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Latest Cosmic dust Stories

45b92eba0f9b647d6c104e63a924c2de1
2006-08-31 12:45:00

A new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is helping astronomers understand how stardust is recycled in galaxies. The cosmic portrait shows the Large Magellanic Cloud, a nearby dwarf galaxy named after Ferdinand Magellan, the seafaring explorer who observed the murky object at night during his fleet's historic journey around Earth. Now, nearly 500 years after Magellan's voyage, astronomers are studying Spitzer's view of this galaxy to learn more about the circular journey of stardust,...

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2006-07-28 14:06:08

The Earth Institute at Columbia University -- Each year nearly 40,000 tons of cosmic dust fall to Earth from outer space. Now, the first successful chronological study of extraterrestrial dust in Antarctic ice has shown that this amount has remained largely constant over the past 30,000 years, a finding that could help refine efforts to understand the timing and effects of changes in the Earth's past climate. The same study also used an improved analytical technique to show that dust carried...

35957fb7c2597c4b760d1484ab8658431
2006-07-17 16:22:00

In 1987 a massive star exploded in a neighboring galaxy, an event called a supernova. It was the closest supernova to Earth since the invention of the telescope centuries ago. Major observatories and millions of people worldwide turned to watch the death of this star. Now, nearly 20 years after the star's death, the explosion is revealing signs of life---in the form of dust particles that are the building blocks of rocky planets and all living creatures. And astronomers once again are...

a6a8610bb19c4f5d1a096094a010a5d81
2006-06-10 09:40:00

When the universe was only 700 million years old, some of its galaxies were already filled with lots of dust. But where did all of this dust come from? Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope think they may have found the source in type II supernovae, the violent explosions of the universe's most massive stars. Cosmic dust is an important component of galaxies, stars, planets, and even life. Until recently, astronomers knew of only two places where dust formed: in the outflows of...

b863055170937924eb5a0c9446606bd21
2006-03-14 00:55:00

By Irene Klotz HOUSTON -- 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. Prevailing theories about the solar system's formation cannot explain how this high-temperature material ended up in the frigid regions beyond Neptune's orbit, the so-called Kuiper Belt where comets formed....

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2006-01-30 15:44:24

NASA -- 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. "We sang our spacecraft to sleep today with a melody of digital ones and zeros," said Tom Duxbury, Stardust project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "Stardust has performed flawlessly these last seven years and 2.88 billion miles...

9caa314e23f7b57072654304001c0da81
2006-01-23 08:55:00

Boulder, Colorado -- Scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), and Charles University in the Czech Republic 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. Sediments found in oceanic core samples indicate that millions of years ago, the Earth was blanketed by extraterrestrial dust. Computer simulations indicate these...

4756e2cf89d2d2413df924ddda7694181
2006-01-19 18:05:00

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- 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. A canister containing particles trapped after the Stardust space probe's 2004 encounter with Comet Wild-2, pronounced as "Vilt," landed on Earth on Sunday. The samples were taken to the Johnson Space Center in Houston for inspections. "This exceeded all of...

65a7b4e0df702f77a66e87dc5f6bd15e1
2006-01-17 18:43:53

HOUSTON -- 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. If the $212 million mission went as planned, it may have captured particles older than the sun that could provide clues to how the solar system formed. Technicians at Utah's Dugway Proving Ground had readied the capsule...

9984d1d60c8f87da0deb3a8b9e329dde1
2006-01-10 06:25:00

WASHINGTON, D. C. -- 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. The properties of dust in disks around young stars plays a pivotal role in understanding star formation and determining the origins of planets in our Solar system and in extrasolar planetary systems as well. The results...


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
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'