Did they already find stardust?

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Did they already find stardust?

Post by ethicalpaul »

This page seems to show a piece of dust complete with track in a chunk of aerogel that they cut from one of the tiles. So did they just happen to spot this one and go ahead and cut it? If so, which cell did it come from I wonder? (like which # cell from that cool status graphic on the updates forum?)

http://www.planetary.org/programs/proje ... tter1.html

Also, if they did cut a chunk out of that cell, did that make the cell unscannable (ie all chopped up)?

OK, I read it again thinking there must be something I was missing, and it seems like the photo shows comet dust, not stardust, I guess from the "other side" of the collector.

Of course they called the caption of the photo "stardust particle" which I think added to my confusion. I suppose since the name of the project is "stardust" even the comet particles could be considered "stardust particles"?
Last edited by ethicalpaul on Tue Jun 20, 2006 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by buddhabuddha »

Cosmic vs. Comet? I got confused too... :)

I believe that picture is of "comet" dust in aerogel from the other side of the probe and not "cosmic" dust from our side.

Two different aerogel collectors were on the probe. One opened to collect comet dust from comet Wild 2's coma and the other opened on its way to comet Wild 2 to collect interstellar dust from outside our solar system.

Research started first on the comet dust collector which is probably why they have that picture. There's supposed to be thousands of comet dust particles in the aerogel of the comet dust collector but only a few dozen cosmic dust particles in the aerogel of the collector we'll be helping with.

I think that's one reason they need so many folks helping. It's easier to find the comet dust than the cosmic dust.
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