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Latest Cosmic dust Stories

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2010-08-11 08:22:51

The chemical breakdown of minerals that may be lurking in space dust soon will be available to scientists around the world. Because space dust contains the basic ingredients that form planets, the University of Central Florida physicists' analysis could provide important clues about how the solar system formed and how life emerged. For decades, astrophysicists have been studying these clouds of dust, which contain ices, silicate minerals and iron compounds. But until the UCF team started...

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2010-07-06 06:14:35

The Japanese space agency (JAXA) said Monday that its Hayabusa space probe, which returned to Earth last month, collected "minute particles" of what it hopes is asteroid dust from the potato-shaped Itokawa asteroid. Scientists hope the samples could help reveal secrets about the origins of the solar system. "We have started the opening process of the sample container of Hayabusa since June 24, 2010 and confirmed there are minute particles," JAXA told the AFP news agency. The agency also...

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2010-03-07 09:45:00

NASA scientists said they might have identified the first specks of interstellar dust in materials collected by the agency's Stardust spacecraft. The interstellar dust is comprised of tiny particles that take part in making stars and planets. The Stardust spacecraft's primary job was to catch dust streaming from Comet Wild 2 and return it to Earth for analysis. However, scientists also hoped to collect particles of interstellar dust. The material was collected in a 2.9 billion mile...

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2009-12-01 09:30:00

A recent NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of part of NGC 7023, or the Iris Nebula, highlights a perfect dust laboratory in the sky. On Earth, we tend to find dust nothing more than a nuisance that blankets our furniture and causes us to sneeze. Cosmic dust can also be a hindrance to astronomers because cameras using visible light cannot see through it. However, studying cosmic dust in detail helps astronomers to pin down the ingredients of the raw mixture that eventually gives birth to...

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2009-11-03 08:10:00

Dust samples collected by high-flying aircraft in the upper atmosphere have yielded an unexpectedly rich trove of relicts from the ancient cosmos, report scientists from the Carnegie Institution. The stratospheric dust includes minute grains that likely formed inside stars that lived and died long before the birth of our sun, as well as material from molecular clouds in interstellar space. This "ultra-primitive" material likely wafted into the atmosphere after the Earth passed through the...

2009-09-08 13:38:48

U.S. scientists say they have determined a component of deep space clouds is also found on Earth -- in mothballs. University of Georgia researchers said they have shown for the first time that one component of clouds emitting unusual infrared, known as the Unidentified Infrared Bands, is a gaseous version of naphthalene, the chief component of mothballs. The unidentified infrared band stellar clouds have been seen by astronomers for more than 30 years, but no one has ever identified what...

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2009-09-02 13:26:16

Interstellar clouds, drifting through the unimaginable vastness of space, may be the stuff dreams are made of. But it turns out there's an unexpectedly strange component in those clouds, and it's not dreams but "” mothballs? Well, not exactly, but researchers from the University of Georgia have just shown for the first time that one component of clouds emitting unusual infrared light know as the Unidentified Infrared Bands (UIRs) is a gaseous version of naphthalene, the chief component...

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2009-08-26 07:20:00

Today ESO has released a new image of the Trifid Nebula, showing just why it is a firm favorite of astronomers, amateur and professional alike. This massive star factory is so named for the dark dust bands that trisect its glowing heart, and is a rare combination of three nebula types, revealing the fury of freshly formed stars and presaging more star birth. Smoldering several thousand light-years away in the constellation of Sagittarius (the Archer), the Trifid Nebula presents a compelling...

eff6b5a33f18e4e20e417a827ca438c21
2009-06-10 13:40:25

Astronomers using the infrared capability of the U.S. space agency's Spitzer Space Telescope have found two newborn stars at the center of our galaxy. The heart of the Milky Way spiral galaxy is cluttered with stars, dust and gas, and at its center, a supermassive black hole, National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists said. Conditions there are harsh, but astronomers have known stars can form in such chaotic space, however, until now nobody had been able to definitively locate...

2009-04-23 10:58:29

U.S. astronomers say they've used a mathematical model to obtain a clearer picture of the galaxy's youngest supernova remnant. Researchers at North Carolina State University said the model corrects for the distortions caused by cosmic dust, thereby providing evidence that the remnant is from a type Ia supernova and raising questions about the ways in which magnetic fields affect the generation of the remnant's cosmic ray particles. Physicists Stephen Reynolds and Kazimierz Borkowski -- with...


Latest Cosmic dust Reference Libraries

6_56b4148a38a885ae7fa748b6f76fe6032
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
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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