was supposed to capture during a seven-year journey.
Please read in 11th paragraph ...any solid material from beyond the moon...
Please read in 4th paragraph ...any solid material from beyond the moon...
By Nichola Groom LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A space capsule loaded with comet dust completed a 2.9 billion mile (4.7 billion kilometer) journey on Sunday, landing safely in the Utah desert and ending a seven-year wait for clues to the solar system's origins.
Comet -- A comet is a small body from the outer reaches of the solar system similar to an asteroid but composed of ice. Often described as "dirty snowballs," they are composed largely of carbon dioxide ice, methane ice, and water ice with a mixture of dust and small stony aggregates mixed in. Comets are thought to be small pieces of debris left over from the formation of the solar system, representing a sample of the original composition of the nebula that condensed to form the Sun and all...
- A person or thing gazed at with wonder or curiosity, especially of a scornful kind.