New estimates on the number of actual interstellar particles
Some of us were musing on the side regarding the science team's initial estimates on the number of true interstellar particles we'll find. Very early on there was a prediction that there would be approximately 45 actual interstellar particles within all of the aerogel from the collector. But because of your hard work, coupled with our research findings to date, plus the addition of the new foils search, this number has now drastically changed - for the aerogel search at least.
Estimates now are that, in the end (after ALL analysis), about 12 particles taken from aerogel and 40-50 particles taken from foils will turn out to be true candidates for real interstellar origin.
Why so many for the foils? It's a little complicated, because the size thresholds are different. But in general, we can detect much smaller impacts in the foils than we can in the aerogel.
And where did the 40-50 estimate come from? We currently have four good interstellar candidates from approximately 20 of the foils. There are about 250 foils, and thus, we could expect 40-50 interstellar candidates from the foils in the end (250/20X4).
Anyway, thought we'd share this new interesting take on what we expect. But in addition, it just goes to show why the team is now placing so much emphasis on the foils search. To participate, go to http://foils.ssl.berkeley.edu/ss_tutorial_start.php to get started!
All the best,
On behalf of the entire Stardust@home team