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Cosmic dust source found by scientists

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#1    Owlscrying


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Posted 25 December 2007 - 09:21 PM

Pasadena, Calif. (AP) - Scientists in California have uncovered the best evidence yet that cosmic dust in the early universe mostly came from the explosions of giant stars.

The Spitzer Space Telescope recently detected large amounts of space dust, 10,000 Earth masses worth, in the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A located 11,000 light-years away.

The discovery comes two months after Spitzer found freshly made dust in the wind bursting out of super-massive black holes.

Astronomers believe both supernovae and quasars are responsible for the dust that helped seed early stars. Dust is essential in the cooling process to make stars, which are predominantly gas.

Researchers at NASA's Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology used a telescope instrument to analyze infrared light from the supernova and construct maps of the dust to determine the quantity and composition


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