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Latest Cosmic dust Stories

2006-01-08 18:40:00

LOS ANGELES -- When a NASA capsule hauling comet and interstellar dust plummets through the Earth's atmosphere this weekend, residents in large sweeps of the West will witness a cosmic spectacle. During the Stardust capsule's blazing re-entry at 1:57 a.m. PST Sunday, January 15, it will travel at 29,000 mph, making it the fastest man-made object to return to Earth. The 100-pound cargo will arc over Northern California toward Utah's Dugway Proving Ground, a remote Army base southwest of Salt...

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2006-01-09 00:00:00

LOS ANGELES -- Comets have long lit up the sky and the imaginations of scientists. Now these icy bodies from the beginnings of the solar system are finally ready for their close-up. Six months after NASA scientists first peeked inside one comet from afar, they're bringing pieces of another to Earth for study under the microscope. This weekend, the Stardust spacecraft will jettison a 100-pound capsule holding comet dust. It will nosedive through the Earth's atmosphere and - if all goes well...

2005-12-21 17:09:15

By Deborah Zabarenko WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A sample of comet dust, collected by a robotic space probe with what looks a bit like a big tennis racket, is scheduled to parachute down to Earth next month, NASA scientists said on Wednesday. The spaceship Stardust is coming to the end of its seven-year, 2.9 billion mile round-trip mission to fly by comet Wild 2, catching dust that could give astronomers clues about how the planets formed some 4.5 billion years ago. The ship will remain...

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2005-12-21 17:02:33

NASA's Stardust mission is nearing Earth after a 4.63 billion kilometer (2.88 billion mile) round-trip journey to return cometary and interstellar dust particles back to Earth. Scientists believe the cargo will help provide answers to fundamental questions about comets and the origins of the solar system. The velocity of the sample return capsule, as it enters Earth's atmosphere at 46,440 kilometers per hour (28,860 miles per hour), will be the fastest of any human-made object on record. It...

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2005-12-21 16:45:00

Cambridge, MA -- A team of astronomers has found faint visible echoes of three ancient supernovae by detecting their centuries-old light as it is reflected by clouds of interstellar gas hundreds of light-years removed from the original explosions. Located in a nearby galaxy in the southern skies of Earth, the three exploding stars flashed into short-lived brilliance at least two centuries ago, and probably longer. The oldest one is likely to have occurred more than six hundred years ago....

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2005-12-06 07:10:00

NASA -- Stardust's voyage in space is near its end, but its cargo - the world's first cometary and interstellar dust samples - has begun its two year journey on Earth, which ends on a cold early morning on the floor of a frozen dry lakebed. After successfully collecting particles of Comet Wild 2 on Jan. 2, 2004, Stardust's Sample Return Capsule reenters Earth's atmosphere and parachutes through the darkened sky on Jan. 15, 2006. The capsule touches down at approximately 3:15 a.m. (local...

2005-10-25 19:30:00

Thus, the process of building planets is more universal and robust than had previously been assumed (Science Express, October 20, 2005). Brown dwarfs, like more massive normal stars, are formed when interstellar gas and dust clouds collapse. When this happens, a central, dense area builds up, embedded in a rotating disc made of gas and dust. These circumstellar discs produce infrared radiation according to their temperature. The collapse of gas and dust clouds ends when the increasing...

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2005-07-04 02:35:00

PASADENA, Calif. -- It sounded like science fiction - NASA scientists used a space probe to chase down a speeding comet 83 million miles away and slammed it into the frozen ball of dirty ice and debris in a mission to learn how the solar system was formed. The unmanned probe of the Deep Impact mission collided with Tempel 1, a pickle-shaped comet half the size of Manhattan, late Sunday as thousands of people across the country fixed their eyes to the southwestern sky for a glimpse. The...

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2005-07-01 07:00:00

NASA and University of Arizona researchers have discovered pristine mineral grains that formed in an ancient supernova explosion. The grains were among other extraterrestrial dust plucked by high-flying NASA research aircraft from Earth's upper atmosphere after they were delivered to Earth by a comet or primitive asteroid. It is the first time anyone has ever discovered silicate grains, in this case olivine, from a supernova. They reveal important new information on how much material...

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2005-06-24 14:32:52

COLUMBUS , Ohio -- Science fiction writer Harlan Ellison once said that the most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity. While the verdict is still out on the volume of stupidity, scientists have long known that hydrogen is indeed by far the most abundant element in the universe. When they peer through their telescopes, they see hydrogen in the vast clouds of dust and gas between stars -- especially in the denser regions that are collapsing to form new stars and planets....


Latest Cosmic dust Reference Libraries

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2004-10-19 04:45:42

Nebula -- in astronomy, observed manifestation of a collection of highly rarefied gas and dust in interstellar space. Prior to the 1960s this term was also applied to bodies later discovered to be galaxies, e.g., the so-called Great Nebula in the constellation Andromeda. In 1864, William Huggins confirmed William Herschel's conclusion that nebulae are not swarms of stars by determining that the spectra of nebulae are made of bright lines characteristic of radiating gases. Diffuse...

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Word of the Day
out-herod
  • In the phrase to out-herod Herod, to be more violent than Herod (as represented in the old mystery plays); hence, to exceed in any excess of evil.
Herod refers to 'Herod the Great,' a Roman client king and 'a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis.' According to the OED, the term is 'chiefly with allusion to Shakespeare's use' in Hamlet.
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