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Latest Cosmic dust Stories

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....

e481f5d807aaff758fedc4cc99363c3b1
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...

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...

4d8d740b828b0b8d34ffa944815300211
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...


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
Cthulhu
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.
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