Latest Cosmic dust Stories
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.
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.
Scientists have made the first positive link between a breakup event in the main asteroid belt and a large quantity of interplanetary dust particles deposited on Earth.
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.
New observations of the Orion Nebula at infrared wavelengths reveal that small dust grains located in disks around young stars are growing, taking the initial steps toward forming planets despite bathing in a flood of radiation from highly luminous stars.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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