Update: 1 Dec 06 - Getting a Better Look at the Collector

Stardust@home project news.

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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: 1 Dec 06 - Getting a Better Look at the Collector

Post by bmendez » Fri Dec 01, 2006 4:39 pm

Recently, Ron Bastien and Jack Warren at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) acquired about 600 high-resolution focus movies of candidate extraterrestrial tracks in the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector, identified by our Stardust@home collaborators. Each movie is larger than 100 Megabytes! We are now going through these movies at Berkeley. We are finding that this is helpful, and we have made a new discovery: an apparent "swarm" of tracks that enter the collector nearly parallel to the surface. This is probably due to an impact somewhere on the collector. We will be tracking this down in the coming weeks.

The next big step will be rescanning these movies using transmitted illumination. We expect a critical test on the flight-spare collector to be done at JSC in the next few days. If successful, this will enable us to change from reflected light (the worst possible illumination method) to transmitted light. The transmitted light has already been reinstalled in the microscope, but we have to confirm that we can reliably and safely fold back the foils holding the aerogel tiles in place.

Stay tuned!

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