Friday, January 19, 2018
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Probe captures first instellar space dust


Posted on Monday, 18 August, 2014 | Comment icon 9 comments

The probe set out to collect particles from a comet. Image Credit: NASA/JPL
NASA's Stardust spacecraft is now believed to have picked up particles from outside the solar system
Launched back in 1999, the Stardust probe was designed to rendezvous with the comet Wild 2, pick up samples of dust and then return those to the Earth for study.

Everything went according to plan with the probe reaching the comet in 2004 and parachuting back down to Earth in 2006. Scientists have since been examining its payload in an effort to learn more about the formation of the solar system.

Stardust however also managed to capture something else that scientists have only recently been able to tease from its collectors - seven tiny particles that appear to have come from beyond our own solar system. It is believed that these were picked up when the probe was turned to face the region of space in to which particles from interstellar space were thought to be streaming.

The discovery of these tiny particles represents the very first time that scientists have had the opportunity to examine dust from outside our own solar system and will hopefully go on to yield important new clues about the nature and composition of our local cosmic neighborhood.

Source: National Geographic | Comments (9)

Tags: Stardust, Comet

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by UFO_Monster on 19 August, 2014, 3:00
On a grand scale, how significant of a step is this in terms of space exploration?
Comment icon #2 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 19 August, 2014, 6:41
On a grand scale, how significant of a step is this in terms of space exploration? In terms of space exploration not that significant. In terms of astronomy highly significant. These particles give astronomers a chance to analyse material from beyond the solar system for the first time. It will help them better understand the material which formed the sun, earth and planets 4.5 billion years ago.
Comment icon #3 Posted by taniwha on 19 August, 2014, 8:39
Eight years is an extraordinary length of time only to find three dust particles.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Silent Trinity on 19 August, 2014, 9:03
Significant find! Another milestone, and hopefully another window into the currently unreachable expanses of the universe for us....
Comment icon #5 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 19 August, 2014, 10:01
Eight years is an extraordinary length of time only to find three dust particles. No, 8 years is an extraordinarily short amount of time to analyse such small samples with enough precision and accuracy to deduce that they have an interstellar origin.
Comment icon #6 Posted by lightly on 19 August, 2014, 14:41
Not to minimize the discovery and the chance to examine such particles , but I would think that every particle composing the bodies in our solar system, before it's formation, had at one time existed "outside" of it ?
Comment icon #7 Posted by taniwha on 19 August, 2014, 15:26
Not to minimize the discovery and the chance to examine such particles , but I would think that every particle composing the bodies in our solar system, before it's formation, had at one time existed "outside" of it ? Correct. But now we know for sure which is more important than thinking we know for sure. Science works in round-about ways.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 19 August, 2014, 20:47
Not to minimize the discovery and the chance to examine such particles , but I would think that every particle composing the bodies in our solar system, before it's formation, had at one time existed "outside" of it ? Whilst that is true, all the comets, planets, asteroids, moons and the sun were formed from the same cloud of dust and gas at the same time, hence all the material in the solar system is from the same region of space. Analysis of any solar system material can tell us a great deal about the conditions when and where the solar system was born but nothing about the rest of the galax... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by lightly on 20 August, 2014, 0:11
ah.. thanks a lot Waspie, Great explanation , i understand the importance much better now .


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

6082140
260448
172548

 
Drone saves swimmers in world-first rescue
1-18-2018
A new lifesaving drone has already proven its worth after rescuing two swimmers off the coast of Australia.
Man claims 'aliens' delayed his tax return
1-18-2018
British tax authorities have released a list of some of the most ridiculous reasons for late tax returns.
Extreme weather tops 2018's global threats list
1-17-2018
1,000 risk management experts from around the world have outlined this year's top man-made threats.
Man ruptures throat while stifling a sneeze
1-17-2018
As one unfortunate man recently found out, trying to stifle a particularly explosive sneeze is not a good idea.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Brian Cox talks to Buzz Aldrin
Posted 1-18-2018 | 1 comment
Professor Brian Cox discusses space travel with legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
 
Typing vs handwriting
Posted 1-16-2018 | 2 comments
Is typing on a computer better or worse for your memory then writing on paper ?
 
Can coding help avoid job automation ?
Posted 1-12-2018 | 0 comments
Taking up coding and technical skills to avoid automation may be counter-productive.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Strange feeling
1-18-2018 | Different places
 
Unexplained voices
1-18-2018 | United States
 
First college apartment
12-31-2017 | Daytona Beach, FL
 
The night my niece was murdered
12-19-2017 | Delhi, Louisiana
 
Mysterious Headlights
12-10-2017 | Morgan County, Alabama
 
Possibly a child ghost
12-10-2017 | Edgewater, Maryland
 
True story about black-eyed kids
12-10-2017 | Portland oregon
 
Alien or paranormal encounter ?
12-10-2017 | United States
 
Ouija board experience
12-10-2017 | Ohio
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2017
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ