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tiny motes of stardust are first from outside our solar system

by:Top-In     2020-08-06
Astronomers may have found the first interstellar dust ever, and they can get it with the help of thousands of citizen volunteers in the Stardust @ Home project.
NASA\'s Stardust spacecraft\'s air gel and aluminum foil collector found only seven tiny particles of stardust, two Stardust spacecraft on Earth in 2006 after seven years in space.
Stardust\'s main task is to get a comet sample and take it home, but the spacecraft also has separate interstellar vacuum cleaners that are dropped by parachutes along with the comet version.
Over the past eight years, a group of scientists and volunteers have been sorting out tennis. racket-
The size mosaic of 132 air gel tiles, looking for very rare microscopic motes from the outside of our solar system.
A team led by researchers at the University of Berkeley\'s Space Science Laboratory found seven dust drops that they thought might be interstellar --
Spots created in a supernova millions of years ago were then altered by exposure to space.
Studying these tiny particles will enable scientists to better understand the raw materials for building solar systems and galaxies.
\"We, you and I, and everyone on Earth, are made of dust and gas recovered from interstellar media,\" said nano-material Rhonda Stroud
Astronomers and physicists at the Naval Research Laboratory told Forbes.
\"Looking at the dust, we can see the connection between the cycle of the universe.
Andrew Westfall, a Berkeley physicist, said understanding these particles is to understand our own origins.
\"We have been studying for several years. called “pre-solar” grains —
Particles from other stars happened to survive the solar system as the solar nebula became.
These are very old.
Older than the solar system.
We may only be able to identify a small part of it, \"he said. “[Now]
We believe that we have just taken the first step in understanding the complexity and diversity of individual contemporary interstellar dust particles.
This is a new collection of materials.
This is the material that is currently forming a new solar system.
\"So far, astronomers have only collected theories about this composition of cosmic dust from observations of the night sky by Earth and space telescopes.
\"The composition of interstellar dust has been inferred from the telescope --
Based on measurements of the interstellar composition of the gas, and looking for changes or consumption of individual elements indicating condensation into dust, \"Stroud explains.
Westphal added: \"Most of our information about interstellar dust comes from astronomical observations, especially those using space --
Based on infrared and x
Line Observatory
These give us some information about some of the main features of interstellar dust, and theorists have built a model of interstellar dust based on these observations.
So when scientists find these tiny particles, they are happy to find that the chemical composition and structure of the dust are more diverse than previously thought.
\"Now we think we \'ve seen the complexity and diversity of individual interstellar dust particles for the first time,\" Westphal said . \".
\"The diversity we see reflects the fact that we are measuring individual grains, while astronomical measurements and their models describe the average grain composition within the telescope\'s line of sight.
\"Two aspects of dust are particularly interesting, first of all large fluffy particles with crystal materials caused by magnesiumiron-
A silica mineral called olives.
\"The crystals of our large particles are a surprise and may reflect that these particles first condense around the star and then enter the interstellar medium,\" explained Westphal . \".
The researchers also found sulfur compounds in three particles, which some astronomers believe will not appear in interstellar dust.
\"The state of sulfur in Interstellar media is a controversial topic in astronomy.
Astronomical observations are difficult to carry out and explain due to technical reasons. [But]
Understanding the state of sulfur is part of a larger puzzle to understand the circulation and processing of matter in the Milky Way, \"said Westphal.
While scientists are happy to say that Moates may be interstellar dust, they are not fully confident yet.
\"The composition and trajectory model tells us that the grain is likely to be interstellar,\" Stroud said . \".
Westphal added that the team had carefully considered other explanations and sources before it came to the conclusion that the interstellar dust stream was the most likely source.
\"That\'s part of the reason this project has taken so long! ” he said.
Another reason for these years
Long-term research is the time spent sorting out data and finding tiny spots.
It takes three years for a person to search 40 hours a week to cover the same area that the \"scammer\" searched multiple times, Berkeley physicist Anna Butterworth said in a statement, sign up to help citizen scientists at Stardust @ Home.
Stardust\'s interstellar dust collector was taken to the Johnson Space Center after falling, and scientists scanned half of them at different depths through a transparent gas gel, and then turned the scan into a movie.
Westphal and his team then customized the movie for the \"virtual microscope\" so that about 30,000 duster could search the tracks online like a focused microscope.
When some duster marks a possible dust trajectory, scientists check the location to see what they can find.
In the search, Dusters found 69 tracks and Westphal found two.
Less than half of them were extracted with the surrounding gas gel and transmitted x-by scanning-ray microscope.
The test excludes many particles because they contain aluminum that will not appear in space.
Four other motes were found in the aluminum foil between the air gel tiles, which were not originally planned as a collection surface, but an international team led by Stroud searched for small particles, not seen in the air gel.
The other hundreds of tracks found by the duster couple have not been analyzed yet, and only 77 of the 132 pieces of air gel panels have been scanned, but scientists only hope to find a total of about one in a million of the comet substances collected by about a dozen interstellar particle stardust.
For more information on Stardust and other tech news, follow me on Twitter and Google.
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