Latest Cosmic dust Stories

2008-01-24 15:15:00

Contrary to expectations for a small icy body, much of the comet dust returned by the Stardust mission formed very close to the young sun and was altered from the solar system's early materials. When the Stardust mission returned to Earth with samples from the comet Wild 2 in 2006, scientists knew the material would provide new clues about the formation of our solar system, but they didn't know exactly how. New research by scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and collaborators...

2007-12-20 16:15:00

Astronomers have at last found definitive evidence that the universe's first dust "“ the celestial stuff that seeded future generations of stars and planets "“ was forged in the explosions of massive stars. The findings, made with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, are the most significant clue yet in the longstanding mystery of where the dust in our very young universe came from. Scientists had suspected that exploding stars, or supernovae, were the primary source, but nobody had...

2007-12-19 18:53:48

UC Davis researchers have dated the earliest step in the formation of the solar system -- when microscopic interstellar dust coalesced into mountain-sized chunks of rock -- to 4,568 million years ago, within a range of about 2,080,000 years. UC Davis postdoctoral researcher Frederic Moynier, Qing-zhu Yin, assistant professor of geology, and graduate student Benjamin Jacobsen established the dates by analyzing a particular type of meteorite, called a carbonaceous chondrite, which represents...

2007-11-08 13:45:00

A new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a baby star 1,140 light-years away from Earth blowing two massive "bubbles." But instead of bubble gum, this youngster, called HH 46/47, is using powerful jets of gas to make bubbles in outer space. The infant star can be seen as a white spot toward the center of the Spitzer image. The two bubbles are shown as hollow elliptical shells of bluish-green material extending from the star. Wisps of green in the image reveal warm molecular...

2007-10-09 15:45:00

The hit song that proclaimed, "All we are is dust in the wind," may have some cosmic truth to it. New findings from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope suggest that space dust -- the same stuff that makes up living creatures and planets -- was manufactured in large quantities in the winds of black holes that populated our early universe. The findings are a significant new clue in an unsolved mystery: where did all the dust in the young universe originate? "We were surprised to find what appears...

2007-08-08 10:16:38

Cambridge, MA -- A spectacular new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope uncovers a small group of young stellar "siblings" in the southern portion of the Serpens cloud "“ located approximately 848 light-years away from Earth. Scientists suspect that this discovery will lead them to more clues about how these cosmic families, which contain hundreds of gravitationally bound stars, form and interact. "It's amazing how these stars really stand out in the Spitzer images. At visible...

2007-04-12 16:57:10

WASHINGTON - NASA is preparing to launch the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) spacecraft, the first mission dedicated to exploration of mysterious ice clouds that dot the edge of space in Earth's polar regions. These clouds have grown brighter and more prevalent in recent years and some scientists suggest that changes in these clouds may be the result of climate change. The first opportunity for launch is on Wednesday, April 25 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., aboard a Pegasus...

2007-04-04 13:20:00

It has been a mystery for astronomers how certain dying stars have their colossal quantities of material blown out into the universe and shrink into objects called "white dwarves". This is the basis of a ground-breaking new theory by astrophysicists Anja C. Andersen from the Dark Cosmology Centre at the University of Copenhagen and Susanne Höfner of the University of Uppsala. Earth and the other planets in our solar system are built up of elements which have been produced in earlier...

2007-01-07 15:47:23

New observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have begun to fill gaps in the early stages of planet birth. Hubble observed a "blizzard" of particles in a disk around a young star revealing the process by which planets grow from tiny dust grains. The particles are as fluffy as snowflakes and are roughly ten times larger than typical interstellar dust grains. They were detected in a disk encircling the 12-million-year-old star AU Microscopii. The star is 32 light-years away in the...

2006-12-18 19:30:00

Washington, D.C. "“ Eleven months ago, NASA's Stardust mission touched down in the Utah desert with the first solid comet samples ever retrieved from space. Since then, nearly 200 scientists from around the globe have studied the minuscule grains, looking for clues to the physical and chemical history of our solar system. Although years of work remain to fully decipher the secrets of comet Wild 2, researchers are sure that it contains some of the most primitive and exotic chemical...

Latest Cosmic dust Reference Libraries

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
  • The prevailing range of a vocal or instrumental part, within which most of the tones lie.
This word is Italian in origin and comes from the Latin 'textura,' web, structure.