Update 24Aug06 - Analyzing Cometary Stardust

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bmendez
Stardust@home Team
Stardust@home Team
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Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:28 am
Location: UC Berkeley Space Sciences Lab
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Update 24Aug06 - Analyzing Cometary Stardust

Post by bmendez » Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:50 pm

The Stardust@home Team is taking a short hiatus from reviewing candidates for Stardust@home. We're not slacking off -- we're doing around-the-clock analyses of cometary Stardust samples for the next few days. We're working with Matthew Marcus and Sirine Fakra, using the 10.3.2 x-ray microprobe at the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, just down the hill from us at the Space Sciences Laboratory at U. C. Berkeley.

The Advanced Light Source is basically a very powerful infrared, ultraviolet, and x-ray light source servicing a number of different microscopes. It's the size of a shopping mall and sensitive enough to look at the tiniest of samples. We are analyzing Stardust cometary samples. We're really accomplishing two things at once -- we're getting very detailed information about the composition of cometary dust that the Stardust mission brought back, and we are also getting excellent experience in preparation for the analysis of the interstellar dust that we're all looking for with Stardust@home. This type of analysis may be one of the first things we do with the interstellar dust once we've located and extracted it from the aerogel collector in Houston.

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